Front Row

Surfer Blood: NPR Front Row

Surfer Blood's live sets are more about charm than spectacle: While the band's music is a punchy mix of infectious pop and rock, you're not likely to see pyrotechnics or stage diving. Its members instead seem to connect with their fans on a personal level, even when a large mob is jumping up and down together.

For this performance at SXSW, presented by The Warner Sound at the Belmont in Austin, Texas, Surfer Blood frontman John Paul Pitts arrived with a cat's nose and whiskers painted on his face. At one point, he climbed down from the stage and slipped into the crowd while singing; fans seemed almost reverent as they cleared a path for Pitts, who circulated for several minutes before returning to the stage for a keyboard solo.

Surfer Blood appeared as part of a large lineup and had to cut several songs from its set because of time constraints. But the group managed to include at least one highlight from its upcoming second album, Pythons, with the song featured here: "Demon Dance."


Producers: Saidah Blount, Mito Habe-Evans, Robin Hilton, Amy Schriefer; Assistant Producer: Denise DeBelius; Audio Engineers: Josh Rogosin, Kevin Wait; Videographers: Mito Habe-Evans, Katie Hayes Luke; Editor: Gabriella Garcia-Pardo; Special Thanks to: South By Southwest, The Belmont, The Warner Sound; Executive Producers: Anya Grundmann, Keith Jenkins

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