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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Wednesday, March 29

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Concert Mon Dec 01 2008

Nada Surf @ The Metro, 11-29-08

nada surf

I always get a little nervous when going to an 18+ show at the Metro. You simply never know what you're getting yourself into. Such was the case Saturday night when I ventured out to see Nada Surf. I had concers about what I would find what I would find inside, as I honestly had no clue what kind of audience even goes to a Nada Surf concert. All I know about this band is their new album and the fact that I used to sing "Popular" all throughout high school. Would the rest of the audience be my age or would they all be 18 and 19?

Once inside, all of my fears of a crowd much younger than myself were both confirmed and dismissed. Yeah, there were 18 yr olds, but there was also a much older crowd at this show. Many of my fellow concert-goers were well into their 40s. The first thing I noticed when I walked in was the incredibly high excitement level in the air. It was the type of feeling that you can sense in people that don't usually get to go to concerts and then they mystically have tickets to their favorite band. Delta Spirit was on stage, doing their wholesomely rocking thing, and a guy that must have been seven feet tall and 250 pounds was just dancing away, having the greatest of times.

One of my favorite things about the Metro is their meticulous attention to the schedule. Every set is a specific length and there are clocks and postings all over the venue to remind both the audience and the artists. Not 20 minutes after Delta Spirit was done, Nada Surf took the stage.

The show was your average rock show at the Metro, complete with power ballads, an appearance from The Jealous Girlfriends' Holly Miranda. What I took away from the show, though, was commnitas. When you go to a concert, you can usually expect the band to ask you to sing a couple of lines at some point, that's to be expected. Artists do it all the time, sometimes to disastrous results. Not at this show, though. When the band asked us all to sing, we sang. It was nothing complicated, just some simple "la la las" to get us all through to the next song. What happened next, though, surprised me in a very positive way. Nada Surf asked us to dance. They didn't just simply tell us, "Hey guys, you should dance during this song." They actually had a little side-stepping routine planned for us and after showing us how it was done, they began their song. To my amazement, the entire audience (save a couple of lame folks that thought they were too cool for it) actually started doing the dance. I felt completely geeky and out of place and self-aware, but I also loved it. I loved being in a scene from a cheesy music movie from the 90s. Often, concerts can be a personal experience. You may share the evening with a friend or two, but it's very rare that you leave the venue feeling as if you've been a part of an ensemble all night. 'Twas very gratifying.

Nada Surf tends to visit Chicago often. They even noted at one point that they've lost count of how many times they've played the Metro. My advice to you? If you're feeling particularly sour and in need of of a shared experience? Go check them out the next time they're in town.

Photo by Flickr user cshimala

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Bill V / December 1, 2008 12:20 PM

Did not make it Saturday, but have learned to love their shows. They make it very easy to enjoy a night of rock music without the baggage some other acts bring.

Ed Head / December 1, 2008 4:51 PM

Why were you worried about the audience being younger than you?

Also, I like syncronized dancing. That pretty cool that everyone did it.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »


  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock


Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
Green Mill
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
Mayne Stage
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
The Promontory
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

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  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
Laurie's Planet of Sound
Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records

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