Over a year ago, Surfer Blood released Carefree Theatre, their fifth studio album, and returned to their first label, Kanine Records. Surfer Blood finally toured behind the record and also returned to DC in a sold-out show at DC9 on Saturday. Ben Eisendrath was there to shoot the show.
Written and recorded in South Florida, Carefree Theatre is the first record the band has released since John Paul Pitts, the singer and main songwriter moved back to the state. It’s an album not as much looking back as coming full-circle.
The Carefree Theatre in West Palm Beach, Flordia, was the only venue in town for most of the band’s childhood; its where kids would go for everything from touring punk bands to community theater productions. It was the kind of experience that would expose a 21-year-old songwriter to a world outside of Florida, and inspire him to start a band and tour the country.
Watch Surfer Blood perform “Summer Trope” from Carefree Theatre at Shade Tree Studio on YouTube:
It was a leap of faith the band took in 2010 with the release of Astro Coast, the band’s celebrated debut. Surfer Blood’s rise was remarkable, from rehearsing in a Florida storage container to mainstage at Coachella and touring with the Pixies. Then after an all-too-commonplace major label disaster, the band rebounded quietly, putting out two adventurous albums and consistently touring the world for over a decade.
Here are photos of Surfer Blood, along with opening act Greenland, performing at DC9 on Nov. 13, 2021. All photos copyright and courtesy of Ben Eisendrath.