Deluxe at Old National Centre
Saturday, June 23
It was startling to see Matthew Caws with a head of white hair when his band Nada Surf played Deluxe at Old National Centre Saturday night.
One of the few musical artists worth remembering from the '00s, the New York-based trio released another worthy addition to their canon, The Stars Are Indifferent to Astronomy, in 2012 after a four-year absence of new material. Time waits for no one, obviously, but Caws' greyness isn't a sign of decline.
Nada Surf focused heavily on the new album, as well as cuts from their breakthrough 2002 release Let Go. Indeed, they're one of those all-too-familiar major-label casualties who got big, ironically enough, on a song lampooning teenage drama called "Popular." After finding a better-suited home on independent label Barsuk Records, they found their true sound of buoyant pop-punk.
They opened Saturday's show with a one-two punch of the high-speed melodicism of "Clear Eye Clouded Mind" and "Waiting for Something" from the new record. Doug Gillard, who's played with Guided By Voices among many others, provided extra guitar for the entire set. And "Popular," as has been the case for many tours now, was nowhere to be heard.
As is Deluxe's setting, the performance was bare-bones. No light show or visuals. As such, brilliant compositions such as "Whose Authority" and "See These Bones" were solid but also much like their recorded selves. "Blonde on Blonde," which graced the encore along with other Nada Surf classics "Inside of Love" and "Always Love," actually loses some of its nuance in the live setting.
The not-quite sellout crowd was into it, though, which is all you can really ask for with a concert such as this.
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