Words: Sean Moore/ Photos: Ben Kramer
Surfer Blood out of West Palm Beach, FL is comprised of four high school friends who broke out of the indie rock scene back in 2009. You would not think these four friends have been a band for a decade as they barely look like they’ve graduated high school.
The band took the stage and almost instantly everyone in the crowd was bouncing on the balls of their feet. The music just makes you dance and sing along. With influences like The Pixies blended with some sweet, dream-pop melodies the likes of Real Estate and I would even argue they would fit in a catalogue with Jimmy Eat World.
One of the highlights of the night had to be when Pitts spoke about one of the songs as sort of his “missed connections ad to a girl he met in a Whole Foods.” While the band played the song, Pitts unraveled the microphone and climbed down into the crowd, singing and dancing with the members of the audience. He strolled back and forth with a confident strut. The crowd loved it. “The band bought me this really long mic cord.” he told us. The entire night, you couldn’t help but think, this is a band made for its fans.
“The band bought me this really long mic cord.”
The whole night could be summed up in one word “fun”. The band ended with “Swim,” perhaps their most popular, recognizable song, which includes a screaming chorus. The band left the stage to roar and applause as the crowd begged for an encore. The house lights went up, briefly, teasing the end of the night, but then the band reappeared and asked what the crowd wanted to hear. They ripped into the theme song from the ‘90s Nickelodeon show “Pete and Pete.” To which Pitts said, “If anyone recognizes this song, you’re just about as old as I am.”
The band ended with an absolutely amazing version of “Anchorage.” During the song, Pitts walked behind the drummer,Tyler Schwarz, and strapped the guitar on him while Pitts took over the drums. Schwarz went on to shred some feedback riffs into the amplifier before turning to the crowd and taking the guitar off and climbing down from the stage. He then proceeded to hand the guitar to me. With the guitar in my hands and a pick between my fingers, I proceeded to play while the rest of the band carried on with the song, as it was probably supposed to sound. After I was done messing around on the guitar, I passed it onto the guy next to me, and while he played Pitts came out from behind the drums and sat on the edge of the stage, admiring. At this point, the crowd was going wild and when the song was over, Pitts gave out high-fives, thanked everyone and said the band would be “hanging out by the merch, so come say hi, because we want to talk to you and hang!”
This was a night to remember. The last time Surfer Blood played in Portland, they were in the smaller space of Empire, but they looked very comfortable in Port City Music Hall’s larger room. Everyone there witnessed some incredible moments that one could argue only happen at a live show.