Sunday, February 27, 2011
Wavves, San Francisco, Feb. 26, 2011
Wavves played The Regency in San Francisco last night, allegedly part of the alleged Noise Pop Festival. The sold out crowd enthusiastically welcomed Wavves, who took the stage after the PA played a song by Odd Future's Tyler The Creator and, er, Marilyn Manson's "Beautiful People", at the request, we later learned, of Wavves' third drummer Jacob.... the light guy had apparently been backstage blunting with the crew before the set as he forgot to put the stage lights on until nearly the end of Wavves' first song, "Friends Were Gone".
Wavves are co-headlining the "Summer is Forever" tour with "Best Coast" and in San Francisco, they opened for Best Coast, leading to a shorter set. When we heard about the tour, many people thought it was a natural, since Wavves' singer Nathan dates Best Coast's Bethany, and their music has many of the same cultural touchstones - the beach, surf music, punk/indie rock, girl groups, Beach Boys, Phil Spector, doo wop.... not to mention (oops I just did) cats and weed. The second thing many thought was that it could help Nathan with his "image problem", much of it undeserved, showing him in a "kinder, gentler" light, and it did.
It seems that Best Coast got much better press than Wavves did with their last album (although both groups got tons of positive press), and that may have been largely due to Bethany's more palatable personality.
Great to see bass player Stephen Pope, of the late Jay Reatard's band, rocking out, most notably to his own composition, "Linus Spacehead". We missed drummer Billy Hayes, who left the band shortly before their performance at Madison Square Garden with Phoenix, Daft Punk, and Dirty Projectors last October (2010). Besides stellar drumming and amusing anecdotes (Jacob, in contrast, didn't say a peep), Billy wrote some of the best newer Wavves songs: "Convertible Balloon", "Baby Say Goodbye", and "Stained Glass (Won't You Let Me Into Your Heart". Sadly, it seems Wavves won't be playing these songs live anymore, although "Stained Glass" was released last month (Jan 2011) on iTunes and is being sold on this tour on the "Summer is Forever" 7 inch. Billy decided he didn't want to tour, preferring to work on his own music at home in Memphis, which he's posting on SoundCloud: http://soundcloud.com/billy-hayes