Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Nada Surf @ House of Blues 3.18.08

My week so far: Sunday night I went to the Tower Bar where my ears bled to some prog rock band, then Beatless from NY played and I would've liked them a lot more if I had earplugs and if I'd known the show was gonna be crazy loud. They reminded me a lot of Tool, but at the same sound levels if Tool was playing Cox Arena. I had imagined a mellow night of sweet Rafter lullabies. Not so much. Rafter finally played and played fully plugged in, but I was happy to get my Asthmatic Kitty fix for the month.

Monday night I went to the Casbah for Anti-Monday League and was quite surprised how thin the crowd was, at least for the first part of the night. I caught the Tighten-Ups last show before Andy headed out on tour with Enon, then MEX, who never disappoint, specifically when they play my favorite, Whiskeytown's "Excuse Me While I Break My Own Heart". There were some people swing dancing and whatnot, which gave the impression of a larger crowd. By the time The Downs Family played, there was a larger crowd and they kicked ass as they do. Dave played a few songs wearing a black ski mask with only eye and mouth cutouts, which is a pretty intimidating look, but the rest of the set he played maskless and played some of my favorite old Downs tunes.

Tuesday was definitely a nap day. I got home from work and slept, only to get a call from Abraham that he couldn't make the show after all, so I called Natalie and we agreed to go together and I called Dagart to give him my spare ticket. We arrived at the House of Blues at 8:30 and Sea Wolf was finishing their set. I later found out that The Little Ones were not on the San Diego bill, so sorry for my incorrect listing. Still, I wish I'd known that the show was half all-ages and I might've made a better effort to get there on time because I really wanted to see Sea Wolf since I was sick the last time they played in SD. boo.

Anyhow, we got our photo passes and entered the venue only to discover there was no photo pit, so we merged into the crowd, meeting up with Chickrawker Lyn and loyal blog reader Jeff.

I was really happy to be there despite my former HoB issues. I, of course, refuse to drink there, and the line to get into the venue is a little lame and probably could benefit from a more efficient ID checking system, but overall, it was a good experience and there was no cavity search, which meant despite the "no camera" policy written on the ticket, loads of people were taking pics. It seemed more relaxed than before so I was content. Additionally, the crowd, at least where we were, seemed to be true fans and there was never any pushing or crowding and everyone seemed happy to be there, singing along to most, if not all of the band's set. I kept a set list, but since Lyn took care of that, I'll just skip that part.

No matter how many bands I see or meet, I'll never get over that little girl swoon I get over a great front man. Matthew was outside when we were getting our passes and I said "Matthew!" and he turned around and was so nice because he was like "Oh, hi!" like we were old friends, and even pulled a "what was your name again?" which was just thoughtful becuase the only time I met him was a few years back when he borrowed my Sharpie at M-Theory.

When they started, my knees definitely weakened and every song was perfect, especially the audience participation moments, with everyone side stepping and clapping in unison and singing along, usually things that I find utterly cheesy at most shows, but felt right at this one. Matthew also has this way of making eye contact that is so disarming...he stares right in your eyes and its a pause longer than comfortable but so completely enticing at the same time. I know it wasn't just me because people were screaming "i love you" and "will you have my babies?" (he responded to the latter, "shouldn't we go on a date first?") and anyone who walked in without a crush walked out with one. He's the kind of singer where couples show up together, then the girl is telling her boyfriend to give her space by the end.

My personal favorites of the set were "80 Windows", "Blizzard of 77", and "I Like What You Say". It was impressive to me, too, that Fruit Fly, a song about flies buzzing around rotted food, could sound so sad. As the room sang the intro, there was that giant "I'm sorry you've got nowhere to go" and I guess it made me realize what a softy I can be. Later, I saw a girl wiping the tears streaming from her face, so I wasn't the only one who was affected by the music.

For the final song, "Blankest Year", Matthew gave this chick a look to come onstage and she was confused, but other people caught it and I went for it. Not gracefully, I might add, and I'm sure I flashed ass cleavage to the whole room, but I got up there and made my way to the side to say hi to Daye and McHank, who had been backstage the whole show, then busted out my camera to try and capture the moment. It was a really incredible night and my only regret is that I missed my chance to buy a shirt.

But alas, the night wasn't over. Natalie and I made a couple stops along the way, and I got my car, then went to the Beauty Bar for the after party. I expected a bigger crowd but was happy there wasn't one. Heather was spinning 80's and some other friends were there and we had a good time. Matthew was in and out, talking on the phone and whatnot, but eventually he hung out, and before we knew it, Heather & Eric, Natalie, Louie (the keyboardist), Matthew and I were dancing. So yes, not only did I dance! at the Beauty Bar! but can say I danced with Mr. Caws. Well, until drunky groupie girl swooped in.

After the show, the band needed a cab, but Dan offered up a ride, so Matthew and Ira went in the cab with their merch girl (and then drunky groupie climbed in the front seat) and Dan and I took Louie and the guitar tech down to their bus that was parked at Petco. When we arrived, the cab was taking off with drunky groupie still in it. Hope her $30 roundtrip cabride was everything she hoped it would be.

Needless to say, I'm pretty exhausted today, but I'll power through because there's still some great stuff happening this week. I'll get to that later...


Anonymous said...

thanks for the shout-out... i'm glad you had so much fun dancing. i like to rock out to my own jams -even when i'm sober. it was awesome that everyone was dancing, even thou the nite had a late start, it was last call before we knew it and the guys never got to dj. oh well, next nada surf after party.

Natalie said...

I think this is what you are talking about in terms of the disarming eye contact: