Salt Lake City’s spring lineup is overflowing with talent here in 2012 and there are bound to be a few shows FPT misses. Watching March 27th creep closer on the calendar I found myself weighing the pros and cons to decide which show to see. On one hand, Sharon Van Etten promoting her stunning vocals from her new album Tramp, co-headlining with The War On Drugs still touring the rad vintage vibes of Slave Ambient. On the other hand at Urban Lounge, Nada Surf was in town for the 2nd time this decade touring their new The Stars are Indifferent to Astronomy album. Having just saw War On Drugs last Halloween, I chose Nada Surf in the end, although I was still on the fence about my decision. SVE/WOD sold out their show at the State Room and I’ve only heard positive things about the show. It was a few hours before the show while I was out and about doing errands when I found out I made the right decision. Sitting on the curb near their tour bus was Matt Caws jamming out on his acoustic guitar with a small crowd gathering to watch. I joined them for maybe two minutes before Matt excused himself for dinner leaving the crowd in awe. I showed up to the show early still pumped from earlier that evening and listened to my new favorite two-piece band An Horse all the way from Australia. They seemed to have a decent following with a good portion of the crowd singing along to their anthems. I was impressed thoroughly with the drums and the atmosphere they created inside the small club for Nada Surf.
Nada Surf brought two friends on their tour to strengthen their numbers from 3 to 5. Playing a variety of songs from all their albums, the near sellout crowd was pleased to hear all their old favorite while discovering their new favorites. Tracks like Whose Authority, Teenage Dreams, and Blonde On Blonde were sing a longs with all eyes on Matthew Caws. There were times when Lorca commanded attention strumming the neon paint splashed bass guitar that he possibly whittled himself out of a piece of driftwood.
Photo: Coleman Nicholls
After 17 songs, Matt gave the crowd a little background about visiting a church in Europe and being inspired for the lyrics to See These Bones. Concerts are always better when I walk away with a story where a song came from. Learning a bit more about my favorite track from their 2008 album Lucky left me content with the entire night. The band exited the stage after See These Bones, but returned a few minutes later to play a 3 song encore. The band rode the energy of the crowd through to the end with everyone jumping up and down screaming the chorus of Blankest.
Nada Surf is fantastic live. Just look at this set list and try not to drool. Make sure you catch them when you can, and listen to their newest album The Stars are Indifferent to Astronomy.