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Matthew Caws of Nada Surf

Photos By: Summer Luu

By: Kaylen Stix

Much like their best-known song, the experience of seeing Nada Surf at the Irenic Sunday night was similar to walking into your high school class reunion- Sort of awkward, and a lot of things have changed, but ultimately fun.

Since 1991, the group has made eight studio records and transitioned through band members and hairstyles. Matthew Cawes, frontman of Nada Surf, walked on stage with his band, his bleached white hair glistening in the church-venue’s spotlights. They started off with a bang with “Whose Authority”, and playing a mix of old/new songs, intertwining between first albums and recent albums. Older songs such as “Weightless”, “Do It Again” and “What Is Your Secret” were intertwined with “Believe You’re Mine” and “Friend Hospital”, tracks off the latest record, You Know Who You Are.

Much to my surprise, there was a key band member change since I saw them last. The bassist with the sweet dreads, Daniel Lorca, was no longer a part of the band. In his place was a younger, cleaner bandmate who seemed to be on his first tour. I’ve researched and Googled the web for any viable sources but nothing has come up relevant. We’ll just sweep that under the rug for now, though Caws did mention it halfway through the set that there was a band member change.

Most people know Nada Surf for a few well known hits back in the 90s and early 2000s, especially “Popular”. I categorize that song as an ode to Weezer and Radiohead and I honestly was expecting them to play a few more “heavier” songs similar to that but the heartbeat line stayed consistent for most of the night. While there were a few exciting bumps here and there, the vibe teetered on the edge of being sit-down worthy.  However, the band ended the night with crowd favorites: “Always Love” and “Blankest Year”, leaving the audience’s blood pumping for an early 11 o’clock end. It goes to show that being veterans doesn’t mean you can’t rock out in a church on a Sunday night.