Wavves Makes Their DC Debut
Published: Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, October 8, 2013 20:10
Playing to a sold out crowd ranging in age from high schoolers to parents of said high schoolers, Wavves’ set at U Street’s resident punk club, the Black Cat, was loud, fast and unapologetic. The group and its two opening acts delivered well formed, punk-influenced sets that boasted infectious and driving beats.
The southern California surf rockers were preceded by Jacuzzi Boys who hail from similarly sunny Miami, Florida. Although the room was quite sparse when they took the stage, they still delivered an energetic, exciting and raucous set filled with lighting requests from their lead singer, Gabriel Alcala. The highlight of the entire performance was their final song, for which Alcala asked for all of the lights to be turned off so that the only source of illumination was the white strobe light located behind the drummer. Although still nascent, they are a band to watch and are quickly rising to prominence in their genre.
King Tuff followed, donning a black, studded vest reading his name across his shoulders. King Tuff, who is a part of the eponymous Sub Pop Records, has been the moniker used by Kyle Thomas on the scene for a while now, and it seems like it’s here to stay. He took the stage with his band, and they gave the packed room exactly the kind of set that pumped them up just enough for Wavves. The guitar-heavy and powerful tracks were exactly the sort of music that got people on their feet and drove quite a few to the merchandise table afterwards as well.
By this point, the Black Cat’s second story was packed, and the black and white checkerboard floor was covered with people. When Wavves finally took the stage, the crowd erupted and the group went straight into its set. The highlight of their performance was “Nine is God,” the song that Rockstar Games commissioned for the “Grand Theft Auto V” soundtrack. The song plays on Vinewood Boulevard Radio, to which Wavves members Nathan Williams and Stephen Pope are host.
While playing on the small stage, the songs took on a whole new life, feeling faster, louder and much more in-your-face than they do when listening to them through a pair of headphones. The crowd pushed, shoved, moshed and screamed, and the band clearly fed off of its energy. They made complete use of the stage’s entire space, giving the fans an all-around, well shaped and calculated performance of the songs from their four full length albums.