Photos and review by Ryan McDonald
On one of the coldest nights of the year, Surfer Blood did their best to transport the crowd at The Independent to a sun-drenched beach with their guitar heavy pop-rock. Opening with the breezy instrumental track “Neighborhood Riffs” off their critically acclaimed debut album Astro Coast, Surfer Blood grabbed the audience and made it clear their set was going to be chock-full of calculated melodies and planned reverb. After working through material from their 2013 release Pythons, lead singer John Paul Pitts decided it was time to serenade the crowd from down below with the sing-a-long friendly track “Take it Easy”.
Passing the mic from fan to fan was a pleasant departure from the carefully timed and somewhat predictable set. “Weird Shapes”, from the recently released Pythons, was the highlight of their new material, as it fit seamlessly into the high energy pop that put them on the map. Finishing their night at the Independent, Surfer Blood played a string of old material including notable tracks “Twin Peaks” and “Swim”, forcing the crowd into a frenzy that came far too late in the night. Saving their seminal track “Floating Vibes” for last, although predictable, left the crowd satisfied as they shuffled out of The Independent and into the cold San Francisco night.