I’ve seen SURFER BLOOD a bunch of times cuz I bounce between NYC and Miami, and they’re always solid. And more importantly for this story, they’re always nice and happy. A large aspect of their onstage presence is that kinda fun vibe they emit. Well you could tell this show was gonna be completely different from the first song; you could tell it was more of a disjointed performance, with every band member kinda just looking deep in thought. After the band labored through about 3 songs like that, guitarist Tom Fekete leaned into the mic and said, “This is a nice venue, it’s a shame that it is ran by a bunch of dicks.” At which point lead singer J.P. Pitts interjected, “We will never play here again.” Seems like that was enough for Poplife, the promoters of the show held at Miami’s newest venue Grand Central, to breach their oral contract and refuse to pay the band that which was guaranteed: $1,000. Of course the band was given an opportunity to earn their cut if they would have just all together apologized to the promoter. But that’s not rock ‘n roll, is it? It’s much more rock ‘n roll to stand by the “dick” assessment and walk off, empty handed, which is exactly what SURFER BLOOD did. And Poplife made a good chunk of change, with 600 tickets being sold at $20 a pop, a high ticket price SURFER BLOOD takes serious issue with, going as far as to say they would NOT have played had they known the cost.
In a blog post that surfaced today, the band explains what went down to lead to such unnecessary drama:
Turns out one of the band member’s girls, who also handles the merch on tour, was refused entry to the vip “corner” provided by the promoters; she was physically removed from the area, which turned out to be the apparent M.O. of security as Marcos, the tour percussionist, was also physically “touched.” None of it really mattered for the audience, though, cuz after song three, when the band shook off the night’s drama, they loosened up, likely fueled by the fact that the crowd was on their side, cheering them on, and put on one of the best SURFER BLOOD shows I’ve seen, and I’ve seen a bunch. The energy was amazing, the sound at Grand Central was off the chain and they basically played every song they’ve written, including their awesome new post-Astro Coast track I’m Not Ready. JP surfed the crowd while singing Swim. After the boys were able to vent, the party again resembled what we’ve come to expect from SURFER BLOOD: one of the best live acts touring. It’s a shame the night had to end the way it did for the band. I don’t know Poplife’s side of the story, but I don’t really care cuz I watched an entire show of SURFER BLOOD’s and it seems to me like that is full performance of a contract. You can’t be breaching contracts just cuz you get pissed; just cuz someone makes fun of you.
by: Brad Horenstein
UPDATE So Tom, the guitarist from SURFER BLOOD, who apparently runs the band’s twitter account, tweeted this two days after the incident: