Rathborne — the fresh-faced, New York-based band — opened for Travis earlier this past weekend at the Regency Ballroom. The lead vocalist, Luke Rathborne, made his start by sneaking into a college radio station near his hometown, Brunswick, Maine, in order to begin recording his own songs. Now he has formed a group with its own record label. Rathborne is currently touring nationwide promoting their debut album, “SOFT.”
The band entered the stage modestly. Dressed in baggy t-shirts and jeans, its members were reminiscent of people I would normally see if I went to see a small high school garage group play. They stood in their positions awkwardly for the first few songs before they began to move around and use the stage to their advantage.
Rathborne’s sound is reminiscent of Cheap Trick or REO Speedwagon, with melodies heavily guitar-based and lyrics that revolve around love. When asked where he gets inspiration for his lyrics, Rathborne responded: “They just come out. Sometimes I’ll get something stuck in my head, but I won’t know where it came from — then realize it’s an original thought or idea. It kind of comes out like looking into a kaleidoscope; everything’s just swirling around like that.”
Though new to the touring scene, the band’s confidence grew as its set continued. The energy exuded when its members fiercely strummed their guitars enticed audience applause. Rathborne received even more recognition when closing their act with “Last Forgiven” and “So Long NYC” — some of its debut album’s most popular tracks, according to the lead singer.
When asking a fellow audience member what they thought of the musicians after they exited the stage, the fan replied: “I’m sure they’ll be successful in the future. They’re really promising.” While its members are still young and clearly trying to grow out of their awkward phase, I’m looking forward to seeing how Rathborne evolves.