Report: Nada Surf/An Horse Live @ Denver

On March 29 at the Summit Music Hall, the Aussies
and New Yorkers served up a musical buffet par excellence.

 

By Tim Hinely

Australian duo
An Horse (vocalist/guitarist Kate Cooper and drummer Damon Cox) were eminently
enticing as the opening act. You’ve seen the set up before: he drums, she plays
guitar, and they both sing (though it appears she did handled more of the vocal
chores) –  but these add more to the duo
market. The two are likeable due to their sheer enthusiasm and sheer
scrappiness (the songs aren’t bad either). And come on, who can resist Cooper’s Aussie accent?

 

It had been a
few years since I’d last caught NYC trio Nada Surf , so long in fact that
they’re now a quintet with the addition of former GBV guitarist Doug Gillard
and keyboardist/percussionist Martin Wenk from Calexico. They started strong
with two songs from their latest record, The
Stars Are Indifferent to Astronomy
in “Clear Eye Clouded Mind” and “Waiting
for Something,” two more gems from this band that lately seem to do no wrong.
Leader Matthew Caws really is at the top of his game but it’s not just Caws,
that sturdy rhythm section of bassist Daniel Lorca (the French dude with the
dreads) and metronomic drummer Ira Elliot just keep getting better and the
addition of Gillard and Wenk only seems to have strengthened the band. And how
about this: they seem to really enjoy
playing with each other!

 

Caws was
friendly, chatty and appreciative of the amped-up crowd all night (he stated
that this was their first Denver gig in 4 years
and also said, “Denver,
I love your town but man is it hard to jog in!”) and the band was just on
fire.  The set was then peppered with
tunes both new (“Teenage Dreams,” “Looking Through”) and old (“Blonde on
Blonde,” “Happy Kid,” “Weightless,” etc.). 
For the encore they came out and hit three (inside-the-park) home runs
with “Inside of Love,” “Always Love” and “Blanket Year’ and called it a night.
I’ll say it again, a band at the top of
its game
. Catch ‘em now or forever be the fool.

 

 

 

 

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