If you go
What: Ra Ra Riot
When: 9 p.m. Tuesday
Where: Fox Theatre,1135 13th St., Boulder, 303-443-3399
Cost: $18-$20
foxtheatre.com

UPDATE: The show has now been canceled. Refund information at foxtheatre.com

UPDATE:
The show has been postponed due to singer Wes Miles’ illness. It has not yet been rescheduled. More info at foxtheatre.com.

Ra Ra Riot‘s story is a classic indie rock success tale.

Once upon a time, in 2006, a group of Syracuse University students formed a band and started playing shows around town. After an early stumble, when co-frontman Shaw Flick quit, the remaining members got more focused. They impressed crowds six times over at CMJ Music Marathon and rode that momentum into the release of their first EP.

But like any fairytale, the story is not without heartbreak. Drummer John Pike went missing after a 2007 show in Providence, R.I., and his body was found in a bay off the coast of Massachusetts. The band pushed forward though, and its first full-length album included five songs co-written by Pike before he died.

Fast forward to the present day – through signing with Barsuk Records, playing South by Southwest, touring the U.S., the U.K. and Japan, working with Death Cab For Cutie‘s Chris Walla and Vampire Weekend‘s Rostam Batmanglij, releasing three more EPs and a second studio album – and Ra Ra Riot has become an indie favorite. 2010’s The Orchard debuted at No. 36 on the Billboard Top 200 chart, and the buzz from the album has lead them to add more stops to their fall tour.

“[The tour is] just kinda a final wrap-up of the album,” cellist Alexandra Lawn said. “There’s been a constant growth and enthusiasm for the album, so it didn’t make sense to not to hit all the markets.”

The band has had a tough run recently, though. Shows in Tuscon, San Diego, and Los Angeles have been canceled while singer Wes Miles recovered from some scary throat troubles. He wrote in an announcement: “My doctor informed me that I have extremely inflamed throat, nose, and vocal chords, most likely due to a ‘nasty virus.’ Any more irritation would put me in danger of rupturing blood vessels in vocal chords, which can then scar them.”

Ouch. The show was back on in San Francisco last Friday, though, and Ra Ra Riot will stop in Boulder on Tuesday along with Mates of State and Generationals. From there, they make their way back east to finish the tour, then eventually start work on their next album. There’s no schedule yet, but new material is already in the works.

“We’ve got a lot of songs right now to wok with. As far as really taking them to a new level in terms of arrangement and stuff, we still need to put that time in,” Lawn said. “We’ve got a solid amount of demos and we know what we want off this album. I think in some ways it’s gonna be a lot like the Rhumb Line. We’re trying a more spontaneous approach — a more gut-feeling, not over-thinking approach.”

Like many of their peers, Ra Ra Riot takes a pretty loose approach to writing music. Sometimes one member will write something on his or her own, but just as often, they’ll sit down and work through a song together.

“We all write collaboratively, but [“You and I Know”] was the first song I wrote a singing part to and I didn’t necessarily write it for me to sing it,” Lawn said. “But then it kinda opened a lot of doors for me and has led to me doing a lot of songwriting and working on that, and hopefully getting better, you know. I’m learning every day.”

Before (or after, why not?) you check out the show, have a listen to one of Ra Ra Riot’s three Daytrotter sessions.