Nada Surf at the Great American Music Hall 05/20/16

By Minimal Beat
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Article by S.F. Correspondent Molli Kreuser
I’m on this high that can be defined as Nada Surf that I’ve been on since the early 2000’s. Let Go was the first album that pulled me in and everything else that followed was equally awesome.
To be real here, it’s been a few years since I’ve seen Nada Surf live, but not due to lack of trying. I love seeing these guys live but they haven’t been on a US tour within the last few years. With the release of their latest album, “You Know Who You Are” in March 2016, they took to the road with a full US tour. Friday, March 20th, 2016,  I finally saw them live again and this time at Great American Music Hall in San Francisco.
What moves me about Nada Surf, other than their deep thoughtful lyrics and beautiful music, is how personable and appreciative they are to their people.  They seem real, they act real and it’s a real show that I was able to see on Friday.
They hopped up on the stage and thanked everyone before starting with their first song, “Cold to See Clear”. Lead sir and master, Matthew Caws, looked out at the audience. It wasn’t that he was looking out, but actually looking into the eyes  of us standing before him. He even looked up into the balcony several times. He acknowledged us and that felt real because it was real. During the show, Caws opened up to the audience about certain songs with some behind the scenes info on them (New Bird is about his dad, What is Your Secret was recorded in SF).
The rest of the band supported each other with their respective instruments and magic of their own. Drummer, Ira Elliot, was on his usual seat and sang backup vocals while engaging the audience with his quirky facial expressions. Lead guitarist, Doug Gillard, totally killed (in a good way) his solos including Caw’s current fav solo that is in “Friend Hospital”. Noticeably missing was bassist Daniel Lorca (out for this tour but all is good in Nada Surf Land, Caw’s told the audience). Have no fear, bassist Daniel Brummel has been touring with Nada Surf and is well rehearsed with the band. I missed Lorca standing on stage smoking during “Killan’s Red” but they didn’t play that song anyway so it was mostly just missed in my mind. Hope all is well, Daniel Lorca.
Now for one of my favorite moments during this show that must be mentioned. It was actually a pretty awesome feeling during “Do it Again” in which Nada Surf rocked so hard and perfectly. It was a moment of sync.  I actually felt the sync as we watched them and they watched us. It was a powerful moment, and I’m saying this as a person.  It was an in-sync and pure moment. It was truly very beautiful and the best
I’ve ever seen them play that song, which has been a lot of times.
The end of the show concluded with a double encore. After “Blankest Year”, the band departed for the backstage door and the set-guy came on stage and turned off all the amps. The crowd started towards the door, but within a few minutes, Nada Surf came back out and played an awesome acoustic version of “Blizzard of ’77”. They played directly in front of me and I had to actually look up to see them. It was quite glorious.

I’m still on my high of Nada Surf and am looking forward to seeing them play in their hometown of Brooklyn in September. They get a the Good Job, Bob award from me. These guys fed my soul.

Check out the setlist and photos from the show at Great American Music Hall 05/20/2016 below!

Cold To See Clear
Whose Authority
Believe You’re Mine
Happy Kid
Do It Again
80 Windows
What Is Your Secret?
Jules and Jim
Concrete Bed
Inside of Love
The Way You Wear Your Head
Friend Hospital
Blonde on Blonde
Out of the Dark
When I Was Young
New Bird
See These Bones


Always Love
Blankest Year

Encore 2:

Blizzard of ’77

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