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Concert Review: Drums + Surfer Blood

By Savanna Stiff posted Sep 22, 2010 at 11:41 PM

Bubbles, Four Loko, and Surfer Blood actually (crowd) surfing. Can a show get any better than this?

Last Saturday, I broke from my usual evening routine of watching Criminal Minds marathons until I fall asleep to go see The Drums and Surfer Blood at Grand Central with a few friends and what seemed like half of the WVUM staff. Operating on a "cool kids arrive late" schedule I learned from television and other modes of pop culture, I woefully missed opening act The Young Friends, who I heard were good. (Disclaimer: I have no memory of who I heard this from, but I think it's safe to say I heard it somewhere.) Fortunately, I arrived in time to hear the only Surfer Blood song I know all the words to, "Floating Vibes."

Verdict on Surfer Blood: AWESOME.

The performance was terrific; very sharp and put-together and included that staple of fun times: bubbles. BUBBLES!!! I also discovered that a close friend of mine is "LIKE OMG BESTIES WITH ONE OF THE GUYS FROM SURFER BLOOD'S SISTER," which makes me, by just a few degrees of separation, best friends with everyone in Surfer Blood. I know, I'm so awesome. I would be remiss if I didn't mention one of the highlights of Surfer Blood's performance, "Four Loko Girl."

It went down something like so:

          Surfer Blood: This next song is for the girl in the front drinking Four Loko.

          Crowd: *Drunken cheering* (They're hip. They're cool. They know making an energy drink alcoholic is the worst best idea ever.)

          Four Loko Girl: *stumbles toward stage*

          Surfer Blood: You want to stand on stage for the song? Er, okay, yeah! Come on up!

With all the grace of of a drunken rhinoceros, Four Loko Girl spent the next three minutes flipping the crowd off, sexually harassing the band members, and wowing us with her dance moves, which went unsurpassed until...

THE DRUMS!! I don't know where The Drums' front man Jonny Pierce learned to dance, maybe from old Ian Curtis videos combined with Chris Farley's Chippendales routine from SNL, but it was the best thing I have ever seen. I spent 8 years studying at a professional ballet school, and I would like nothing more than to throw it away to go to the Jonny Pierce School of Dance and Intense Eye Contact.

Verdict on The Drums: AWESOME-R!!!! (Do I care that "awesome-r" is not a word? No.)

Aside from an awkward introduction to their popular song "Best Friend," which Pierce explained is about his best friend who died ("Do we cheer? That's usually what we do when musicians talk, but dead best friends, that's sad, right? Ummm I guess we're cheering anyway"). Fortunately, "Best Friend" is deceptively upbeat (even the hipsters were dancing!), and all awkwardness quickly evaporated and was replaced by happy jumping people. After pulling the "hey look at us! we're walking offstage and you have to cheer to get us back!" shtick, The Drums played "Let's Go Surfing" while two of the guys from Surfer Blood went--WAIT FOR IT--crowd surfing. The show ended with "Down By The Water" and included an interpretive dance from one of their guitarists. Interpretive dancing, man. Does it get any better than that? I'm pretty sure it doesn't.

Grand Central is a funny place. It seems like an awfully small venue, but you can still go to a show and not run into all the people you know who were there too (Luis, Edrey? How did I not see you guys?). It attracts a strange bunch--hipsters, parents, underagers, even *gasp!* shockingly average people. I heard complaints about the underagers, and sure, they try too hard, but I like the enthusiasm they bring to shows. It balances out the faithful contingency of the chain-smoking, barely-tapping-their-feet-to-the-beat crowd. This was my second Grand Central show (first one: Tanlines) and judging by the spectacular lineup of musicians they've been pulling in, it won't be my last.

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WVUM, Inc., the licensee of station WVUM-FM, is operated as a non-commercial educational radio station at the University of Miami. The unit has no full-time employees and is not required to have an EEO recruitment program due to its size.