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RY X Graces an Intimate Crowd with Heavenly Harmonies at Grace Cathedral

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Grace Cathedral, San Francisco. Photography by Laina Petrinec

What did you do Saturday night? I spent mine at church. With a tall bearded Australian who sang sweet melodies that filled the highest rafters and played heavy bass that shook every pew. I’m talking about RY X, the critically acclaimed singer/guitarist/synth player who’s style of music I would describe as melodic indie modern chanting with emotion that will put you in a trance.

Now, I’m not just talking about any Church. RY X miraculously secured Grace Cathedral as the venue for his shows both Friday and Saturday night, and I’d be lying to say I could pick a more enchanting venue to hear his voice. If you’re not familiar with Grace Cathedral, it sits atop Nob Hill at California and Stockton Streets, has been around in some form since 1849, and hosts events from weekly yoga, to social justice rallies including LGBTQ equality, and even a Beyonce themed mass. During his set on Saturday March 30, RY X said many people asked how he was able to pull it off, and he said it took a bit of asking, and a bit of rule breaking.

Charlie Cunningham

The enchanting evening began with Charlie Cunningham, who’s solo acoustic but moving opening set was exactly the right tone-setter for the show. The serene silence and attentiveness of the crowd shocked me for this opening set. It created an amazing and intimate setting that made it ideal for focusing on the music without any distractions from a crowd. With the candlelit stage, or altar, perfectly set, RY X came out and carried the audience with his voice from the cold tiled floors to the top of the 91-foot vaulted ceiling. A handful of songs, in, he admitted he had never once done what he had never before done on a Saturday night rock show – broke a guitar string. And then did what we had a feeling was coming – swearing in a cathedral.

RY X with a dangling broken guitar string

No lightning bolts came down upon him for that, but the need for a new guitar prompted him to change up the set list, and play his hit song “Berlin”, ‘before he was ready’. Ready or not, though, the song was so transcendent and moving, he had everyone in the crowd completely captivated.

He had the crowd pretty much hypnotized for the rest of the show and I left thecathedral feeling ethereal after having witnessed a heavenly performance.

The majestic RY X on the altar
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Laina Petrinec

Laina Petrinec

Laina was raised attending cheap concerts in the LA music scene and is now broke from attending too many indie rock shows in the Bay Area. At concerts, you can find her on the edge of the mosh pit with ear plugs in, or buying concert tickets 8 months in advance while cursing processing fees.