Thursday, September 28, 2006

Nada Surf: Live at Club Suede 9/25/06

I heart Nada Surf. But generally, the only people that have any opinion on Nada Surf are those who remember their mid-90s mini-hit, “Popular.” And those people hate Nada Surf. If you fall into that category, I apologize. That was a crappy song, I agree. However, I extend to you an invitation to listen to their third album, Let Go, which I have deemed one of the best albums of all time.

I made the trip up to the PC [with Indian heartthrob Nilay and supercool Linda] to see the band’s first Utah performance in six years. If I could have had it my way, they would have just played Let Go cover to cover and then called it a night. The band apparently thought they also needed to consider the needs of the other 59 people in the crowd, so they mixed the bulk of Let Go with a couple of tracks from each of their first two records.

I was impressed that the songs – which are incredibly full on the albums – translated so well live, especially given they are just a three-piece band. A few songs sounded noticeably sparse – “Blizzard of ‘77” from Let Go and “In the Mirror” from The Weight is a Gift – but I was amazed by the ease with which they switched from narrow, mid-tempo tunes like “Blonde on Blonde” to rockers like “The Way You Wear Your Head.”

Surprisingly, they only played two or three tracks from the new album during the set; however, they came out and rifled through four or five more during the six-song encore, including an extended version of “The Blankest Year” as a finale.

There was no opener (despite the fact that we kept emailing Club Suede to see if we could open) so the band played for a full hour-and-a-half. It was so good, I had no choice but to buy a t-shirt.

Best Song: “Fruit Fly,” was absolutely amazing. The first verse immediately turned into a Dashboard Confessional-style sing-a-long and with the whole band kicked in - oh so good.

Worst Song: “What is Your Secret” from The Weight is a Gift. Sucked on the album, sucked live.

Best Merchandise: Who wouldn’t want a Nada Surf tote bag?

Coolest Move: Bassist Daniel Lorca looks like he walked right out of 1994. With his long blond dreadlocks and leather jacket, he could just as well have been playing for Soundgarden. Not only did he smoke a cigarette the whole time he was playing bass, but he actually sang backup vocals with the cigarette in his mouth.

Best “We’re Not Rockstars” Comment: After finishing their last song, singer Matthew Caws said,” Give us a few minutes and we’ll be at our merch table if you want to talk or have us sign something.” I love that after more than 10 years in the biz, they still want to hang out with their fans.

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