Photos and words by Scott Sheff
There’s the old saying that “the show must go on.” This applies even if your car is stolen carrying all of your equipment. That is exactly what happened to headliners Surfer Blood the night before its sold-out show at The Echo. But thanks to opening band Grand Rapids, who loaned its gear to the headliners, the show went on.
And on they were. Despite opening the show with two unfamiliar, new songs from their forthcoming album Pythons, it didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the crowd. But once the first bass note was dropped on the familiar song “Floating Vibes,” the energy in the room picked up and bodies bumped and swayed, pulsating through the room like a wave crashing ashore.
Frontman John Paul Pitts commanded the stage, standing tall with confidence while striking poses of picture-perfect posture when strumming the guitar. But he wasn’t limited to the stage. Pitts did anything but “Take it Easy” as he performed the song while wading through the packed crowd. Pitts fittingly body surfed his way back to the stage, but appeared to have hurt himself when being dropped on some equipment. The band stopped to help him back up, but quickly picked up right where the song left off. Undaunted, Pitts again took to the crowd and was passed around like a bag of sand during the very next song. The show must go on.
Crowd participation took on a whole new meaning toward the end of the show when one fan grabbed the mic during an instrumental jam and started chanting “Who the fuck is rowdy tonight?” Some questions answer themselves.
Our saviours of the night, NYC’s Grand Rapids, came with high-energy, country-fueled garage rock. The band also hit the right note with the crowd, particularly with the faster-paced song “I’ll Hold” and the catchy beats of “Catacombs.”