The name Surfer Blood just evokes images of beach parties and that is essentially what the Floridian quartet brought to chilly Hamden, CT. With Wake Up and Fort Lean in toe, Surfer Blood hit Connecticut’s The Space.
Fellow Floridians Wake Up opened the show. The band who will be releasing their debut 7″ on March 11th, played fairly unassuming rockers. The band seemed very nonchalant without a lot of energy on stage. Their lazy tempos and effortless songs seemed to lull the audience to sleep but unexpected J. Mascis-sized guitar solos kept the songs interesting and their hooks were undeniably catchy.
Despite being from Brooklyn, Fort Lean brought the beach party a bit more heavily than Wake Up. With reverbed guitars and song titles like “Beach Holiday” and “Sunsick,” the band tried to bring the warm vibes to Connecticut. Although the five piece brought a good amount of energy to the small Space stage, their songs often fell a bit flat. They seemed to build to what should have been great poppy chorus but those choruses never had the big payoff. It ended up feeling a little lackluster compared to Wake Up.
After Fort Lean wrapped up, it was not long until Surfer Blood hit the stage. The interspersed classics like “Floating Vibe” and “Swim” among tracks from their latest effort, Python. While the set sounded great, the band’s stage presence seemed a bit awkward. Lead singer, John Paul Pitts seemed to be almost robotic in his motions as if he had a stiff back or neck. Bassist Kevin Williams seemed petrified to screw up, so he barely bobbed his head let alone move his feet. Guitarist Thomas Fekete had a meek presence at best, putting out a shy quiet vibe for most of the set. The stage presence of the members sadly betrayed Surfer Blood’s set which was spot on. Save for a few microphone difficulties (Pitts remarked several times about being shocked by the microphone), the set went over swimmingly (pun intended).
Upon cheers from the crowd, the band came out for an encore. Taking a request from some teens up the front, the band played “Prom Song” before officially wrapping their set.