Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Surplus 1980-El Rio, San Francisco CA; 9/26/16

After seeing the bustling nightlife on display at El Rio, I can say with certainty that San Francisco is most definitely not losing ALL of its youthful exuberance. Tons of young people were enjoying this venerable joint's cool patio and funky interior.
I can also say with certainty that the live music portion of their evening was largely unimportant to them: most stayed away from the stage area. Having stayed and participated in that movement, I know that I had a fun time.
Watching and listening to Smokers with their tight two guitar Punk Rock and Apogee Sound Club's cool weird and funky Punk was awesome.
As for Surplus 1980, I felt like the set was pretty darn good. The arc of the set order had a really good feel to me: starting with a somewhat challenging number (Morale Is High, an old Mute Socialite tune), then proceeding to the more upbeat stuff and ending on a slamming note with the fast ending of A Motivated Song About Procrastination was nice. It felt really nicely ordered. After lengthy conversations about sound separation and dynamics, I chose to play most of the set with a pair of those weird rod drum sticks. Actually found a pair that feature somewhat thicker rods; I seriously hope that I didn't sound like a Jam Band drummer, as that is absolutely NOT what Surplus 1980 needs. A conversation with a guy out front of El Rio at the end of the night confirmed that, at least as regards the separation, that was good tactic. He mentioned that he was able to hear the somewhat intricate guitar interplay. Victory there, for sure.
This being a 2016 Surplus set, I did make a pretty large gaff on Failure of Commitment. I'm not sure WTF is going on with me and that one, but I am starting to feel like the Peanuts character that's always lifting the football before Charlie gets his kick in. Sorry Moe!
All in all, a fun, rockin' evening in the Mission. I'm glad to see that that sort of thing is possible.

Below: drums, lights,  guitars, and guitarists

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