Wednesday, September 29, 2010 at 9:34 a.m.
The Drums, Surfer Blood, The Young Friends, The Non Chalants
September 28, 2010
Pomona Glass House
The Hype: The Drums and Surfer Blood are both "buzz bands," and depending on who you talk to, that buzz may or may not be warranted. Some say that these guys are just your average indie bands trying to cash-in on the "summer is forever" craze (see: Wavves). Others say, hey, don't be such a self-righteous douche.
Who wants to go to a concert in the middle of a heat wave? And in the middle of the week? Brave young people, heartened by the hype, who were willing to drive 25 minutes north of Fullerton to see some live music made for young people.
Rebecca Aranda/OC Weekly
Rebecca Aranda/OC Weekly
They had the goods. The guitars hummed; drums were slammed; the lead singer, Jonathan Pierce, came out strutting, with a shiny red jacket in the style of a high school letterman; the crowd was highly receptive, bouncing around like crazy. Ultimately, I just craved something more than a dead-on performance of their studio work--which is good, and I like it, you know? But if Surfer Blood can take their decent songs and make them shine live, The Drums could have also gone that extra step and made their hot songs like "Let's Go Surfing" and "Forever and Ever" completely melt our faces off.
That said, they were clearly doing something right. Their reverb-drenched guitar shot out into the crowd, where young men writhed with dance and young ladies went insane and threw their shirts and bras up onstage. This was the New York group's first California show, and they praised the crowd often, even telling us that their encore "Down By the Water" was a love song to the audience. I'm glad we showed them how the best coast gets down.
At the end of the night, the show was just solid, all around. Even the opening acts, The Non Chalants and The Young Friends, delivered neat little sets of good indie-rock. What more can you ask for--and on a Tuesday night in Pomona, no less!
Critic's Bias: I like drums. I like surfers (probably would not like their blood--I am not a shark). I like young friends. I am often nonchalant. I am the target demographic.
The Crowd: Fun people who like to dance and sweat, mixed in with less-fun people who like to stand and sweat.
Overheard in the Crowd: A girl in the bathroom struck up a conversation with me: "Hello. This is my boyfriend's first concert. He's like...(does a little dance with a goofy smile)." It was cute.
Random notebook dump: "A/C blasting down from above helps to keep our sticky bodies from heading back outside." It's true. Ever dance underneath a high-powered vent? It feels like you're dancing in an air-lock. In space.
By the way: If you missed last night's show, you can still catch these bands tonight at The Music Box in Los Angeles.