Nada Surf | 10.22.07

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photo: Todd Owyoung, www.ishootshows.com
more photos in FLICKS

My guess is that they finally have their act down to a science, because their live set was amazing. It may have helped that I was in the front row, or perhaps that the dynamic threesome (consisting of Matthew Caws, Daniel Lorca, and Ira Elliot) played the best choice of songs, but I honestly believe that the group rocked so hard because they were just into it.


 

 

 

 

 

w/ Sea Wolf
The Gargoyle,
St. Louis

Watching two bands in one evening be so on their game made me really happy. Alex Church, the head honcho of Sea Wolf, sported a bright red, plaid shirt that upped the indie appeal of the whole band as he calmly crooned contemplative melodies into the microphone.While Church is really the only permanent member in the group, he had five other friends join him for his John Steinbeck/Jack London-inspired show; a drummer, cellist, keyboardist, guitarist and bassist backed him up with their calm instrumentations. The troupe of vagabonds performed songs like "Black Dirt," "Winter Windows," and "Middle Distance Runner" as the audience danced around (or bobbed their heads, I guess…since everyone in attendance was super-indie) and realized that Sea Wolf is amazing. They had fantastic energy and, while they didn’t really talk much between songs, any audience member could tell that they were excited to be onstage and to be so well-received. They look the part of a fantastic indie-rock band, and their cred went up as the night went on.

Nada Surf, on the other hand, have been on the pop/punk/rock scene in other various get-ups (Because Because Because) since 1988. That’s almost 20 years in the making. My guess is that they finally have their act down to a science, because their live set was amazing. It may have helped that I was in the front row, or perhaps that the dynamic threesome (consisting of Matthew Caws, Daniel Lorca, and Ira Elliot) played the best choice of songs, but I honestly believe that the group rocked so hard because they were just into it. They started the set off with "Popular," their best-known hit from the late 1990s, which really got the crowd jumping and excited. Seven of the songs they played were from Let Go, their 2003 release, including "Hi-Speed Soul," "Happy Kid," and "Fruit Fly" in succession. After awhile, the boys’ witty banter increased between each passing song – Caws explaining that he had been drinking lots of whiskey to keep himself warm while sound-checking in the cold Gargoyle room, playing at "some casino" a few years ago and noticing its gaudiness of fake flames, then later hearing about how the fake flames caught on fire and turned into real flames; and the best of the best, Caws’ dialogue with a drunken Wash U student from the stage about, well, drinking. Nada Surf also played two or three new songs, (much to Lorca’s dismay, who said "I’m gonna fuck this up") which were exceptional.

In all, this show was magnificent. Judging by the new pieces of work that the audience heard this lovely evening, fans of Nada Surf are in for more treats in the future – hopefully treats that will continue for longer than they have been around. | Kaylen Hoffman 

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