Blue Robot

Talain Rayne at the 10/14 SPA Noontime Concert - A Review

Posted by Devin Weakland on 10/19 at 06:29 PM

Talain Rayne and his drummer Isaac Tucker brought their alternative/electronica style to SPA’s noontime show last Friday as part of the weekly concert series. Talain and Isaac, who are only two parts of the five-person band, delivered a crowd-pleasing performance and were definitely a great band to feature for the series.

One of the first numbers the duo played was my favorite song, “Family Wall” from the album Attic Lights. Talain introduced it by saying he wrote it for his dad: “My dad and I have our differences, and it took a lot of maturity and growing up to realize that I can’t force stuff in his life.” The song began with piano chords played to a faster tempo. Isaac joined in on drums a few verses in, creating a more intense, upbeat sound. Since I’ve listened to the album version so many times, the keyboard-drum combination was a nice diversion. It was simplified, yet didn’t lose any of its musical qualities. Although the tune has a great instrumental structure, I like it most for its lyrics. Talain’s genuine words tell a personal story and give the song meaning.

Talain and Isaac showcased some of their electronica stuff mid-show by playing “Keep Running Kid,” (also from Attic Lights) which Talain said was a “love song” about a girl that he never got. The intro consists of slow bass beats combined with an electronic organ-like sound. Guitar and piano accompany the electronica elements as Talain sings the chorus. The song has an upbeat chorus and slower main tempo, so it’s constantly switching between slower and faster rhythms. From the nodding heads and tapping toes, I’d say this beat switch-up really helped the crowd get into the performance.

Then Talain played “Dear Sister, Your Brother,” which is also from the Attic Lights album. Talain said it is one of his favorites and that it’s being played on his local radio station. This upbeat melody was played over an interesting use of percussion and even whistling and clapping, making for a very unique rhythmic sound. The song highlights childhood memories, reminding listeners of their early youth. I like this number because it seems to question why life can’t be simpler.

Talain ended the show with his Christmas single “Wake Up December.” Talain went solo for this one, sitting at the front of the lounge at his keyboard, singing the slow holiday ballad. This song starts out slowly and builds up to a powerful ending chorus. It tells about Christmas celebrations and family traditions. It put me into a holiday spirit (even if it is only October).  The serene and even peaceful qualities of this number calmed the crowd, yet everyone was still watching intently, taking in the music.

Talain Rayne shared both his musical talents and personal experiences with last Friday’s noontime crowd. Personally, I really enjoyed seeing him perform on campus again. I’m already looking forward to his next visit.

{name} Author: Devin Weakland
Bio: Devin is a junior at Penn State double-majoring in print journalism and marketing with a minor in international business. Playing the piano since age six, Devin has come to love and appreciate the art of music. Her favorite genres include indie rock, techno and pop punk, but she also has a soft spot for acoustic stuff. You’ll almost always find her listening to Two Door Cinema Club, Vampire Weekend, Phoenix, Blink-182 or Ben Folds. In her spare time, Devin enjoys reading, writing and traveling.


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