Live from… Denver’s Bluebird Theatre. And a good time was had by all, even the dude in dreadlocks.
BY M HINELY
I love the Bluebird for those early starts…doors at 7 PM and Austin TX all-female trio Moving Panoramas were on by 8 PM. These ladies are with Nada Surf for then end of their tour, playing three gigs with them and this was the first of the three. A few pals told me that they were worth showing up for an they certainly were. A dreamy pop sound with tense yet loose rhythms and from leader Leslie Sisson (she was in the post American Analog Set band called Wooden Birds) laying out smooth guitar chords. They played all of the songs off their recently release full length entitled One (Modern Outsider Records) and seemed to easily win the approval of the normally fickle Denver crowd (ah who am I kiddin’ these people aren’t fickle). Great stuff (just don’t call ‘em lady gaze).
I’ve been lucky enough to catch Nada Surf a few times in the past few years, once at Riot Fest and before that at the Summit Music Hall in 2012. This band never disappoints (and they’ve been at it for 20 years). They are touring under their new record, You Know Who You Are (Barsuk Records) and I mentioned in my last live review how they’d added ex-GBC/Death of Samantha guy Doug Gillard on extra guitar (he’s not even the new guy anymore) but this time the bassist Daniel Lorca was not on stage. Singer/guitarist Matthew Caws mentioned how Lorca is taking a break from touring and they have a fill in guy (from the band Ozma).
The band played a good dose of cuts from their latest record including “Rushing” and “Believe You’re Mine” but also tossed in some classic oldies (well, oldies on the world of Nada Surf) like “Happy Kid,” “Inside of Love” and “Blonde on Blonde (all from 2002’s classic Let Go). Also “Concrete Bed” from 2005’s The Weight is a Gift and “Jules and Jim” from 2012’s The Stars Are Indifferent to Astronomy.
Not much more to say, really. These guys have it down pat. They’re completely efficient but not robotic. Matthews Caws is constantly chatting up the crowd in between songs (including calling one guy Drill who was making weird tool noises) and as for the songs, they are a completely well-oiled machine and I never get sick of seeing them.