Walking into a venue just as a band is starting to play is the best feeling ever. This is what happened on Wednesday night as Surf Rock is Dead started their opening set for Public Service Broadcasting as I went in the door. The band was having a blast on stage and were happy to be playing on their home turf. Their set, while short, was a straight shot of rock and roll to the brain. The crowd gave it right back to them too. Watching young bands play a hell of a set of music is needed in today’s world.
After a short change over, the stage darkened and for the rest of the night Public Service Broadcasting took the audience on a sonic and visual journey. The members don’t sing and just play their asses off as backing tracks that were used on the album for vocals are played. It’s not just regular vocals though, as any fan of the band knows, they use archival radio, television, and film audio. The footage shown across the screen behind them go right along with whatever audio they may be using, whether it’s about the space race or the coal mining industry from the 1950’s to the 1980’s.
The barrage of this can be quite overwhelming, but it gets their message of trying to fix the future through music by showing the past through clips across. The world is in a wild state right now, but when you can watch artists do amazing work on stage, you can get a sense that everything is going to be ok. J Willgoose, Esq. is the leader of the band and walked the crowd through the set with some jokes and introductions to the songs. He’s a shy front man, but someone has to do it. Wrigglesworth is a metronome on the drums while JF Abraham plays an amazing assortment of instruments to fill out the sound. Watching the three of them be perfectly in synch with one another and the projections for an hour and a half is just jaw dropping. While their older songs got a bigger hand, the latest album is right in line with their best songs. If the band happens to come back around during this album cycle, missing them would be a disservice to yourself.
Article: Bryan Lasky