Bands: Wavves, King Tuff, Jacuzzi Boys
Date: Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Venue: The Sinclair (Cambridge, MA)
Jacuzzi Boys – It’s been a couple of years now since I first heard Miami FLA’s finest: Jacuzzi Boys. They have been on my list of bands to see live ever since that time, so going into this show I am really pumped. Normally, I prefer seeing bands in smaller settings, but I have to admit Jacuzzi Boys look and sound great on the Sinclair’s massive stage. Their growling, surfy, poppy take on garage punk never sounded more excellent.
The teenage crowd of what appears to be Jacuzzi Boys newbies eats up the punk slime flavor that they unleash with each fast, hard hitting tune. Kids are moshing pretty hard and just having a great time. I honestly didn’t expect this. I figured like most big shows I see that the youngings would politely listen to (or worse repudiate) the comparatively trashier sounds of tonight’s opening acts, and then start slam dancing during Wavves’ set. Luckily, this is not the case and every band receives a great reaction from a city that often doesn’t deliver in this regard.
King Tuff - Much like Jacuzzi Boys, King Tuff is more of the garage pop, slam em’ out real quick variety. In fact, when I first saw this tour line up I was somewhat surprised. On one hand, King Tuff and Jacuzzi Boys are fairly popular bands with several, sharp pop records under their belt. Then again, they aren’t as clean and accessible as the headliner, Wavves. King Tuff is more akin to Nobunny, Hunx and His Punx, and even Thee Oh Sees. Looser, wilder, grimier.
Also like Jacuzzi Boys, the crowd loves the set and there’s even more moshing this time around, hardly sparing a single moment for a breather. The love is mutual however, as King Tuff appreciates the audience’s admiration and enthusiasm. At one point he even brings a young man in the front row up on stage. This kid has a black eye and King Tuff applauds him for being a rock ‘n’ roll warrior. King Tuff presents him with a customized sun medallion necklace for his rugged character. Keep rocking son. Indeed, all of you kids keep rocking and listen to King Tuff, he’s the right role model for you.
Wavves – Though we have been fans of King Tuff and Jacuzzi Boys for years, this is the first time we had a chance to see them. Wavves is a completely different story. We’ve been Wavves devotees since the Zach Hill days. It’s been fun seeing the band evolve over the years. Alas, it has been two full years since we’ve actually seen the band. TWO YEARS! I know a fucking eternity for rock ‘n’ roll fans, but tonight we’re back.
Wavves open with “Post-Acid,” a classic from their third full length LP, King of the Beach and immediately the place is off the hook. It’s practically impossible to stand up as kids bop and mosh about, running up to stage dive every three seconds. This lasts for the remainder of the show as they perform various hits from throughout their career.
Nathan Williams introduces “Friends Were Gone” as an older song, which is true, but it sounds funny in the grand scheme of things when you’re describing something that only came out four years ago. This and “No Hope Kids” are the only pre-King of the Beach cuts on display this evening.
Speaking of King of the Beach, it is one of my favorite albums and so hearing a steady number of choice tunes from that LP is a real pleasure for me. I still love screaming out some of the classic, self-deprecating Wavves lyrics. I swear you could start a Wavves drinking game based on self-deprecating lyrics in Wavves songs. Take a shot each time Nathan insults himself. I wouldn’t recommend it, you’d probably be dead before the song is over.
My favorite line has to be “Myyyy, my own friends hate my guts… ahh so what? Who gives a fuck?” from “Green Eyes,” the song that garners the largest crowd reaction I’d wager. It even was requested several times before it was played. Perhaps because it exemplifies what it so great about Wavves, that unabashed apathy toward, well everything. Some of the lyrics are downright childish, but it works. There’s a suspension of reality in Wavves that celebrates what music should be – an escape.
Other King of the Beach gems include “Idiot,” (people love to say “It doesn’t mean SHIT”) Stephen Pope penned “Linus Spacehead,” “Super Soaker, and the title track. All of these songs sound just as fantastic as they did in previous years. On a similar note, I wasn’t flabbergasted by this year’s Afraid of Heights, yet I still find myself fully engaged with these tunes and even singing along to them as well. “Demon to Lean On,” “Sail to the Sun,” and “Afraid of Heights,” are just some of the many songs we hear from the new LP.
As a whole, Wavves kill it again, cementing their status as one of my top live bands and this show is among my top five favorite shows all year… thus far.
Lastly, following the show I run into guitarist Alex Gates (he is the other main dude that gets plastered, possibly raped, and killed in the video below) and I compliment him for his work in Wavves, but more importantly his work in various Memphis bands over the years including Cretin Stompers (which are stomping your way shortly), Magic Kids, The Barbaras, Kazalok, and most of all, Girls of the Gravitron. This really trips him out because he claims that no one has ever approached him about Girls of the Gravitron before and that he hasn’t even thought about those songs since they were recorded. Nonetheless, he is appreciative and a generally swell guy. As is Stephen Pope, whom I got to chat with about The Barbaras and Cretin Stompers. I didn’t get to see Nathan, but that’s cool. So yeah, I know this last paragraph means nothing to most of you, but do yourself a favor and look up all of the aforementioned bands. I can’t urge you enough. And if you are Alex Gates, Stephen Pope, or just someone else in existence that knows and loves those bands, please leave a comment. We have so much to talk about. Love Chris.
P.S. sorry for freaking you out Alex.