Live Review: Nada Surf, The Goldhearted

24 September 2012 | 3:35 pm | Danielle O'Donohue

More Nada Surf More Nada Surf

It's been almost ten years since New York trio Nada Surf last played in Australia. Quietly going about their business making sublime indie pop, a return visit has been long overdue. Label bosses at the band's new local record company Stop/Start obviously agreed, wasting no time in bringing out the band to support their new album The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy.

Local lads The Goldhearted got things going with a jangly set filled with gorgeous light guitar runs and meaty rhythms. Sometimes the vocals sounded a little too heavy over the top of the rich, pop feel of the songs, but with very little stage time under their belts, The Goldhearted are bound to tighten up the more they play.

Nada Surf took the stage as a four-piece, as ex-Guided By Voices guitarist Doug Gillard came along for the ride after appearing on much of their most recent album. Starting their set with that album's opening track Clear Eye Clouded Mind, Nada Surf held the rowdy crowd in thrall for every minute of the almost two hour long set the band worked their way through. And, if that wasn't enough, frontman Matthew Caws played acoustic after the main set too as a thank you for our ten years of patience.

Though their early hit single Popular was missing (it is, after all, somewhat of a back catalogue anomaly), earlier material like the stunning Killian's Red and crowd favourite Blonde On Blonde fitted seamlessly alongside the shimmering harmonies of newer tracks Jules And Jim and the quiet power that infused the slow melancholy of When I Was Young.

Don't miss a beat with our FREE daily newsletter

Though the band hasn't spent much time in Australia, Caws was keen to show his appreciation for the Australian artists that have influenced the band's sound, so a cover of The Go-Betweens' Love Goes On! was given the lush Nada Surf treatment without losing that unique Go-Betweens-ness.

The whole set coasted along on a wave of sublime harmonies and gorgeous melodies. The key trio of Caws, Ira Elliot (drums) and Daniel Lorca (bass) have been playing together for so long now that they are all an extension of each other; a tightly locked music box that thrilled from start to finish.