April 3, 2008

Beautiful beat, get me out of this mess :: Nada Surf at the Gothic Theatre (04/01/08)

Nada Surf was phenomenal Tuesday night, as I had expected. After seeing them acoustic and intimate in the fantastic jewelbox of the Swedish American Hall of San Francisco, I was sated with the gorgeous golden side of their music, but left aching to hear the full electric band treatment.

This is one ferociously good live band that I would see again and again. My companion Kristan had never heard of them but was duly and thoroughly impressed, and more than a few fist-pumping college dudes admitted to being there only because of their 1996 hit song “Popular.” But winning hearts and eardrums seems to be what this New York trio does best, and by the time we got through to “Beautiful Beat,” the room kinda felt like it was going to explode. Or maybe just me.

The always affable Matthew Caws introduced “Inside of Love” by saying that they wanted to write a soulful Smokey Robinson-type song that you could dance to, something to do a little swingin’ twostep to. He charmed the whole crowd into stepping back and forth while they played it. The raddest detail of the stage setup were the five convex mirrors set across the back of the stage reflecting us back upon ourselves. In this video you can see the undulating wave of soul & fancy footwork moving through the crowd, if you look closely:

NADA SURF – “INSIDE OF LOVE” (live in Denver 4/1/08)

Nada Surf is currently doing some shows with Martin Wenk of Calexico, who added keys, trumpets and other flourishes to their set and to their most recent album. During the encore they brought out Lisa Fendelander from Sea Wolf (the opener) to add accordion, which was sublime and wistful. This video turned out really stellar as well:

NADA SURF – “BLONDE ON BLONDE” (live in Denver 4/1/08)

And here is the full setlist of what they played (except I’m pretty sure they left out “Are You Lightning,” which is sad). But man alive — “The Blankest Year” was even more cathartic all electric and loud and yelling. A few more pics are here and a nice local review here. Oh what a night.

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  • It’s funny, because when I just got Lucky along with my heal your headaches books. (You can read my headache post on my site) and was uploading into iTunes, when I went to your page. It is a lovely record. It sure is hard to keep up with the new releases. So far 2008 has been looking good for music.

    Stephen — April 3, 2008 @ 8:14 am

  • Excellent. I love Nada Surf. Great Post!!

    nightninja56 — April 3, 2008 @ 10:18 am

  • That set-list is epicccccccc. I’m going to the NYC show w/ Superdrag on 4/11 AND in DC on 4/12. I am geeeeked.

    evilhomer — April 3, 2008 @ 1:24 pm

  • So jealous. I left town the week before…and was seriously considering staying in town solely for this experience.

    KT — April 3, 2008 @ 1:31 pm

  • sad to see u failed to mention sea wolf’s awesomeness. . .

    Anonymous — April 3, 2008 @ 10:38 pm

  • That’s an amazing setlist. Damn, I was really hoping for a Madison show on this tour, since the last time they came it was one of my top five shows of the year.

    wallrock — April 4, 2008 @ 7:05 am

  • I just saw these guys in Minneapolis last night and I was blown away! The last few tracks were intense, it was Sea Wolf’s last show with them and the band really looked like they were having a blast. Hopefully I’ll get some YouTube videos up in a few days.

    Erik Hess — April 4, 2008 @ 10:28 am

  • that’s great. i love how happy go lucky he looks playing inside of love. it’s such a woe-is-me kind of song.

    asher — April 5, 2008 @ 3:41 pm

  • this was my second time seeing Nada Surf (last time was “Weight is a Gift” era). they really give an amazing show . . . with plenty of songs from their amazing repertoire. yeah, the twostep was a nice touch.

    Darrius — April 8, 2008 @ 5:48 am

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Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

Mp3s are for sampling purposes, kinda like when they give you the cheese cube at Costco, knowing that you'll often go home with having bought the whole 7 lb. spiced Brie log. They are left up for a limited time. If you LIKE the music, go and support these artists, buy their schwag, go to their concerts, purchase their CDs/records and tell all your friends. Rock on.

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