It wasn’t too long ago that the Growlers were playing the middle bill at Bottom of the Hill. Now, thanks to a dedicated touring schedule and an ongoing appreciation of their laconic, reverb-heavy psych rock, the Long Beach band is ready for the big leagues.
On Saturday night, the Growlers will headline at the Fox Theater in Oakland, a considerable capacity step up from the more intimate confines of Bottom of the Hill. The stature upgrade is really a testament to what happens when a band maintains a relentless live presence, particularly among local venues.
The Growlers are fixtures at clubs from Sacramento to San Diego, and they’ve built a beloved following by hosting the annual Beach Goth festival, a two-day event in Santa Ana that featured acts like Grimes, Mac DeMarco, and Julian Casablancas last year.
It’s a curious formula for success, particularly considering that the group’s last album, the excellent Chinese Fountain, came out two years ago. Although their stoner-heavy beach vibe may not seem like the ideal format for an engaging live act, the Growlers are always a joy to see perform. And with that proto-punk legend (and San Francisco resident) Jonathan Richman opening the show, Saturday night at the Fox Theater should be a fitting coronation for the Growlers’ ascent into the mainstream.
The Growlers, Jonathan Richman
The Fox Theater
June 11, 2016
8 pm, $25