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Wavves, FIDLAR & Cheatahs played Glasslands (pics, review); play Shea Stadium tonight

photos by PSquared Photography; words by Bill Pearis

Wavves/FIDLAR/surfer @ Glasslands, 4/11/2013
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This was one of the wildest, crowd-surfingest, beer-flinging shows I’ve been to in a long time, with a crowd clearly already in weekend party mode and two acts — Wavves and FIDLAR — right there with them. Both bands share a similar sound, and probably recreational activities. It was a very fun night.

Wavves, who are on the heels of a very catchy new album, headlined and have come a long way since the first time I saw them at SXSW 2009, the band being as tight as they need be with the punky pop material. The crowd sang along loudly while hurling themselves into each other to most of the songs, which cherry-picked from Wavves’ output to date. Most of them, at least. One guy spent the whole show by the stage, Sharpie in hand, trying to get bassist (and former Reatard) Stephen Pope to sign his CD. (Dude, just wait till after show!) Nathan Williams seemed a little subdued for most of the set but lept onto crowd during the last song, surfing over to Glasslands’ balcony where he pulled himself up onto it before diving back down into it.

FIDLAR‘s Zac Carper, meanwhile, matched the crowd the crowd leap for leap during their raucous set. Before the end of the first song he was rolling on the stage floor, a position he’d be in more than once before their set finished. Carper also let us know what FIDLAR stands for about six times (“Fuck it Dog Life’s A Risk” if you’re wondering) and what drug each song was about (meth, LSD, pot, cocaine, cheap beer, some were not about drugs). These guys are playing standard fare skatepunk that doesn’t do a lot for me on record, but there is no denying the genuine energy they bring live. Gleeful mayhem.

Openers Cheatahs were the band I was most looking forward to. A little more on the early ’90s shoegaze tip, the London-based band were tight and sounded great — somewhere between Swervedriver and Smeared-era Sloan (their singer is actually from Canada, wonder if he’s a fan) — but they seemed to eschew most of their hookiest songs in favor of newer, more ambitious material. But maybe that’s what you do when you’ve got the 8:45 slot, test out new stuff. Still, when they launched into their soaring track “The Swan” (from the terrific, just-released U.S. introduction, Extended Plays), Cheatahs shined.

All three bands, who’ve been touring together for about a month, play Brooklyn again tonight (4/12) at Shea Stadium which, as you might expect from such a small venue, is sold out. More pics from Glasslands — including a couple of, yes, the venue’s new bathrooms — are below.

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