Ritt Momney, a small, garage rock band born out of Salt Lake City, Utah, came to the big city of L.A. on Feb. 17 as a part of their first out-of-state tour. The young band, led by Jack Rutter, lead vocalist and songwriter, put on a stellar live performance at the Moroccan Lounge, a last-minute change from their former venue, Telegram Ballroom.
Besides Rutter, four other teenagers make up the collective that is Ritt Momney. Auden Winchester plays the band’s primary keyboard, Max Meteos is on the drums, Noah Hamula rocks guitar, and Jonas Torgersen plays the bass. All are from Salt Lake City — the same city associated with Mormon politician Mitt Romney, from whom the band takes its name.
Under the same ownership as Teragram Ballroom, the Moroccan lounge is a small bar space attached to a standing-room-only venue. The entire space was dimly lit, and during Ritt Momney’s performance, the bar was mostly empty. This vacancy was most likely due to the retraction of the 21-year age requirement at this particular show — with an abundance of minors in attendance, the bar was seldom used.
The actual stage area was simple. The empty walls and dimly lit crowd put all the focus on the stage, creating an intimate vibe that aligned with the small crowd that attended the show.
Ritt Momney’s five band members were illuminated by soft purple lights from overhead. The band sported an interesting arrangement of two keyboards and only one guitar for most songs. The lead singer switched between keyboard, vocals, and even acoustic guitar.
Having forgotten their set list that night, Ritt Momney played most of the songs from their new unreleased LP, “Her and All of My Friends.” It was refreshing to hear more than just their sparse seven songs released on public platforms.
This new release — their first full release — dips into the realms of electronic by embracing an almost punk sound, and may be their best yet. It was also filled with a love-pained passion that delivered a much more real feeling than some of their older tracks, reminiscent of their most recent release “Pollution//Disclaimer.” With Rutter coming back to the storytelling, rap-like lyrical style presented in “Pollution.”
However, what stood out more than their new music was their live performance. Whether it was due to poor recording equipment on their audio files, or simply an increase in talent by the band since their first tracks, seeing Ritt Momney live was miles better than listening to them online. Their recorded performances pale in comparison to the energy and sound delivered that night.
While the band still preserved the more mellow side of their music that had the crowd swaying back and forth in rhythm, other parts shocked the crowd alive. Some songs literally made my head jolt in surprise, as they sounded completely different than what I had heard before.
Overall, the band proved during their live show that they have more to offer in terms of style, quality, and quantity of their music in the years to come as, right now, they’re just getting started.
All previous releases by Ritt Momney are available on major streaming services such as Soundcloud, Spotify, and Apple Music.