Drowners at Pub Rock Live
Drowners at Pub Rock Live 10/11
by Deanna Romani
“This is our first time in Scottsdale, Arizona,” Drowners lead singer Matt Hitt cooed into his mic to a room full of fans at the beginning of their set on October 11th. Everyone in the room, parents sitting in the bar area included, swooned over his Welsh accent and bobbed their heads along to the chill vibes that were radiating around the venue.
I had the opportunity to meet Drowners before their show, and though I was intimidated by their leather jackets in the 90-degree Arizona weather, they were probably one of the nicest bands I’ve had the honor of meeting. We chatted about Arizona, how to spell my name, the venue they were playing at (they hadn’t visited the venue yet, so they were asking us questions about it,) and then we had gotten on the topic that The Blaze has some Drowners tunes in rotation, which they were very honored to hear and were genuinely interested to learn about the station.
After getting settled once arriving at the venue, the opening act hit the stage. Support that evening was provided by Tempe-based local band Instructions, who had given off a very Scott Pilgrim vs. The World vibe from the moment they stepped onstage. The crowd fed off of the trio’s energy, dancing and bobbing their heads along like any other indie show you would go to.
Drowners hit the stage a bit after, maintaining a very laid back but also high-energy show throughout the night. Whether it was Hitt thanking the crowd after every song to the fans in the front row trying to see what songs were being played by peering at the set lists (which the band had quickly written on paper plates prior to showtime,) the crowd was enjoying themselves. When the band introduced “Luv, Hold Me Down,” cheers were heard throughout the venue as well as slightly off tune singing along.
The band promoted their latest release, their self-titled debut album, which they played nearly in its entirety. The trio had the entire audience and some bar-goers in the palms of their hands, sounding exactly like they do on the record. The crowd ranged from chill indie concertgoers standing and taking in the music to fans who had waited in line for quite a while just to be center stage during their set. The contrasting audience didn’t change how the band performed that night, and they later posted on their official Twitter that they hope they get to play a show at Pub Rock Live again.
That being said, Drowners’ album is one of my personal favorites this year and hearing it live solidified my opinion. They give off the same vibes like bands such as The Vaccines, Vampire Weekend and HAIM, but lyrically sound like The 1975, The Strokes and Arctic Monkeys (ironically, they served as the support for Arctic Monkeys on tour last year.) Drowners are currently doing what they’re best at and what they love the most, and that’s making music together. They’re the perfect blend of underground New York City music and indie rock, leaving me very eager to see what’s in store next.