Wavves Live Review at Rickshaw

08/24/2010


Wavves: “King of The Beach
[audio: http://www.sfcritic.com/wp-content/themes/mimbo/audio/wavves_king_of_the_beach.mp3]
I’m not sure if I can imagine a collective group of people who cared about what everything was less than the 100+ plus people at the Wavves Rickshaw Stop show Wednesday night. The band, from the start of the set to the end, continuously tried to prove that they would rather be anywhere else than playing in front of that crowd. The crowd stood, with their collective arms crossed, and watched the show as if they’d rather be watching anything else. Like band–like fan. Judgmental I know, true regardless. Besides, by all accounts, everybody loved it.

The problem wasn’t the “I’d rather be doing anything but playing for you” vibe. It wasn’t the style or the music. All of that would have been fine. It’s all rock and roll, right? The Sex Pistols didn’t care about what the world thought (they all just matched coincidentally of course) so why should Wavves. The lethargic air wasn’t a surprise, especially considering their new album- which is a better than great punk-surf piece- is best defined by one of its lyrics, “My own friends hate my guts, So what? Ah, So what? Who gives a fuck?” The turn-off was that the band flaunted their attitude in the face of the crowd and the venue in ways pointed to demonstrate that they actually liked their power over so many.

After tuning their own instruments, Nathan Williams, the singer and guitarist, asked the crowd through the mic if they wanted them to start, then promptly proclaimed they had to smoke a j first and they’d be back in 15. Really? Did you really have to tell everyone? The scenesters would have been more than happy to wait another 15 in wonder. After the delayed start, they then criticized the bartenders for supplying them with “Hamm’s- a shit beer”. Such a classic mistake bartenders, you should have known the Kings of the Beach only get the best. Style and design is one thing, unnecessary rudeness to the people who support you is another. Or that would be the case, if anyone would have seemed to mind.
wavves king of the beach

Who cares about all of that though? It’s all about the music dummy. And it, all 40 minutes of it, was legit. “Green Eyes,” “Wavves,” “Idiot,” “King of the Beach” and the rest were applauded, and rightly so. The two plus minute songs were executed perfectly in that timeless garage rock way- somehow near-perfectly combining respect for the original song and a certain rawness. A rawness that can only be produced when not caring that anyone there had paid to watch them play. And the tour grows and continues.

-Patrick Kelly