Report: Drums/Surfer Blood Live Portland

 

 

Sunday night (Oct.3) in Portland, Oregon,
at the Wonder Ballroom, the indie buzzbands do their best to rouse a sparse
crowd.

 

By
Tim Hinely

 

A
pretty sparse crowd for these two heavily hyped bands (gig could/should have
been at Doug Fir). Surfer Blood (above) hail from Florida and have only a debut record out but
have apparently been touring the heck out of that one record to the point that
anyone who saw them early on says they have really tightened things up. They
are a basic 5-piece with the 5th guy a young Carlos Santana
lookalike, splitting time between keyboards and percussion while
vocalist/guitarist/leader John Paul Pitts looks more accustomed to
studying chemistry or selling loafers than fronting a rock band.

 

Still,
he has an occasionally booming voice, the band  have their chops down and
cuts like “Swim” and “Take It Easy” off their debut, Astro Coast, sounded tight
and hooky. For the final cut they even did a slightly sped-up version of
Pavement’s “Box Elder” proving they know how to impress a crowd of hipsters.

 

 

On
record NYC’s Drums are Jonathan and Jacob but live they fleshed it out with
another guitarist, a drummer (no bassist) and what I think was pre-recorded
synths and bass. Let’s just say they looked the part of the modern pop quartet.
Jonathan with his red satin jacket and foppish demeanor and Jacob who swung his
axe around, danced and seemed like he was either conducting an orchestra or
waltzing with his guitar (the other guitarist had some fine moves as well). The
mix was a bit off as the vocals were too low and the pre-recorded stuff was too
loud.

 

Still,
we were treated to energetic versions of the insanely catchy “Let’s Go
Surfing”, Best Friend” and “Me and the Moon” but, unfortunately, no “Saddest
Summer.” They came out and played one encore, the slower, doo-wop-ish “Down by
the Water”, thanked the crowd and were swept off stage. One thing is true, The
Drums know how to have fun and they (and we) did tonight.

 

The Drums/Surfer Blood tour continues
tonight in Vancouver.
See the tour itinerary here.

 

 

 

 

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