JURASSIC SHARK + PITY PARTY + BEACH BUMS @ THE SMELL
Photos by Eduardo Luis Words by Madison Desler
“Be nice to each other. Make friends,” said Daniel Fowler, lead singer of Jurassic Shark and patron saint of overheated, moshing teens everywhere. At this time, The Smell is occupying the same space on Main Street, costs $5 to get in and sells Sour Patch Kids and green tea instead of alcohol. The show was completely sold out by 8:30, ensuring that the narrow venue reached a balmy, tropical climate in no time at all. Add plenty of hormones and fired-up adolescents for a winning formula that makes The Smell…smell. In other words, it’s the perfect venue to see a scrappy, surfy band like Jurassic Shark and feel like a kid again—or feel really, really old.
In a room filled with teens—unbelievably hip ones at that—Fowler and his bandmates came off as the cool, older kids that can actually play. The ones a couple of grades ahead that also spent plenty of nights standing where all those Converse All-Star and Doc Marten-wearing feet now stood watching them. The band ripped through “Stepped Out,” igniting an ocean of crowd-surfers, before Fowler politely asked, “Could I get more reverb if possible? I don’t want to sound like a human being.”
In between manic renditions of fan-favorites “Spanish” and “Carver”—during which one mischievous youth threw a giant teddy bear into the swirling pit— the band blessed the crowd with some new songs including a nice one called “Roses,” with Fowler crooning in his sad, bedroom-punk voice over shimmering guitars. When they got to their signature song, “Maybe,” they teased the crowd with a half-speed version of it before putting the pedal down to the floor. All those kids scrambled so fast to stage dive, they were landing right on top of each other, collapsing immediately down to the floor. Not that they minded. Happy sweaty face after happy sweaty face emerged from the back of the crowd for a desperate gasp of air, smiles beaming. Ah, youth.