LIVE REVIEW: SUR @ THE PEPPERMINT CLUB

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STORY // ANGIE PICCIRILLO

PHOTOGRAPHY // CAMERON JORDAN

I was on my flight to Austin for SXSW and after a conversation with a guy sitting next to me (whom I had seen check a guitar with the flight attendant) I realized that SUR was on the flight with us. I’d been following SUR, also known as Zack Arnett, since “Lean Back” was released last September, and ironically — I had him on my schedule to check out that very same evening.
No, he wasn’t sitting next to me, that would just be too weird of the universe, right? We were sitting with the band. A few rows in front of us, was Zack — wearing a backward baseball cap. My first question was to ask where his Stetson hat was, but then stupidly remembered that must be some sort of costume or performance wear…. But being the stalker that I am, I watched him get his bags off the carousel once we landed, just to see if “Zack” was somehow different from “SUR.
My taste in music has always leaned heavily toward rock, so seeing SUR take the stage with a full band with very loud drums and guitar made my heart so happy. But while SUR has an epic, bombastic, huge sound — he’s not the same as a traditional so-called “Rock” band. This isn’t “old man rock” in any shape or form. Zack will throw in a soul R&B vocal run out of nowhere, and then launch into a full rap verse, making it damn near impossible to stamp a genre on him. SUR is somehow the modern day much cooler vibe that Kid Rock wished he could be, but just never quite made it — and yet in the end, he’s not like Kid Rock either, because there’s so many more layers to his sound.

The project is the brainchild of Zack Arnett who built a makeshift studio in the back of an RV and traveled through the desert, national parks and Big Sur. Those travels led to the gritty and melodic sounds of what would become SUR.
I watched SUR at multiple shows at SXSW and watched him convert “passersby” into “major fans” within a few songs. And I’m talking like, screaming girl type fans who would fight over stickers and things that he would toss into the audience. Let’s just say, I’m glad I wasn’t the only one….
SUR already has a few major jams out including “Make it ‘Til Morning,” and “Lean Back” and will follow these with his debut EP on May 18th, and then launch into the SAVAGE BEAST tour.
 
SAVAGE BEAST TOUR
May 18              Los Angeles, CA             Bootleg Theater
May 19              Santa Barbara, CA         Velvet Jones
May 22              Carmel, CA                       Folktale Winery & Vineyards
May 23              Sacramento, CA             Holy Diver
May 24              Berkeley, CA                   Cornerstone Berkeley
May 25              Bradley, CA                      Lightning in a Bottle Festival (Grand Artique Stage)
May 29              San Diego, CA                 Casbah
May 30              Anaheim, CA                   Parish @ House of Blues
 

CONNECT WITH SUR

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