The Growlers Serenade a Sold-Out Crowd of ‘Lovers’

The Bunkhouse Saloon, Feb. 13

Photo by Alexander Zayas

Photo by Alexander Zayas

The crowd surfers, showers of beer and sea of phone cameras didn’t faze the Growlers frontman Brooks Nielsen. He seized nearly every opportunity to crack a joke as he led the Orange County garage-rockers through a boisterous 24-song set. “Do not hesitate to back that ass up, if you feel so inclined,” Nielsen told a sold-out crowd.

Nielsen’s croon—think Jim Morrison with the raspiness of Bob Dylan—separates the band from its contemporaries. It’s most evident on “Naked Kids” and “One Million Lovers.” The guitar-driven upbeats of “Dull Boy” and “Going Gets Tough” turned into jam sessions, and the six-piece led the venue in a rowdy dance party that was the cause of countless spilled drinks and even a fight. Nielsen’s snarky nostalgic comments reflected the mood of the night. “As a band, we grew up visiting this city. It’s a shit show—still is, but we love it.” ★★★✩✩

Photos by Alexander Zayas

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