Rock Report: John Moreland Surfside 7, Ft. Collins CO

It’s not so much that I only go to see really great songwriters where hardly no one is in the audience, it’s more that I only write Rock Reports about such evenings.

Last night I ventured down to Surfside 7 because John Moreland was coming through town. I am a recent convert but I’m already fully committed. Baptized and everything. Holy Ghost fire and whatnot. It was a Wednesday night and I don’t know if John Moreland has been to Ft. Collins before, so I wasn’t expecting much of a crowd and I was right.

Surfside 7 is the kind of bar people wander into but not many seemed to wander in by accident, but that mattered not because when it was Moreland’s turn to play he sat on a barstool, strapped on a guitar and sang the truth. Oh good lord, it was amazing. On several song John plays the guitar with his thumb and pointer finger, it’s a casually mesmerizing style that must take a lot of practice and touch. It’s something to see, is the point I’m trying to make. And because there were only a dozen folks in the bar I could see it just fine.

As well as Moreland plays and as well as he sings the beauty of his art is the songs he creates. I believe the third song he played he introduced as being written last week. Who knows if that means it’s been cooking in the oven for several months and was just finished last week or if it had all come together so recently, but the song was amazing. Every song he played in the roughly 50 minute set was amazing. Well worth the $3 cover charge.

I’ve been fortunate to hear Moreland’s upcoming album and it is a really barn burner (due out in June) and most of the songs on the album were played last night. For me the highlight of the set came early when he played “Nobody Gives A Damn About Songs Anymore.” It is a beautiful song about the art of songwriting and the devaluing it’s always facing. But as the statement sounds negative, I believe it has the opposite affect on us (readers of 9B and lovers of quality music). We must, no matter our numbers, support and love the art that moves us. Songs Matter is a phrase that’s been on my mind a lot the last month and it holds true for all of Moreland catalog.

After the set I only geeked out a little. For High Life bottles isn’t that much, but I did shake John’s hand three times while buying a record.

Two somewhat related points:

1. Cory and Kyle from Arliss Nancy both played really great, brief acoustic sets to open the night. AN has really grown on me in the last year or so.

2. While I was seeing John Moreland in Colorado, AutopsyIV was seeing Joe Pug in Florida and my friends in Mississippi were catching American Aquarium. Not a bad Wednesday night. We may not be large numbers but we are everywhere.

Songs Matter
John Moreland – Nobody Gives A Damn About Songs Anymore

8 thoughts on “Rock Report: John Moreland Surfside 7, Ft. Collins CO”

  1. He just played here in San Luis Obispo last night to a similarly small number of people. However just about everyone who was there ended up buying a record from him.

  2. I saw John on a triple bill with Andrew Anderson (opening) and Michael Dean Damron (headlining) in Portland on Saturday night and it was phenomenal. I’ve got all John’s published stuff, and I don’t think he played a single song from any of them — the only one I recall being familiar with was “Nobody Gives A Damn About Songs Anymore”, and that from his Youtube video. If you get a chance to see John perform, I suggest you take it.

    (Aside: after having heard Charles do a few 9b podcasts, I couldn’t help but hear this blog post in his spoken voice — and he’s got a real knack for writing in the same way that he speaks. Very nicely done, sir.)

    1. You’re very kind. Your words about my writing almost makes that $30,000 for a masters in creative writing worth it.
      That was a joke. My appreciation is not.

  3. “We may not be large numbers but we are everywhere.”

    And when our powers combine…….(was thinking of a captain planet themed band list) instead of “earth, wind, heart, etc” it’d be more like “Moreland, Pug, Barham, etc” and when these powers do combine, shit will most definitely explode – most likely an amplifier or something, but nonetheless there will be explosions

    Sorry may still be drunk from last night that may make ZERO sense but…..freedom of speech bitches

      1. I’ll take three as a compliment lol

        My girlfriend calls my thinking “dissociation” or “abstract thinking” (which is a nice way of saying that I’m fucked in the head) – but back to the topic I love to hear about other folks going out to the shows, so thanks for the write-up! I feel the same way & get out to as many as I possibly can, keep up the good work (& the show-going-to)

  4. PS – Bryan / Autopsy, saw you say something about thug kitchen on your twitter feed thing – curiosity got the best of me & I had to check it out – that shit is fucking awesome man, my sister (& roommate) is pretty much vegan so I turned her onto it as well…..that dude is one funny motherfucker (kind of reminds me of the badass of the week guy’s writing but with a more BOSS type attitude lol).

    So thanks for the heads up on that – great recipes & funny as hell!

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