Stage Fright: Concerts by the Socially Anxious: Wavves!

Nathan Williams and Stephen Pope, lead singer and bassist of Wavves, courtesy of YouTube.
Today, on this episode of Stage Fright: Concerts by the Socially Anxious: Wavves. But since this is my first blog with Rowdy Radio, I should probably introduce myself. My name is Casey ‘Kitty’ Cannon, and I’m a show host for Rowdy Radio After Hours! Come listen to us on the stream Tuesdays at 10pm for rad Indie/Rock/Alternative, and crazy conversations that get way out of hand.

I’m going to contribute to this series of concert review blogs under this (rather long) title. Some things, especially concerts, can give me a bad stutter and worse butterflies. Butterflies the size of pterodactyls, and are moshing as hard as everyone at the concerts. But enough about me, and on to the concert. Friday night, I went to Mohawk in Austin to see SWMRS, Twin Peaks, and WAVVES!

When we arrived, the show was sold out, and Mohawk was absolutely packed. The upper balconies were filled with people, and a crowd had already formed around the outdoor stage.
SWMRS cool LP art, courtesy of Muzoic.
Something that immediately stands out about this show is how great the opening bands were. SWMRS is an up and coming surf-punk band from Oakland, California. As far as surf-punk bands go, they are by far the youngest I’ve ever seen. They opened up the show with high energy music, and the crowd immediately morphed into a mosh pit. In between songs, the frontman, Cole Becker, would thank the audience for coming out early, and kept commenting about how much he loved the Austin crowd. They closed with a song called “Miley,” which is a punk-rock tribute to Miley Cyrus, calling her the Punk Rock Queen. Overall, they are definitely worth a listen.

Twin Peaks Wild Onion album cover, courtesy of The Line of Best Fit.
The next opener was Twin Peaks, a garage punk band from Chicago. Their music had a much more alternative feel compared to the band that preceded them, and included surprising tempo changes hypnotic vocals. Twin Peaks had less definite breaks in a lot of their songs, making their performance seem more like a long experience than a concert. I loved their strange dark sound, and felt like it was only enhanced by the long periods of nonstop dancing and energy. If you don't know where to start with them, try “Fade Away” from Wild Onion or “Irene” from Sunken.

Album art for V, courtesy of Consequence of Sound.
And finally: Wavves. I remember picking out King of the Beach from my boyfriend’s box of vinyls and how it sounded like nothing I had ever heard before, psychedelic and energetic. They opened with “Idiot,” and the whole pit was thrown into chaos. The audience was churning and screaming the lyrics, excitedly reaching out at lead singer Nathan Williams. They followed up with “Linus Spacehead,” which created a symphony of ‘oooing’ fans falling all over each other.
They proceeded to play a bunch of new songs from their new album V, which is releasing October 2nd. 

15 feet down, the crowd is ready to catch Nathan Williams. Courtesy of Twitter.
Wavves closed with "Green Eyes." At that point, the audience lost their minds, and I, personally, jumped up and down squealing, and sang the opening verses along with dozens of wailing fans. Nathan Williams then performed a stage dive from 15 feet above the crowd, from the upper balcony of Mohawk, something that Jesse managed to capture a video of! Warning though, seeing that jump makes my stomach hurt.
The style of Wavves has changed over the years, but based on "Heavy Metal Detox" and "My Head Hurts," I have faith in this next release. Some fans in the crowd were mumbling things like "Nirvana cover band" in reference to their new content, but a band changing up their sound every so often is less of a bad thing than a lot of music fans make it out to be. In fact, compared to more recent releases by Wavves, V feels as though it will have a little more energy behind it.

I wasn't entirely sure what to expect from seeing Wavves live, but I was not disappointed. The surf punk crowd in Austin might be the nicest concert goers I've ever met. The opening bands were good enough that we didn't feel impatient for the main act. When Wavves came on, they were on point the entire time.

1 comment :

  1. That was an incredible show, and the lineup was top notch! Thanks for the review!