White Light Riot in the Ascot Room

Lindsey Thomas

Say what you want about its ties to Clear Channel and gaudy decor reminiscent of, as a touring musician once put it, "a crack dealer's mansion," the Ascot Room is still one of the few venues in Minneapolis that consistently offer all-ages shows. That's important to a band like White Light Riot, who played their Saturday night CD-release show to a crowd bearing more naked wrists than ones wrapped in fluorescent green wristbands. In addition to their drummer's 20th birthday, the group was celebrating the release of The Dark Is Light Enough, an EP crammed with dance-rock tunes as infectious as any by the Killers or Franz Ferdinand. And a spot-on set proved them ready for a share of radio time, despite their youth. Folks looking conspicuously like proud parents gathered on the sidelines, but this was no high school talent show. The quartet's set was as note-perfect as their slickly produced CD, and even included a few tracks from the old days (er, a few months ago) when they called themselves the Evening Glow. Meanwhile, the youthful audience reminded us wristbanders why all-ages shows are more fun; the band made numerous requests for handclaps and dancing, and the kids were eager to comply. I even heard a couple of girls chattering about autographs after the lights came up. Considering their fashionable sound and cache of readymade singles, catching these guys before word spreads isn't such a bad idea.

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