Nada Surf seemed ready to throw down last night at the 9:30 Club. “It’s going to be a long night,” said lead singer/guitarist Matthew Caws. The main show ran a little longer than two hours, and included 24 songs, most of them from the band’s latest release, The Stars are Indifferent to Astronomy. But the group’s members didn’t ignore their first few records—-and yes, they played their 1996 hit “Popular,” albeit a different arrangement than the recorded version.
Hearing early tunes like “Popular” and “80 Windows” alongside later ones like “Inside of Love” and “Looking Through” allowed a glimpse into just how much Nada Surf’s songwriting has matured over the years. After the band followed “Popular” with “See These Bones,” a friend said, “Wow, if those were the first two songs you’d ever heard from them, you’d never think it was the same band.” With the addition of former Guided By Voices guitarist Doug Gillard, Nada Surf showed it is still evolving, even as it nears its 20th anniversary.
After two hours, Caws and bassist Daniel Lorca weren’t quite done yet: The pair stepped onto the concert floor and launched into an acoustic hootenanny for the fans prescient enough to stick around.
See photos from the show in the gallery.