The Hype: Surfer Blood have been riding a wave of buzz behind their catchy debut album, Astro Coast. A sign posted outside of the Detroit Bar informed patrons that the evening's performance was being filmed for Carson Daly. It seems that both the Detroit Bar and Surfer Blood were due for some national attention.
The Show: Fuzzy static guitars started to chime in unison during the opening of "Floating Vibes" as John Paul Pitts ironically sang to the Costa Mesa crowd they better "learn how to surf." Borrowing pinches of Weezer harmonies and smudges of Pavement fuzz, Surfer Blood distill the musically interesting parts from their influences to create their own brand of noise.
Drummer Tyler Schwarz and Percussionist Tyler Marchesani recreated the tropical drumbeat of "Take It Easy," while Thomas Fekete and Pitts washed the crowd with their watery reverb guitar lines. "Harmonix" lives up to its namesake by dueling pinch harmonics played by Pitts and Fekete before devolving into a maelstrom of noise and feedback that had both guitarists break strings on their guitars.
Pitts had switched his Gibson SG for a Rickenbacker guitar that enhanced the jangle of his sound. Name checking David Lynch in their lyrics for "Twin Peaks," the song sonically shifts from its Caribbean feel to a slashing fuzzy romp. The undercurrent of synthesizers during "Fast Jabroni" perfectly carry the rambling guitars with Pitts alternating between speaking and singing.
The vacillation between quiet and loud throughout "Anchorage" would have made both Frank Black of the Pixies and Kurt Cobain of Nirvana both proud. Another reference to water in the form of "Swim" could be an anthem for swimming teams everywhere as Pitts screamed "Swim to reach the end!" Channelling a '60s vibe with crystalline guitars, "Catholic Pagans" closed out their eight song set that still had the crowd wanting more.
Turbo Fruits by the way of Nashville were a blast of southern tinged garage rock. The power trio whipped through a thirteen song set that included a rocking cover of "Bad Moon Rising." Lanterns from San Diego received a very strong ovation from the crowd with their twin Rickenbacker stacked guitar attack and power jangle rock.
The Crowd: It seems like everyone was afraid of the army of cameramen in front of the stage since they were given plenty of room to operate, yet it was packed to the back. The Detroit Bar was very full given it was a Sunday night.
Overheard: "This guitar actually stays in tune" was spoken by Pitts when he was trying out the Rickenbacker guitar given to him by Lanterns after breaking a string on his Gibson SG.