Favorite

Nada Surf, Delta Spirit 

Nov. 25, Juanita’s

MUCHO FUN: With Nada Surf.
  • MUCHO FUN: With Nada Surf.

Arriving at 9 p.m., we secured spots on the front row, just in time to see the first opener, Jealous Girlfriends, break down their set-up. A bit dejected, we didn't have to wait long before Delta Spirit made it all better with a rousing nine-song set. The San Diego-based five-piece captivated the near-capacity crowd, even winning back those who'd made the between-set decision to step outside for a smoke. Opening with a stirring rendition of “St. James Infirmary Blues,” front man Matthew Vasquez wailed with Waits-ian conviction while his band mates banged furiously on their instruments. Their earnest, aggressive delivery produced an enthusiastic and entertaining show.

On “Trashcan,” the multi-instrumentalists took turns pounding away at the drums, keys and a trash can lid. At the band's most frenzied state, a bass drum crashed to the floor and a mic stand fell into the thrilled audience. The short, intense set left us feeling energized and ready for more.

At 10:30 p.m., Nada Surf took the stage against a black backdrop with sparkling blue lights, reminiscent of the night sky illustrated on the cover of the band's latest album “Lucky.” 

Bassist Daniel Lorca's blonde dreadlocks bounced as he beat out the bass line to the first song, “Hi-Speed Soul.” While Matthew Caws' vocals were capable enough, the crowd gleefully lent their support, shouting lyrics and hurling fists into the air. A quick peek at the set list revealed we had 24 more songs ahead of us. Caws' face glistened under the hot lights. Lorca shed his leather jacket and tied up his hair. With drummer Ira Elliott, the trio looked much older than their 18-and-up crowd, but each possessed more style and enthusiasm than all of the trendy teens combined, proving that, yes, they've still got it. They're just as relevant and hip as ever.

Early on, we got a rare performance of “Treehouse,” a song from Nada Surf's first album that they had to relearn before playing live. Next up, the trio offered back-to-back songs from “Lucky.” On the pop-rocker “Weightless,” Caws asked us to help him out with the song's ending. We gladly joined in on the sing-along, assisting him with a series of high-pitched “ah-ah-ah-ah-ah ahs.” For “Whose Authority,” much like “I Like What You Say” and “Beautiful Beat,” the trio accelerated the tempo, playing hard and fast, which translated into danceable numbers for the hyper crowd. Even when they slowed things down on “Inside of Love,” the band kept us into it by teaching us to two-step, side-to-side. Other oldies included “Zen Brain” and “Popular,” which the audience proudly recited word for word. Requests for “Blonde on Blonde” and “Always Love” were answered by the end of the night. Among the highlights were skillful interpretations of “See These Bones,” “The Fox” and “Killian's Red,” during which the band was drenched in red lighting.

The bond between artist and audience was strong throughout the two-hour set, especially on the fan-favorite “Fruit Fly.” Closing with “Blankest Year,” everybody let loose and chimed in on “Ah, fuck it! I'm gonna have a party.”

It's safe to say nobody expected a two-hour, 25-song set, but the band played like old pros whose uplifting melodies and catchy choruses are timeless. Engaging us in every song we'd hoped to hear, Nada Surf sent us shuffling out into the cold November night feeling warm and happy, humming songs to ourselves into the early-morning hours.

Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Nicole Boddington

  • Egyptr, Velvet Kente, Eclipse Glasses

    Dec. 13, Downtown Music
    • Dec 18, 2008
  • Bow down

        Since last fall, Memphis rap duo Lord Treadwell and Maurice Eloise XIII have been introducing common folks to what they're calling “aristocrunk.” Donning 18th-century wigs and ruffled attire, Lord T (Cameron Mann) and Eloise (Robert Anthony) spit tongue-in-cheek lyrics about popping “Pillz” and wearing “Million Dollar Boots.” Mann, who was called the “whitest of white-boy rappers” while enrolled at Tulane University, runs Memphis recording studio Young Avenue Sound, serving artists such as Yo Gotti, Ying Yang Twins, 8Ball & MJG and Al Kapone.
    • Aug 10, 2007
  • Oh No! Oh My!

        Austin-based indie rock trio Oh No! Oh My!
    • Aug 9, 2007
  • More »

Most Shared

  • Architecture lecture: Sheila Kennedy on "soft" design

    Sheila Kennedy, a professor of architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and founder of Kennedy & Violich Architecture Ltd., will give the June Freeman lecture tonight at the Arkansas Arts Center, part of the Architecture + Design Network series at the Arkansas Arts Center.
  • UPDATE: Campus carry bill amended by Senate to require training

    The Senate this morning added an amendment to Rep. Charlie Collins campus carry bill that incorporates the effort denied in committee yesterday to require a 16-hour additional training period before university staff members with concealed carry permits may take the weapons on campus.
  • Director to resign from state court administrative office

    Supreme Court Chief Justice John Dan Kemp announced today the resignation of J.D. Gingerich, long-time director of the administrative office of the courts.
  • UA's Walton School eyes downtown location for executive ed program

    The Walton College of Business is working to expand its executive education by opening an office in downtown Little Rock that would offer non-degree programs to the health, banking and finance and retail industries in Central Arkansas, the school confirmed today.

Latest in Music Reviews

  • Cher in North Little Rock

    March 28, Verizon Arena
    • Apr 3, 2014
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers at Verizon

    The Red Hot Chili Peppers took a slightly different musical path to its May induction into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame than most of their fellow honorees.
    • Oct 31, 2012
  • Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Sept. 30

    The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra opened its season Saturday night with a return visit by the 28-year-old violin virtuoso Augustin Hadelich, who had appeared with the orchestra in the Beethoven concerto two years ago.
    • Oct 3, 2012
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

New Crystal Bridges exhibit explores Mexican-American border

New Crystal Bridges exhibit explores Mexican-American border

Border Cantos is a timely, new and free exhibit now on view at Crystal Bridges.

Event Calendar

« »

February

S M T W T F S
  1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28  
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation