Review: The Drums & Surfer Blood at Webster Hall (CMJ)

A few days ago on Wednesday, I saw The Drums, Surfer Blood, The Dewars & Young Friends play Webster Hall as part of the CMJ Festival that's going on in New York now.

Young Friends:

I came in right at the end of their set. Can't really recall what they sounded like (that's not a very good sign).


Next up was this incredibly weird band called The Dewars. Like, they've got to be the oddest band I've ever seen live. The group is fronted by the Dewar Brothers, who had matching glasses and excessively geeky looks. Their most notable backing members included a Rasputin-esque maraca shaker & an insane keyboard player who moved like a nerd version of Peter Murphy, throwing bedroom eyes and sweat at everyone.

Video was the only way to capture this odd group:


After that, Surfer Blood. I watched a few minutes of an MTV stream they did the night before and was incredibly underwhelmed by the performance, so the bar was set pretty low for them. Fortunately, they cleared it by a mile, pretty much stealing the show from The Drums. People seemed to be a lot more into them than any other act of the night.

They played some new songs, most notably the still-untitled one below. They've been playing it quite a bit on the road..seems pretty promising as a single or a well-liked track for their next release, whenever that may be.


The Drums came on shorty after to a super receptive crowd. Clad in a red satin varsity jacket and incredibly slim pants, Lead singer Johnny took the mic and staggered everywhere on stage, slurring almost every word. Backing was tight, even though the mix seemed a bit off.

There's really not much to say about them, actually. The setlist (below) was conducive to buzz kills (starting with It Will All End in Tears? / ending with Down By the Water? Really?)

The drummer was the moodiest, most pissed off looking thing on the stage, and the guitarist looked like he wanted to kick something (and like TBP from That Thing You Do!). It was a bit disappointing, since the LP is so "clear and happy and stuff."

And it all ended with a wrecked kit:

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