If you know anything about Los Angeles on a Friday night within the radius of a music venue, you know it’s a shit show.
Luckily, I came across four strangers who were more than happy to move their car forward to allow myself some space to park. Of course, this came at the price of me offering them a couple of hits from my piece — no good deed shall go unpunished.
I arrived at the Teragram Ballroom, an intimate venue located north of some of amazing buildings that make up L.A.’s skyline. My head was a mess, and all I needed was a cheap beer and a smoke. I head to the bar, grabbed a brew, and stopped by the merch table where ironic t-shirts were abound (one of which had a spoof of Joy Division’s “Unknown Pleasures” album cover). The ballroom was slowly starting to pack with beautiful men and women as the lights grew dim and Mariachi music filled the hall.
Cayucas signaled their hello to the crowd and wasted no time starting their set. Starting off with an upbeat, quasi-dance-able track, these dudes knew what was up and went with “East Coast Girl”, an upbeat single from their past album Bigfoot. The energy was slowly rising and everyone started sipping their drinks while dancing along. The party continued with “Hella” from their new album Dancing at the Blue Lagoon, a personal favorite about a burnt-out hippie from Nor-Cal getting lost throughout the world. Santa Monica natives Cayucas hold nothing back when they’re live, and I’m way more than okay with that.
With three albums and an EP, Surfer Blood jumped right into their set. They dove into the hard hitting “Fast Jabroni”, a single off of their 2010 album Astro Coast and a love song in which I couldn’t stop shouting,
“Come pick me up in the morning.
I know you’ve probably thought about it too.
Otherwise I’ll never leave my oven.
My arms and legs they would grow soft with you.”
The feels were real at The Teragram that night. You see, since their first album, Surfer Blood has been on my list of bands that pretty much fucking get me. Growing up in SoCal, there’s a few that can fit the vibes of the beach, the city, and all of the different neighborhoods. Even though they’re from Orland, Florida, they’ve captured my overall sense of self. Their use of effect pedals combined with outright bass lines, raw drums, and witty lyrics just mesh so well in creating a lo-fi rock for the loneliest folk. Everyone was singing along, and then the band started playing “Weird Shapes” from their album Pythons.
John’s voice was reminiscent of a young Morrissey and David Byrne of Talking Heads. It’s one of those songs that are so melancholic and still so catchy that it makes you feel okay to feel that vulnerable.
Surfer Blood continued their reign over the night with songs from past and present. “Miranda”, “Dorian”, and “Say Yes To Me” all made the cut. I was hoping to hear “Prom Song”, my favorite track from Pythons but I suppose with the time allotted, wishes can’t all be granted. The crowd was still in tune and the night was almost over. The band stated they were playing their last song but me being one to stick around, I knew they wouldn’t just end it so soon. Soon after, they came out blazing playing two more encore tracks: “Swim”, the single that launched this amazing band to new heights from Astro Coast, and the new single from their recent amazing album 1000 Palms. To end the show on an even greater note, the boys from Cayucas came out and joined them for a flattering attempt of “La Bamba” by Ritchie Valen. Night made.