I got a sneak peak at Surfer Blood’s new album 1,000 Palms this weekend when they preformed at The Camel in Richmond, VA. The venue was almost the perfect size; slightly too big for the crowd, but far too small for Surfer Blood. The band lit the building up with their grooving riffs and laid-back vocals that reach a breaking point and transform into explosive waves of energy.
The setlist was well crafted, playing a great mix of all three of their albums, probably peaking at one of my favorites “Take It Easy” when lead singer John Paul Pitts hopped off the stage and walked down the center of the crowd all the way to the back of the venue, stopping to hug a guy who was celebrating his birthday, then picked up and carried another dude, all while singing passionately. Later on he invited a crowd member to come up on stage and play an entire guitar solo with his guitar. The benefits of a small venue are spectacular, and Surfer Blood takes advantage of it.
Surfer Blood really get their personality across by engaging the crowd, and at the end of the show they all just joined the crowd for a while. I was lucky enough to get a bit of drummer sweat on my shoulder as Tyler Shwartz stood next to me.
Surfer Blood guitarist Thomas Fekete was recently diagnosed with a rare, aggressive cancer and left the band for treatment. Check out the benefit show for him and his donations page here.
Check out the rest of the bands tour dates here.
Below are the two songs that were the highlights of the show; “Take It Easy” from their first album Astro Coast, and “I Can’t Explain”, the single from the new album 1,000 Palms.
(Special thanks to my lovely photographer Katie Pelikan)