Concert Review: Nada Surf in Omaha, NE 3/30/12

Nada Surf is a band that is much better than their image. They have the fortune of having a “hit” song in the 90’s and the misfortune of always being associated with that song. That song, “Popular” is nothing like the band that sang it. It doesn’t represent the music that they play well and it would be unfair to judge them by the song.

What Nada Surf is is an extremely talented band that crafts near perfect pop songs with hooks that ring in your head for hours after hearing it. The have a hard edge and some very rocking songs that are very guitar heavy. “Popular” would not be on the setlist on 3/30/12 in Omaha, NE at the Waiting Room but their isn’t one song that was on the 22 song setlist I would have replaced with the 90’s radio hit.

The Waiting Room

An Horse opened the show for Nada Surf and did a very solid job. A good pairing musically for Nada Surf as well. The lead singer Kate Cooper was accompanied only by drummer Damon Cox. The two provided plenty of noise and catchy repeated chorus’ during their short set. The band resembled Tegan and Sara musically and proved that they belonged on stage along side of heavyweights such as Nada Surf.

Nada Surf would bring a great assortment of merchandise to the show to sell as all bands should do. They had several different shirt designs along with a bag and an extremely cool tour poster. They also had all of their albums on vinyl and cd except their debut High/Low that wouldn’t get a song played off of it all night. They also had three rare cds that are almost impossible to find unless on the band’s website or at the show in person. These discs were very reasonably priced as well, they even had three different cds for $5 each, something you never see from a headlining band.

Nada Surf's stage setup at The Waiting Room in Omaha

Nada Surf took the stage with five members, the three base members, Matthew Caws, Ira Elliot and Daniel Lorca, and two touring musicians. Lead singer Matthew Caws immediately addressed the crowd by introducing the band’s new album The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy and blasted into the first two songs from that album, “Clear Eyes and a Clouded Mind” and “Waiting For Something.” Caws’ stage presence was instantly felt in the first few songs as he displayed his impressive lyrics and guitar playing.

The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy was hit hard by the band throughout the night with 7 of the 10 tracks being performed live. It is always nice to see a band that is proud enough of their new material to play it and enjoy it as if it truly the best songs they have recorded. The band was especially light on their older material as well, only playing one track, the brooding “80 Windows” from either of their first two albums.

The electric guitars would remain strapped on throughout the set giving the songs a consistently heavy edge. This benefited most on the bands harder rocking songs like “High-Speed Soul” and “The Blankest Year.” The bands excellent trilogy of albums, Let Go, The Weight Is A Gift and Lucky was hit for 13 of the nights songs. The one really rare track that was thrown in wasn’t even on the night’s setlist. The band took on their song “River Phoenix” from their b-sides disc North 6th St. delighting the hardcore fans in the audience.

The evenings highlights included the brooding guitar of “Killian’s Red” and the slow simmer of their oldest song performed on the night, “80 Windows.” The clear highlight of the show however was the closing song of the three song encore “The Blankest Year.” The crowd responded well to the great singalong of “Fuck It, I’m gonna have a party” for the song’s chorus. The band teased the crowd by cutting off the normally short song then jump starting it a few times to allow the crowd to shout the chorus at the top of their lungs one more time. It was the perfect end to a fantastic setlist. After hearing “The Blankest Year” live it is hard to envision the band ever leaving it off their list of songs to play live, it is one of the best crowd pleasers I have ever seen.

Nada Surf's Matthew Caws performing at The Waiting Room in Omaha, NE on 3/30/12

Nada Surf's Matthew Caws performing at The Waiting Room in Omaha, NE on 3/30/12

Nada Surf setlist from The Waiting Room in Omaha, NE on 3/30/12

  • Clear Eye Clouded Mind
  • Waiting For Something
  • Happy Kid
  • Whose Authority
  • What Is Your Secret?
  • Teenage Dreams
  • Weightless
  • Killian’s Red
  • Jules and Jim
  • Concrete Bed
  • 80 Windows
  • When I Was Young
  • The Way Your Wear Your Head
  • No Snow On The Mountain
  • Blonde On Blonde
  • River Phoenix
  • High Speed Soul
  • Looking Through
  • See These Bones
  • encore
  • Inside Of Love
  • Always Love
  • The Blankest Year
This entry was posted in Concert Review and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s