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Concert Review: The Growlers at Majestic Theatre

the growlers

by Justin Trudell

Apparently, “Beach Goth” is a thing: it’s a genre invented by The Growlers, who were Thursday evening’s main attraction at The Majestic Theatre.

Take a song like “Wipe Out” Now imagine writing that song while reading YouTube comments on a comfortably warm summer sunny day while vacationing some exotic island. Yeah… You’re going to need all the sunshine and recreation available to cheer you up from that constant onslaught of negativity. With that, Beach Goth was born.

The genre they perform wasn’t the only odd thing about their show. The Growlers opted to have a couple DJ precede them, rather than an opening band or two. Weird for a rock act, right? I thought so, but after experiencing The Growlers, it made perfect sense.

Their hour and a half set was mainly comprised of non-stop grooving, dancefloor-calling tunes. Occasionally, they took breaks and tuned their guitars and lead singer, Brooks Nielsen, made a few comical quips. Less spacey than a jam band, but more rhythm than a surf-rock band. A delightfully robust set, indeed.

The highlight was definitely the 10-minute exploration through City Club’s title track. The irresistible drumbeat made even a grumpy wanker like me break through the stone in my hips to sway back and forth. Throw in some retro electric organ, saucy guitar licks, and raspy Bob Dylan-like vocals from Nielsen, and you transform a traditionally uptight hipster crowd from nervous accounting interns into uninhibited Soul Train dancers.

I wasn’t the only one who emerged from my comfort zone. Everyone was exploring the possibilities of dancing beyond the two-step. Couples were swinging from each other’s arms, guys were moving like they actually didn’t care if they embarrassed themselves, and, for some reason, one girl even did the splits. It was a scene, man.

Nobody wanted the night to end. Sadly, the music had to stop. Contrary to popular belief, the show couldn’t go on. The Growlers’ concert was a microcosm of life: we know it’s depressing and transient, but let’s enjoy the hell out of it while it’s happening. I guess similar thoughts are the reason behind Beach Goth’s existence.

Check out a video clip of their performance of “City Club” from our Instagram.

#thegrowlers making asses shake! #cityclub #cityclubtour #losgrowlers #beachgoth #brooksnielsen

A video posted by How Was It Detroit (@howwasitdetroit) on

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