With their critically acclaimed debut album, “Astro Coast,” just two months removed from it’s birth, the lo-fi enthusiasts of Surfer Blood made their first appearance in Orange County on Sunday night. Performing at the packed Detroit Bar in Costa Mesa, the South Floridians turned the intimate setting into a raucous dance party with their turbocharged versions of fan favorites like “Swim” and “Take it Easy.”
Igniting just before midnight, the quintet exploded with the opening cut from their debut, “Floating Vibe.” Using the tropical dance hooks found in “Floating Vibes” and “Fast Jabroni” to flaunt his skillful maneuvers, singer-guitarist JP Pitts trotted around the small stage with his cherry red Gibson SG guitar as if he was Angus Young of ACDC, while second guitarist Thomas Fekete plucked his six-string with his teeth. This flare for the dramatics scored immensely with the sweaty crowd, as they should their approval by continuing to dance for the entire hour-long set despite the stifling humidity of the cramped venue.
Elsewhere, the moody number “Harmonix” took on a more muscular tone with its tidal wave of reverb and bruising bass lines, while “Neighborhood Riffs” preserved the light-hearted summer atmosphere. Unfortunately, half way through a dark cloud rained on the parade due to a string breaking on Pitts Gibson. The delay forced them to sprint through the rest of the set as if they were trying to reach the finish line. That finish line being the night’s most anticipated song: The infectious, sure-to-be-summer-classic “Swim.” Screaming at the top of his lungs, Pitts throated the hyper catchy chorus, “Swim till you reach the end,” as if he was the indie-rock scene’s version of a screamo frontman.
Using the slower moving, “Catholic Pagens” for the closing cool-down lap, Pitts and company left the crowd begging for another song. However, the endless-summer theme was not presented and the highly energized fans took the band’s infectious melodies into the parking lot where they sang the most memorable choruses of the night.