"For the record wavves has NOT confirmed anything for sxsw I have no idea why they posted our name that shit is bogus" - Wavves
"wavves covered nervous breakdown. black flag covers are like birthday cakes, or pizza." - Joe Frontirre
Brooklyn may still be covered with a few layers of dirty, icy snow, but last night's bill at MHOW offered a brief respite from the cold, gray weather.
With their noisy, high-energy music, the first openers, No Joy, seemed a fitting addition to the evening's bill. The guitar levels may have been a bit muffled for much of their performance, but they powered through their set regardless. The two main singers let their long hair fall over their faces and around the microphone, pushing it back only between songs to make sure they got the timing right. They hardly said a word between songs or sought to engage the audience with anything resembling eye contact, but their performance exuded the most energetic manifestation of lethargy I've seen in quite a while. For their finale, they unassumingly crouched down on stage over pedals as the sound died out around them.
From the first few notes of Best Coast's set, the dynamic in the room shifted to make way for the band's deceptively upbeat songs of LA life, inertia, and unrequited love. The trio kicked off their set with "This is Real," a sweet little song with a buoyant chorus that sounds almost as if it were made for Tennis's Alaina Moore.
They stood far apart on stage, but the isolation seemed to work for them. Unlike No Joy's muddled sound, Best Coast benefited from a mix that emphasized each player's strong points. Though not particularly insightful, the short, poppy format and pleasantly innocuous lyrics ("I wish he was my boyfriend") made nearly every song sound like a single.
After breezing through much of their discography and a Loretta Lynn cover song, Best Coast concluded their set with "Each and Every Day," and at Bethany Cosentino's lead, the crowd gladly clapped along.
I confess I got a bit sleepy between sets, but I immediately perked back up as soon as Wavves began to play. Suddenly, the calmly swaying, casually dancing crowd turned into a whirlpool of activity as beach balls and (soft) frisbees were hurled into the sold-out room. Up front, a mosh pit developed almost instantaneously as if on cue.
After a number of heavily publicized debacles, it was good to see Wavves feel a bit more at home on stage. Sure, there was one false start when guitarist Nathan Williams got a little ahead of himself on the set list, but other than that, the boys kept it together. A few songs in, Williams even paused a few seconds to deliver a little PSA about safety after one eager fan took a nasty stage dive into the unprepared crowd. "Guys, if somebody falls down, pick them up. Don't step on their face."
One of the highlights of the show came when another fan who had also managed to get on stage, overstayed his welcome and promptly got hurled back into the crowd by a bouncer. ("That was pretty good," said Williams afterward. "He got real leverage with that push!") (update: video below)
After Wavves' frenzied, encore-less set, I quickly surveyed the crowd from my spot in the balcony. The sweep of the spotlights revealed a couple making out and a number of happily bruised, disheveled people, searching for belongings that had gotten lost in the mad shuffle and grabbing a few beach balls as souvenirs on their way out.
The tour continues in Boston tonight. Two nights ago they played the larger Webster Hall in Manhattan. More pictures from the Brooklyn show (though none of No Joy - Bao had train problems), and Best Coast's setlist, below...
you can see the bouncer throw the dude off stage in this video
Best Coast set list
This is Real
Crazy For You
Make You Mine
Fist City (Loretta Lynn cover song)
Wish He Was You
I Want To
When I'm With You
That's the Way Boys Are
When the Sun Don't Shine
When You Wake Up (new song)
Something in the Way
Sun Was High (So Was I)
Each and Every Day