This past week, psychedelic/shoegaze band Froth made their way up to Santa Cruz to play a show at the Crepe Place. I’ve seen Froth once before down in Pomona and it was a spectacle to behold. The lighting, visuals, and fog was amazing to see onstage. The audience, primarily being from the LA and OC area, were ecstatic. Knowing that a lot of UCSC students come from the Southern California area, I got to the Crepe Place as soon as I can to try to relive the experience.
It should be known that the Crepe Place is a very small venue (capacity of about 100 people) and tends to fill up very quickly. In essence, I didn’t see Froth at a concert venue, I saw Froth at the most active and packed house show I’ve ever attended. Anticipation for Froth to play was high. The band could barely get some of their gear through the front door in order to set up and play. Once everything was set up, the Crepe Place exploded. I knew the crowd was going to go crazy, but I completely underestimated how crazy it was going to go. Joojoo’s voice and guitar filled the room being backed by Nick’s ethereal guitar effects, Cameron’s insane drumming, and Jeremy’s bass holding the rhythm. At first, Froth was sort of jamming, but they started gaining more and more energy as the night went on. The energy of the crowd was feeding the band, and the band was sending more energy right back at the crowd. I don’t know how nobody didn’t get injured. People jumped so high their heads hit the ceiling, some guy climbed on other people to crowd surf, people were falling over the PA, and the venue was well above legal capacity. It was fantastic! It is by far and away the best show I have ever seen at the Crepe Place. It’s one of those shows that will go down in history as a legendary show.
Froth was really great playing under the pressure of the large crowd. They mostly played songs off they’re latest and best album “Bleak”. Songs like “On My Chest” and “Afternoon” were played so much louder and denser than what’s on the album. “Bleak” already was pretty breath taking, but hearing the songs live took the air out of my lungs. Joojoo and Nick playing together is a wonderful dynamic that comes out so much better live than it does on the record. Their guitar playing is very complementary and is best done when it’s mixed equally throughout a whole song. Also, I’m not sure how Cameron doesn’t break any drum heads after seeing how hard he hit his drums. He’s loud and furiously fast, but nails fills and triplets like they’re nothing. Jeremy’s bass playing is so much better live as well. As it is a key component on most of their songs, hearing it much louder and bassier than the recorded version adds another layer of tonal depth to the instrumentation that is really the cherry of the ice cream sundae. A personal favorite of mine from the concert was when they broke out into a near-perfect cover of “Needle In Camel’s Eye” by Brian Eno. I had to put away my camera that I was using to photograph the show and jam out to that. As a huge Brian Eno fan, I really appreciate that they did that.
Check out “Bleak” here along with Froth’s other releases.