Indie rock band Surf Curse stopped by Orange County, California on December 16 to play their second-to-last show of the year for an elated Santa Ana crowd at the sold-out Observatory.
The Las Vegas-based group, consisting of Nick Rattigan (lead singer/drums), Jacob Rubeck (guitar), Henry Dillon (bass), and Noah Kohll (guitar), took the road to showcase their new album Magic Hour, released October 7, 2022.
Surf Curse shows are far from being calm or lacking audience engagement, and the minute that the group walked out on stage to an epic, timely punk rock rendition of “Carol of the Bells,” the crowd dialed in to prepare for a night of singing, dancing and crowd-surfing (while simultaneously dodging security guards trying to remove said crowd surfers).
Immediately Nick and the band got the crowd going with “Cathy,” one of their hit singles off Magic Hour. The crowd was pleasantly surprised with the array of songs the band played, a hearty mix of hits off their first album Buds, plus hits from Nothing Yet and Heaven Surrounds You.
The ability for the lead singer of a group to also drum as Nick does with Surf Curse is impressive in itself – but maintaining an engaging stage presence on top of screaming lyrics and keeping an intense and upbeat drum rhythm going was a feat of nature.
With such an energetic performance comes inevitable audience/performer interactions, as random items such as flowers, stuffed animals, and glow sticks were thrown on stage. A cowboy hat of sorts even found its way to Nick’s drum set, which he enthusiastically modeled for a couple of songs.
The liveliness of the crowd never wavered once through the show, only to be further ignited once hit songs “I’m Not Making Out With You” and “Freaks” were played. Everyone was jumping and dancing, screaming the words “I am just a freak” unapologetically.
No Surf Curse show would be complete without “Disco,” which was the encore performance after the crowd stuck around demanding one more song. Nick took a break from the drums to fully engage with the audience for this encore performance, running around the stage and proclaiming the lyrics from the heights of the monitors – at one point, he probably even contemplated jumping into the sea of fans that stood below him.
Surf Curse was the perfect way to close out the year 2022 – a passionate, energetic show featuring a talented group of musicians and an ecstatic crowd indicating their appreciation for surf punk rock.
Article By: Miles Campbell
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