Concert Review: Surfer Blood Returns to Respectable Street and (Almost) Nothing Gets Broken | New Times Broward-Palm Beach


Concert Review: Surfer Blood Returns to Respectable Street and (Almost) Nothing Gets Broken

Photo by Steve Rullman's iPhone
Surfer Blood
With Turbo Fruits, Love Handles, and the Dewars
Respectable Street, West Palm Beach
April 20, 2010

Before your faithful Broward-Palm Beach Crossfade contingent became a member of the New Times staff, he attended a fateful Surfer Blood show January 27 at Respectable Street in West Palm Beach. The concert also featured Israeli punk rascals Monotonix, and during the band's usual fracas, singer Ami Shalev hurt his leg pretty bad. If it's possible to take a leg injury in stride, Shalev is the guy to do it, and now Monotonix is back on the road sticking sweaty crotches in the faces of adoring fans -- the way it should be.

Tuesday was Surfer Blood's triumphant return to South Florida -- the band's first in the area since that fateful night -- and family, friends and soccer coaches made their way out to see the local indie quintet made good. Crossfade shared a few drinks with singer JP Pitts, drummer TJ Schwarz, and close pal/former manager Kelly O'Rourke across the street from Respectable Street at O'Shea's, but made sure that certain soccer coaches couldn't keep track of the band's beer consumption. More on that conversation in a future Crossfade installment.

The concert itself was a solid, sonic blast. Sporting some sweet Pro Keds and Vans, Surfer Blood stomped and twirled through Astro Coast material like they've been out on the road honing the material or something. Pitts handed off his guitar to Turbo Fruits' Jonas Stein for "Take it Easy" and gained some serious mobility. For set-closer "Catholic Pagans," things started to get a little crazy -- following some attempted Andrew WK-level acrobatics, Pitts ended up flat on his back with a piece of Respectable Street's staging that was formerly attached to the wall in his grip. No trips to the hospital on this night, though.

Surfer Blood tourmates Turbo Fruits, who already had me thoroughly impressed at SXSW 2009, have added nothing but more power and polish to garage rock anthems like "Mama's Mad Cos I Fried My Brain," as well as righteously rad mustaches. Local openers the Love Handles, who witnessed the carnage back at January's Respectable show, dragged the fidelity steadily and satisfyingly lower, and the Dewars -- led by two vest-wearing brothers who apparently share a last name with a tasty mid-price scotch -- have a moody repertoire to get the kids listening to Leonard Cohen again.