10.7.17 // ACM@UCO // Oklahoma City, OK
Photos by Emma Watts // Words by Liz Watts
The self proclaimed beach goth-ers, The Growlers, sold-out their headlining show at the ACM Performance Lab. The night was kicked off by a last minute set from The Shelters- LA rockers that really set up the crowd for a night of rock n' roll.
The crowd was packed into the venue, and fans were still filing in as the main act started. Lead singer Brooks Nielson’s signature raspy voice was perfectly coupled with their synth rock sound- and lots of dancing across the stage with eccentric struts and marches, of course. Brooks' kept up the crowd energy by droppin’ in a few words between songs, and boy is he a character! The most notable statement really summed him up perfectly. For unknown reasons, the venue halted its alcohol sales and in a mess of drunken slurs, Brooks managed to get out the following:
“DO IT, put me on COPS,”
which is obviously the only way to react. For the most part though, Nielson seemed to be in his own little world, often crouching down and squinting into the crowd in a haze before popping back up and going about business as usual.
The Growler’s tunes can’t help but put you into a nostalgic mindset. Ya know, the 1950’s surf rock party you weren’t even alive for, but still remember? That one! There wasn’t a moment that I didn’t find someone bopping around or swaying with the person next to them. Some beautiful moments were during the crowd favorites like“One Million Lovers,” “City Club,”and “Chinese Fountain,” where even those who did the ~awkward shuffle~ for the most of the show were straight up poppin’ off and yelling every word.
The nearly two-hour set incorporated a good amount of songs from their most recent album City Club, but a handful of tracks from almost all of their previous five albums. This band is a prime example of a putting on a show you can groove to even if you don’t know a single word to the most popular song. Neilsen’s gravelly voice combined with the robust surf guitars made for a heck of a night- hip swaying and head-bobbing included.