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New York rockers Nada Surf stopped by the Paradise Rock Club last night as their fall tour comes to a close. With Eternal Summers backing them on the bill, the night began with a solid set of lo-fi jams from the Roanoke, Virginia natives. Fronted by guitarist and lead vocalist Nicole Yun, Eternal Summers were a hit with the audience almost all of who were hearing the band for the first time. Despite the taunts of a drunken faux-super fan, Eternal Summers held their own and showed great diversity in their set ranging from slower tracks with more droning synths and delay pedals to incredibly upbeat dream punk tracks like “Millions” off of Correct Behavior and a brand new song called “Deep End” that the band previewed last night.
“I’m going to play some of our new tracks tonight because we’re in Boston,” Yun said. “And I feel like Boston is a pretty progressive city, right?”
Yun guessed right because “Deep End” got nearly the entire room bouncing on their feet to end their opening set on the highest note. It can be hit or miss sometimes with opening bands but Nada Surf picked well this fall because Eternal Summers are surely a hit.
The crowd at the Paradise was a mixture of 20 and 30-somethings, but found dead front center was the quintessential father-son duo. As an individual who regularly attended concerts with my own mother while growing up and still does to this day – it always warms my heart to see other families where parents and children share the same taste and can make memories at concerts together. While Nada Surf has been around for over two decades, it’s not surprising that they are a band that has bridged the parent-children gap that often exists.
After a brief intermission, Nada Surf took the stage to a roaring applause. Fronted by Matthew Caws on guitar and lead vocals, Ira Elliot on drums, Daniel Lorca on bass, and Doug Gillard on guitar. The band kicked off their high energy set with the first track off of their latest release The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy, “Clear Eye Clouded Mind.” From the very beginning it was clear that Caws is a seasoned performer who just loves to perform. His eyes lit up with pure joy as he looked out onto the audience last night and thanked them for attending.
“There’s something so special about being far away from home and having this many people want to see you, to have strangers come and be here with us,” Caws said with a giddy grin. Caws noted that the band had just played the same venue in the spring and have really made it a habit to stop in Boston at least twice annually in recent years.
As the set progressed it showed that there is a solid demand for Nada Surf in Boston, the band had been taking requests online prior to the show and told the audience, “We’ve gotten a whole lot of requests tonight and the set list is pretty long so get ready.”
Stand-out tracks of the nearly two hour long set (not including the encore) were “Waiting For Something” off of The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy, “Do It Again” off of 2005’s The Weight Is A Gift, “Whose Authority” off of 2008’s Lucky, and an emotion ridden performance of “Paper Boats” off of the 2002 release Let Go.
While the set list totaled to nearly 20 tracks that spanned the entirety of Nada Surf’s discography – the set swept by in a flash. Each track seamlessly transitioned into the next as Caws took a break here and there to tell an anecdote or two. Caws explains the band’s name as, “surfing on nothing, being lost in your head or in your imagination.” Whether they were bobbing heads, laughing at Caws’ story of a former band-mate prank calling the head of CBS Records out of shameless self-promotion, or signing their hearts out – the audience was fully immersed in that world last night – and are now eagerly anticipating the next time Nada Surf graces the stage at the Paradise.