The Growlers San Diego

The Growlers Spooked the Crowd at Soma

Spooky yet unbelievably retro vibes pumped up the crowd for over an hour at Soma on Friday night.

The Growlers, a surf, psychedelic, garage rock band, opened up the show with their hits that made friends and I dance as if we were extras in Footloose or as a friend put it, “I feel like we’re in Teen Beach Movie”. The classic charm of their songs and consistent upbeat melodies had us replicating the iconic twist and shout dance. Their music not only sends listeners back to a better time with nostalgic aesthetics, but also creates an atmosphere perfect for moshing just behind the barricade.

The Growlers at SOMA San Diego by Jordan Blinn for ListenSD

Piling into the Soma Main Stage pit with 2,699 other The Growlers fans was such a nostalgic energy to absorb. Feeling the air conditioning being pumped into the room, knowing that it wouldn’t make a difference in the sweaty space as the night carried on, was a fun thought. As I was looking around before the show, I noticed that the crowd was made up of the average concert lineup of high school to college-aged guests, some middle-aged folks, but never have I ever witnessed an actual baby at a Soma show. This adorable sleeping child rested her little head on her young father’s shoulder wearing the most enormous sound-proof headphones, only to leave fans behind the sight wondering the extent of the love the dad must have for The Growlers. (Also how he probably couldn’t book a babysitter on this particular night.)

This particular Growlers show made a lasting memory in my concert book considering it was the first time I participated in anything mosh-like! Pushing through hundreds of the angry faces of people standing still to get to the front of the crowd from the back was a feat of its own. After getting past the mad-dog glares, friends and I bumped, danced, got lifted into the air, and shouted to the music of The Growlers only 10 feet away from the stage. 

I highly recommend going to The Growlers San Diego show if you’re going to be in the center of the pit at any venue. Definitely an experience to remember! Although, concerns over the COVID-19 (Coronavirus disease) were in the back of most people’s minds as we danced with little to no space between the people next to us. I have to admit, this contagious disease did run through my mind but that was not the reason for my need to get out of the pit. I worried for my glasses and had to get out of there if I wanted to see the rest of the night! I do regret leaving however, because it would’ve been a much better view to catch the band playing ‘Empty Bones’ rather than from the back. 

The Growlers at SOMA San Diego by Jordan Blinn for ListenSD

Although I moved around the venue a lot during the show, it was great from any area to witness lead singer Brooks Nielsen shout out, “I like when you scream when I don’t do shit. I endorse that” during ‘Chinese Fountain’ for literally doing the slightest movement on stage. The crowd really was smitten with the singer that night.

The Growlers at SOMA San Diego by Jordan Blinn for ListenSD

To close out such a groovy night, the last song to be played was ‘Going Gets Tough’. There was such a restless demand for this song that the crowd started chanting the lyrics before the lead singer could even get a word out. Hearing this, Nielsen shouted out, “Wait for me…tell me about it,” as the crowd laughed at the awareness of their own impatient love for the band’s music. This San Diego show marked the first night of The Growler’s American leg of the Natural Affair tour where Nielsen thanked us for being a good crowd and how he was happy to be back in the States. Overall, a memorable experience for fans of The Growlers that will make the wait for their next San Diego visit feel like an eternity. Next time you see The Growlers San Diego tour dates, don’t miss it. 

To get a little taste of what went down that night check out this Spotify playlist

Photos by: Jordan Blinn
Review by: Sammy Bel Mar