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Much Better Late Than Never

September 22nd, 2010

Wavves – Music Hall of Williamsburg – September 21, 2010

Wavves - Music Hall of Williamsburg - September 21, 2010
About 15 minutes after the posted set time at Music Hall of Williamsburg last night, Wavves bassist Stephen Pope finally came out and started setting up. When he left, the drummer, Billy Hayes, came out and did the same. Then guitarist and lead vocalist Nathan Williams untangled his cords. It wasn’t clear why they went about it in such a manner, but it did have the effect of getting those in the crowd good and eager, which is how they stayed until the end. When the music finally began, the trio made it clear they were in a playfully combative mood. Wavves spent much of the time between songs bantering with the crowd, fulfilling and denying requests, smoking and pattering on with inside jokes and non sequiturs galore.

While the preshow prep may have been frustratingly serial, the music was gloriously parallel: Three Uzis raining a constant stream of ammunition on the percolating audience. The pent-up energy from the delayed start exploded immediately into an early-week mosh pit from the first blast of noise. Pope’s flying-V bass was an extraterrestrial chainsaw, buzzing with electricity beneath Hayes’ drumming. Williams was crackling with slacker-punk energy staying just this side of being completely out of control. Ultimately, though, some in the crowd lost control, continuing to pester, heckle and call out requests. The band humored the shouts and tried to overcome, but eventually gave in, honoring the call for “No Hope Kids” midset instead of in its intended closer spot. The pit bounced with triumphant energy as the band raised it to another level, but they were right, it would have been better to end the show. —A. Stein

Photos courtesy of Jennifer Macchiarelli | www.jennylow.com