Rogue Wave Bring New Tunes, Dance Party, and Nada Surf to Sold-Out Show
by Annie Reuter
The night after their record release, Rogue Wave have much to celebrate. Their first album in over two years, Permalight, brings a new sound and optimism. And, considering what frontman Zach Rogue and drummer Pat Spurgeon have been through the past few years, this comes as no surprise.
In September 2008, Rogue played a solo show opening for Nada Surf. Two days later, he woke up and couldn’t move. Doctors determined he slipped two discs in his neck, which were pressing on his spinal cord. Confined to his bed for months, Rogue said he felt like he was dying. Meanwhile, Spurgeon spent time on the road touring with “D Tour,” a documentary chronicling his search for a living kidney donor between performances and twice-daily dialysis.
When working on their fourth studio album, Rogue told Spurgeon he “wanted to make a total dance album. When I started writing I wanted to make a record that was a little more up, a record you could move your body to because I couldn’t move for so long.”
And that they did. From the looks of the crowd at their sold-out Bowery Ballroom show last night, they succeeded. Playing for nearly two hours, Rogue Wave debuted several tracks off their new album as well as played some fan favorites. Starting off the night with the energetic “Stars and Stripes,” Spurgeon’s strong drum beat and the band’s unyielding guitar sound reverberated throughout the venue.
“It’s good to be back in New York City!” Rogue said before segueing into the hopeful “Good Morning.” With light strings reminiscent to that found on a Christmas tree lined up on their mic stands, keyboards and drum kit, the night was truly a festive occasion. “So our new record came out yesterday. Is there a better place to celebrate such things than in New York? I don’t think so,” Rogue added.
Switching gears from the more dance-y vibe of earlier tracks, “Per Anger” showcased a heavier bass-centered beat before breaking down to an atmospheric vibe mid song. “Solitary Gun” found Rogue alone on acoustic guitar at the start of the track before the rest of the band entered. An emotional song, before singing, Rogue told the audience the National Kidney Foundation was at the show. “Pat is alive because of organizations like them.”
“We haven’t been on tour in a long time so it’s nice to see your pretty faces,” Rogue said. Their third show of the tour, the crowd was receptive yelling song requests to which Rogue often responded. After performing their first older track of the night, “Publish My Love,” from 2005’s Descended Like Vultures, one fan yelled, “Zach that was perfect! I’ve been waiting my whole life for that!”
The crowd held similar sentiments. While their set highlighted the new material, fans enjoyed the older songs where they sung along word for word. However, the newer tracks never lost intensity. A song about rising above the negativity on the Internet, “We Will Make a Song Destroy” found the crowd clapping along with a powerful darkness featured within the musical accompaniment. Rogue even joked afterwards, “That got all my angst out.”
Jumping into the crowd with drumsticks in hand, Rogue joined fans on the floor before a minute long drum break. A man entered the stage on drums wearing a marching band hat. “That was Ira from Nada Surf in case you were wondering,” Rogue told the crowd. “Apparently his marching band was in town and made a stop.”
That wasn’t the only surprise. “Tonight’s a special night. I’m not going to tell you why. You’ll see in a minute. I’m very excited because one of my favorite singers in all the world is here,” Rogue said. A minute later, Nada Surf frontman Matthew Caws came out for the band’s encore performance.
Ending the night with “Permalight,” the title track off their most recent release, Rogue invited a dozen fans onstage to close the night with a dance party. “This song is about living in the present tense.” From the sound of their latest release, that’s what Rogue Wave have been doing.
More Rogue Wave photos and tour dates after the jump.
2010 Rogue Wave Tour Dates
Mar 08 2010 The Loft Atlanta, Georgia
Mar 09 2010 Mercy Lounge Nashville, Tennessee
Mar 10 2010 Bottletree Birmingham, Alabama
Mar 12 2010 Harvest of Hope Festival Armstrong, Florida
Mar 13 2010 The Social Orlando, Florida
Mar 15 2010 One Eyed Jacks New Orleans, Louisiana
Mar 16 2010 Warehouse Live Houston, Texas
Mar 17 2010 The Loft Dallas, Texas
Apr 07 2010 Rio Theatre Santa Cruz, California
Apr 09 2010 Wonder Ballroom Portland, Oregon
Apr 10 2010 Neumo’s Seattle, Washington
Apr 13 2010 Fox Theatre Boulder, Colorado
Apr 14 2010 The Bottleneck Lawrence, Kansas
Apr 15 2010 Fine Line Cafe Minneapolis, Minnesota
Apr 16 2010 High Noon Saloon Madison, Wisconsin
Apr 17 2010 Lincoln Hall (Early Show) Chicago, Illinois
Apr 17 2010 Lincoln Hall (Late Show) Chicago, Illinois
Apr 20 2010 Mojo’s Columbia, Missouri
Apr 21 2010 Cain’s Ballroom Tulsa, Oklahoma
Apr 24 2010 Club Congress Tucson, Arizona
Apr 27 2010 Belly Up Tavern Solana Beach, California
Apr 29 2010 El Rey Theatre Los Angeles, California
Apr 30 2010 The Fillmore San Francisco, California
Rogue Wave at Bowery Ballroom (by Jon Klemm)