Opening up for a legendary musician is no easy task; it creates an onus of displaying inordinate potential within a thirty minute set. Repeat Repeat, a band whose surf-rock sound manifests through a drum, a guitar, and two harmonious voices, somehow manages to harness a confidence in their act from the moment they take stage. They’re opening for Dick Dale, the man who is dubbed “king of surf-rock,” who is infamous for his composition of the Pulp Fiction song, and lesser known to have inspired some of the most adept, versatile guitarists of all time. When Repeat Repeat takes stage, a kicking drum line drops judgment and expectation from the audience; they’re meant to be here, playing this show, and all the Hawaiian t-shirts and post-forty Dale aficionados smile in reverence to young talent.
The most impressive part of Repeat Repeat’s set is their ability to craft meticulous, multi-dimensional sounds out of such limited instrumental means. Jared Corder articulates each note on his guitar with a staccato precision, while simulating the sound of the crest-heavy surf waves between chords. The sound is familiar, but draws on influences outside the genre of pure “surf”‘ rock, adding a grungy, basement vibe that appeals to the younger members of the audience. By the last song, one “about being in love and not having the money to give (her) what she deserves,” I am fully convinced. That the confidence with which the band takes stage is well-founded; they succeed in demonstrating the inordinate amount of talent and potential necessary to pull this kind of gig off.
After the band finishes their set, I turn around for my intermission cigarette, and overhear a conversation between two middle-aged men with Dick Dale t-shirts and posters yet to be signed. “That was amazing,” one notes, and I feel a strange happiness creep upon me; it is the kind of feeling you get when a generational gap is bridged by music that is solid and pure, catchy without faltering from a band’s unique charisma.
You can catch Repeat Repeat at this season’s East Nashville Underground, May 10-11.