Lancaster, Pennsylvania (April 26, 2018) – Tonight, fans were treated to an enthusiastic and captivating performance by indie favorites Surfer Blood. The festivities took place in the Lizard Lounge, a small, intimate venue housed in the Chameleon Club in Lancaster, PA. Surfer Blood was supported by Giggly Boys, Jonathan Monument, and Winter. The combination of the four bands couldn’t have been more perfect!
Brooklyn natives, Giggly Boys opened the show as audience members were filing in. The band’s old school punk-inspired sound was an unexpected contrast to their name. Their musical formula is simple, yet intriguing: hard-hitting drums, straightforward melodies, reverb and loud vocals. Their energetic seven-song set – “Dorothy”, “Ain’t Waiting”, “Dead Again”, “True West”, “Black Sheet Party”, “Another Close Call”, and “Unnatural”, left the crowd hyped for more.
Local favorites Jonathan Monument have been on the scene since 2013. The band consists of guitarists/vocalists David Fick and Steven Balthaser, bassist Matthew Thren, and drummer Josh Noel. They opened their set with the instrumental surf-rock number “Takeshi”, followed by one of my favorite songs, “Adaline”. The impressive rhythm section combination of Thren and Noel is only enhanced by Fick and Balthasar’s grunge-inspired guitar and often humorous lyrics. Their set featured tracks such as “Dad Fight”, “Dutch Wonderland”, and the title track from their latest release, “Wonderkid”; as well as “Ne’er Do Wells”, “Jasper”, “Florida” and “Destroyer”.
Winter is the name of singer/songwriter/guitarist Samira Winter’s Los Angeles-based indie rock project. Winter’s whimsical vocals are complemented by beautiful melodies played by sisters Justine Brown on bass, and Chelsea Brown on guitar. Fans danced to dreamy, yet catchy, songs such as “Alligator” and “All In My Head”. Winter asked the crowd if anyone has a cat, and the crowd cheered in response. She then dedicated fan-favorite song, “Zoey”, which she wrote about her cat, to “all the cats of Lancaster”. They also entertained fans with “High School”, “Memoria Colorida”, “You Don’t Know Me”, “Best of It”, “Black Sea”, and “Jaded”.
Indie rockers Surfer Blood, from West Palm Beach, Florida, closed out the evening. I had a few moments to speak with guitarist Mike McCleary after the show, and he said that, while touring can be exhausting, when you’re on the stage, you find the energy. If the band was even a little bit tired, I had no idea. The party started with “Fast Jabroni”, and didn’t let up until over an hour later.
In addition to McCleary on guitar, Surfer Blood includes singer/guitarist John Paul Pitts, bassist Lindsey Mills and drummer, Tyler Schwarz. Pitts enthusiastically sang and danced along with fans to songs like Island, “Swim”, and “Anchorage”, occasionally inviting friends and other musicians onto the stage to join the band. The 12-song set also included tracks, “Weird Shapes”, “Miranda”, “Voyager Reprise”, “Island”, “Take it Easy”, “Floating Vibes”, “Six Flags in F or G”, “Gravity”, and “”Matter of Time”.
At one point Pitts danced his way to the back of the crowd, where he climbed and perched on a ledge in front of the soundboard. Looking at the mic cord stretched all the way back to the stage, he joked that he’s usually on a “much shorter leash than this”. Surfer Blood is clearly a band that loves their fans and enjoys what they do. Currently, they have four upcoming shows planned in their home state of Florida, as well as Summer Daze Music Festival in Raleigh, NC.
I have been a longtime fan of Jonathan Monument, but when I arrived at the venue I did not know what to expect from the other three. All four bands put on incredible performances -suffice to say, Giggly Boys, Winter, and Surfer Blood definitely gained new fans tonight!
Photojournalist: Kristen Derr