WAVVES, Cloud Nothings & Dom @ Knitting Factory (pics)
words by Andrew Frisicano, photos by Alex Reside
Wavves, Cloud Nothings and Dom all had the honor of ringing in the second annual Northside Festival at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn Thursday night (6/24).
Dom upgraded their band since last I saw them, with psychedelic video projections being mixed live on stage and a new guitarist, though there's still a pre-recorded backing track for some of the songs. One track snuck out of the speakers a song early, giving up a snippet of their ace single "Living in America," which the band jumped on. They stormed through that, then closed with their slightly bent cover of Polaris's "Hey Sandy." Their evolution from smooshed laptop pop to a working live band has pulled some interesting sounds out of the group. New songs (and some of the rearranged old ones) had a Man or Astroman-esque sci-fi surf feel to them, with Dom's trebly, effects-tweaked vocals chiming in.
At Dom's Mercury Lounge show a while back, there were some mildly antagonistic jabs at the crowd. Not so much here though in one inspired moment Dom announced that he would be giving away a copy of their EP, and then sang a full minute or two of a song dangling it in front of the crowd before flinging it over their heads. It was a non-musical diversion sure, but an endearing, slightly goofy touch.
Cloud Nothings surprised me with their smart, briskly-paced pub punk. Not a slow song in their set. The frantic drummer kept them propelled while the rhythm section's other half spurted out consistently witty basslines. Their proficiency wasn't the only selling point though. There were with plenty of hooks and sharply crafted songs plotted through the headnodding speed.
Wavves has always has a sun-baked feel, and new songs like "King of the Beach" embrace that to the max with an even poppier sound. Their drummer talked almost nonstop between songs, with free associating comments that repped Paulie Shore, called out John Norris in the audience (we all see and love you John), and generally made himself sound happy to have an audience. The crowd also had no reservations about taking the spotlight, welcoming themselves to the stage to one-up with dance moved before jumping into the crowd (you can see some of that in action in the video we posted previously from the show). One managed a midsong fist-bump. Nathan also crowd surfed midsolo, and then postencore jumped into drums and drummer. Both lay there a while, maybe hurt, until one fiending shirtless dude crawled up on stage (not for the first time) to dance a bit more and announce that they were in fact alright.
The official opening show's official afterparty didn't fare quite as well, after someone threw a beer bottle off the roof of the venue (Shea Stadium) and through the back window of a police cruiser.
King of The Beach, originally slated for an Aug. 3 release date, will now be available via iTunes exclusively on July 1, all other digital outlets on July 13 and the physical street date (CD / LP) remains Aug. 3.
Listen to a mixtape WAVVES made HERE.. More pictures from Knitting Factory below...