Another Noise Pop night, another sold-out show without disappointment. Another truly fun night at a San Francisco show (beers….good, German beers). The Soft Pack played to a packed Cafe Du Nord, which is fitting: The Castro venue is relaxed yet compact and loud; The Soft Pack— are the same. The crowd filled in soon after the 8 o’clock start time, staying entirely engaged during all three great openers - Surf Club, Fidlar, and Shannon and the Clams. I hadn’t heard Shannon and the Clams before but I’ve heard them loud and clear now, which is a bonus. The trio’s sound is truly original (which is saying something in the punk/surf rock scene); “If The Talking Heads put out a punk album,” as a friend put it.
The Soft Pack started late for a Thursday, at 10:45 (not schedule-wise but time-wise). It’s far ok; more beers. More good, German beers. Man, I love Hacker-Pschorr. Anyyyyyyway, the Soft Pack came out close to 11, starting out with energetic “Pull Out,” a rolling ode to wishful succession. That set the tone about right. With little words and little time in between their polished indie surf jolts, the band rolled right through their hour-long set. Sprinkled in among dependable crowd favorites, songs like “Mexico,” “Parasites” and “Answer to Yourself,” were a heavy dose of songs from their upcoming album (“Which we just finally finished recording,” as Matt Lamkin, the band’s lead singer, put it). Despite having not heard the unreleased songs the crowd couldn’t have cared less; bopping and dancing carried throughout. I also bopped and danced. If those songs are just a hint of what’s to come on the upcoming release, more bopping and dancing will ensue. After an hour, the band wrapped it up in typical Soft Pack fashion: no encore, a big finish, but not too big. Not a bad way to start the festival weekend, not at all….Happy Noise Pop!