I think if I had been a long time fan of Nada Surf this would have jumped right into my top ten gigs of all time list. In fact I’ve only recently bought one of their albums, Lucky, and hadn’t really been able to get into it. After the gig I went straight home and bought another album and I’ll definitely be taking any chance I have to see them again. They are a great live band, and the records sound so much better having seen the songs performed live.
They put so much energy and good humour into their performances, and they have a really strong back catalogue of songs to draw on. The three members of the band were supplemented by a multi-instrumentalist guest musician who added keyboards, 12-string, trumpet and theramin (!) to the standard guitar, bass and drums combination. Together they produce a really full sound with enough catchy choruses and riffs to hold the interest right through the gig, even though 90% of the songs were new to me.
Actually the only song I really didn’t like was from their latest album, a set of cover versions, of which the best known is Enjoy the Silence. I really don’t like their version of it, and in general I think I preferred their own stuff to the few other covers they did.
So lots of thumbs up for Nada Surf. I’m looking forward to spending more time with their music and hopefully seeing them live again before too long. I might even try to make it to the front so that I can clamber up on to the stage for the (presumably) traditional dance-/sing-along to Blankest Year (“Ah f#ck it, let’s have a party!”) Great stuff!
The support act was Garcia Goodbye, a Flemish guitar pop three piece. Quite enjoyable – catchy, energetic power pop….but not really in the class of the main act. Even though it’s “only” pop music and the lyrics shouldn’t matter so much, I did find some of the lines a bit jarring or just plain silly. Then again, it’s hard enough to write lyrics in your mother tongue, let alone make them work in a second language. Good committed performance from them though. Got more attention from the crowd than most other support acts I’ve seen in the Melkweg.