Surfer Blood @ Market Hotel, 2/27/10

Market Hotel- neither a market nor a hotel. Discuss. Actually, it’s a really cool place to see a show. In a completely non-descript building across the street from a Popeye’s Chicken, you ascend a staircase and enter into a den (or loft) of indie iniquity. Being a total DIY space there are some drawbacks. For one thing, it was swelteringly hot for basically the entire night. They also were not dealing with top of the line sound equipment. The bass frequencies were outrageous and every band took forever to set up.

The first band, The Morning Benders, were setting up when I got there and didn’t start playing for at least another half hour. After one song they spent another small eternity adjusting their sound so I left to get a sandwich. When I got back they were finished but I saw a perfectly adequate set by Grooms and a highly spirited and well received set by Beach Fossils. Turbo Fruits were great though. They were the most straight-forward rock group of the night and they proved it. Frontman Jonas Stein repeatedly jumped into the crowd, shared beers with audience members, and did this cool bit of shtick where he pulled a girl on stage and put his guitar on her then put his arms through hers to play it. The PA cut out on them twice but rather then get in a huff, Stein just screamed the lyrics into his guitar pickups and the whole thing was a freakin’ blast.

Finally, Surfer Blood took the stage at around 12:30. They were the tightest band for sure and had a real good rapport with the audience. It was clear why they were the headliners. They opened with “Floating Vibes” and “Take it Easy,” a couple of fun and laid-back indie-pop nuggets. Every member of the band sounded great. The vocals were spot on and even their percussionist rocked a mean jam-block and gave each song some nice added spice. I enjoyed Surfer Blood but by the time of their set I was completely wiped out from the long night of music. That and they too were met with audio problems (that damn PA system!). Despite all that, when they played “Swim” it was magnificent and I went off into the night humming it the whole way home.

Jonathan Zuckerman

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