By Lejla Subašić

Based in Dana Point, California, a southern surf town, the Growlers emerged in 2006 from their own atmospheric blend of reverb-filled surf rock, country-folk, and psychedelia.
With their 2014 album, Chinese Fountain, The Growlers discovered some chart success after their release and helping to increase their audience, and in anticipation to City Club, an album from Cult Records that was produced by Julian Casablancas in 2016. The ensemble has released six albums to date, several EPs and multiple singles and is considered a trademark, creating a music genre known as “beach goth”. It’s exactly what one would think it might sound.

Around 8:30 PM, at Chicago’s beloved venue Metro in Wrigleyville, The Growlers came up in debonair on the dais following their opener, Pinky Pinky, a garage-rock all femme group. The arresting Brooks Nielsen, a person of great note, stripped down to a human instrument of voice and in a slither across the stage as his somatic practice consisted of storytelling moves ranging from clown-esque, rad dad, and “just another night at the karaoke bar.”

Nielsen was one to get away with simply just being, and not staying busy with superficial shock antics and a need to impress with instruments, keeping a rebellious spirit throughout night, completing a criteria of a successful show, yet flaccid in its overcoming chillness.

The little pleasant surprises of the night were the songs performed throughout their entirety of an ever-evolving discography of West African, reggae, disco, and punk (despite having just released a new album, Natural Affair) and of course, a keep it cool kid, Brad Bowers (on the bass), who lights a cigarette on stage, severely suave in garage- rock riffs amongst the philosophical and socially aware texts written by Nielsen and longtime bandmate since 2006 (The Growlers have come a long way) Matt Taylor.

Replenished by The Growlers’ carnality and a raspy low tone rush from the cowboy mouth of Nielsen, the audience kept their ears and eyes peeled, and opened their cranium, fulfilled with Wild West lyrical realness, as the listeners bind away in a spell. The front row liberated from Nielsen’s powerhouse hands, cast away hearts. Nielsen gives the audience a chance to showcase their environment of thrill holding a microphone to their faces, bound by striking shrieks as if struck by lightning and utterly moved by the Californian outfit in a field of red and blue lights. The audience rapport was merely physical.

Currently, the members consist of singer Brooks Nielsen, lead guitarist Matt Taylor and keyboard player/guitarist Kyle Straka.

Set List:
1. Dull Boy
2. Naked Kids
3. Night Ride
4. Love Test
5. The Daisy Chain
6. Someday
7. When You Were Made
8. Derka Blues
9. The Moaning Man From Shanty Town
10. Graveyard’s Full
11. Not the Man
12. Drop Your Phone in the Sink
13. Natural Affair
14. Foghorn Town
15. Monotonia
16. Problems III
17. Dope on a Rope
18. Good Advice
19. Vacant Lot
20. City Club
21. Chinese Fountain

22. I’ll Be Around
23. Going Gets Tuff


8/2 Neighborhood Theatre, Charlotte, NC
8/3 Variety Playhouse, Atlanta, GA §
8/4 Music Farm, Charleston, SC §
8/7 Varsity Theatre, Baton Rouge, LA ǂ
8/8 White Oak Music Hall, Houston, TX ǂ
8/9 Paper Tiger, San Antonio, TX ǂ
8/10 Granada Theater, Dallas, TX ǂ
8/13 Palp Festival, Bagnes, Switzerland
8/15 E-Werk, Erlangen, Germany
8/16 Lowlands, Biddinghuizen, NL
8/17 La Route Du Rock, Saint-Malo, France
8/18 Green Man Fest, Brecon Beacons, UK
9/5 Rust Belt, East Moline, IL #
9/6 Metro, Chicago, IL #
9/7 Metro, Chicago, IL #
9/8 The Majestic Theatre, Detroit, MI #
9/10 College Street Music Hall, New Haven, CT #
9/11 Pearl Street, Northampton, MA #
9/12 Union Transfer, Philadelphia, PA #
9/13 Black Cat, Washington, DC #
9/14 Central Park SummerStage, NYC, NY☆
9/17 Songbirds, Chattanooga, TN
9/18 Vinyl Music Hall, Pensacola, FL
9/19 Crowbar, Tampa, FL
9/20 Culture Room, Fort Lauderdale, FL
9/21 The Plaza Live, Orlando, FL
9/22 Sing Out Loud Festival at Backyard Stage
9/25 Orange Peel, Asheville, NC
9/26 The Burl, Lexington, KY
9/27 Turner Hall Ballroom, Milwaukee, WI
9/28 First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN
10/1 Ace of Spades, Sacramento, CA
10/2 TBA, Arcata, CA
10/3 Crystal Ballroom, Portland, OR
10/4 McDonald Theatre, Eugene, OR
10/5 The Showbox, Seattle, WA
10/6 The Showbox, Seattle, WA
10/31 Hollywood Palladium, Los Angeles, CA
11/1 Hollywood Palladium, Los Angeles, CA
11/2 Hollywood Palladium, Los Angeles. CA

with Special Guests:
♥ = The Flaming Lips
♂ = Broncho
Ʊ = Diane Coffee
Ӂ = Tagua Tagua
§ = Ceramic Animal
ǂ = Video Age
# = Pinky Pinky
☆ = with The Lemonheads + The Nude Party