Surfer Blood's "Uncle" introduces the band
Pitts hits the floor
Surfer Blood @ The Rock & Roll Hotel in DC
"Prepare to be very, very disappointed" the bands Uncle burped into the microphone and took another drink from his beer, "Ladies and gentlemen, Surfer Blood." The band walked on to the stage casually, they have done this many times before. The opening bassline of "Neighbour Riffs" began to play, and the crowd was instantly focused on the stage rather than their beers. They built up the song, elaborating with fancy guitar effects and then launched into "Twin Peaks." They made it through their next few songs, keeping the audience’s attention, but managed to really get everyone off their feet with the ending of "Floating Vibes" and the immediate segway into "Miranda." People in front started jumping, attempting to start a mosh pit, which ended up bringing Pitts into the crowd (and for a brief time, on the floor) during "Take It Easy." Surfer Bloods surf pop-rock vibe definitely makes for a good mixture of getting people to dance, and giving the entire venue a very chilled out vibe. Exiting the stage with "Drinking Problem" they left the stage, while dropping the wailing guitar on the floor filling the room with high pitched feedback, leaving the crowd aching for more.
The bands Uncle then returned with the stage, same introduction as before “I am the bands utterly disappointed Uncle, I flew all the way from California. Prepare to be very, very disappointed. Ladies and gentlemen, Surfer Blood” The band returned with their final songs, getting the whole room to dance together to “I’m Not Ready” and finishing with Pitts singing into the microphone the final lines from “Catholic Pagans” (“sorry we have to go / have to go”) and strumming his guitar for the effects a few extra time before wishing DC a good night.
I personally enjoyed the show very much. The Rock & Roll Hotel manages to have a very small, punk-rock vibe without feeling like you’re going to end up in a fist fight. As for Surfer Blood, this is the second time I’ve seen them play (first time headlining) and it seems to me as though they are simply doing what they love. There was a level of casualness throughout the show, as it’s clear they’re not trying hard to impress the room, just to enjoy themselves. They don’t do many crazy stunts, and Pitts does look slightly robotic as he plays, but they still manage to play with a level of raw emotion that feels very real.