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 D3 9729Live Music Hall, Cologne, Germany
27th February 2020
Nada Surf - “European Tour” 2020 - Support: John Vanderslice

‘Never Not Together’, the new LP of the American Indie Rock band NADA SURF, is already a favourite of many fans who thought that the band had lost a bit of their appeal on the last records. The album sounds new and familiar at the same time. NADA SURF celebrate love and friendship on the album. They also did that when they premiered their new songs live in Cologne. As support, NADA SURF invited an old friend: JOHN VANDERSLICE.

John Vanderslice

NADA SURF’s support was JOHN VANDERSLICE, an American singer and songwriter. Many of his songs are directed against the American government. He was a member of the band MK ULTRA in the 1990s. In 1997, he founded the Tiny Telephone studio in San Francisco, which is characterized by its purely analogue recording technology. Because of the low cost of the studio, many bands seek after him, including DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE, TWO GALLANTS, GRANFALOON BUS, NADA SURF, MATES OF STATE and the MOUNTAIN GOATS. Since 1999, he pursued his solo career.

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Music & Performance
JOHN VANDERSLICE onstage means just that: It is only JOHN VANDERSLICE onstage. It is just him, his guitar and an old Roland drum machine. Analogue drum machines like that were used in the 1970s and 1980s. His show is a singer-songwriter show with some Pop music elements. His songs are simple and direct. John talked a lot between the songs and he was accompanied by NADA SURF’s vocalist Matthew Caws on one of his songs. The double vocals were awesome and they did some great harmonies together. Another highlight was when NADA SURF’s drummer Ira Elliot joined John for the last song. Apart from that, John’s music is nice and lyrically probably very good. However, on the evening it did not really reach the audiences.

Music: 5
Performance: 5
Light: 6
Sound: 7
Total: 6 / 10

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Nada Surf

If you appreciate the Indie scene of the 1990s, NADA SURF is a household name. The band consists of school friends who got together in New York City and in 1996 had their first hit single ‘Popular’ from the album ‘High/Low’, produced by Ric Ocasek. In 2003, their Power Pop masterpiece ‘Let Go’ was released, which contains a whole series of hits. Since then they regularly released albums and always stayed true to themselves and their style. Their latest album ‘Never Not Together’ came out in February. Right now, they are touring Germany.

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Music & Performance
NADA SURF is a quartet again: Singer / guitarist Matthew Caws, bassist Daniel Lorca and drummer Ira Elliot are accompanied by keyboardist Louie Lino. The four of them not only play new songs, but also have built a set list that is more like a greatest-hits programme. The new music blends in perfectly with the already known and loved hits. The band is in good shape and has fun. The audience loves it and celebrates every song with their heroes. This is clear right from the start, when they open the show with ‘Looking Through’. “I love the way you guys move”, explains singer Matthew Caws during the show. “As a Rock band, we don’t necessarily try to get people to dance, so it's even nicer when it does happen. Then we feel like a beat combo - and deep inside our hearts all of us rock musicians love the Beatles and want to be a beat combo.”

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The audience dances along to hits and anthems for almost two hours. The band just knows how to combine elements of Pop and Indie and turn them into catchy tunes that still have a rock feeling to them. For the encore of ‘Blizzard Of ‘77’, JOHN VANDERSLICE once again enters the stage and he and the band members sing along in harmony with Matthew Caws. After that, the band plays ‘Always Love’ and ‘Blankest Year’ and finishes the show just as energetic as they started. However, if that was not enough, the band plays some acoustic songs later at the merchandise table. Therefore, the fans are happy. Not only about the new record, but also about a great show by a great live band.

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01. Looking Through
02. Hi-Speed Soul
03. Friend Hospital
04. The Plan
05. Killian’s Red
06. So Much Love
07. Inside Of Love
08. What Is Your Secret?
09. Beautiful Beat
10. Cold To See Clear
11. Live Learn And Forget
12. Blonde On Blonde
13. Hyperspace
14. Looking For You
15. Paper Boats
16. See These Bones
17. Something I Should Do
18. Blizzard Of 77
19. Always Love
20. Blankest Year
21. Zen Brain (merch table)
22. Happy Kid (merch table)

Music: 9
Performance: 10
Light: 10
Sound: 9
Total: 9 / 10

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All pictures by André Wilms

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