Concert Review: Wavves, Ganglians, Many Mansions @ Great Scott (9/27/09)

Bands: Many Mansions, Ganglians, Wavves
Venue: Great Scott (Allston, MA)
Date: Sunday, September 27, 2009

Many Mansions
This band embodies what has become of the psychedelic trance/drum and bass genre. Their set up was different for sure: one man controlling the drum and bass machine, the effects pedals, and singing while the other dude was just on stage to (apparently) play with the visuals on the projector. And the visuals were weird as hell. Some of the images: an African boy running in a field, an African guy nailed to a cross and decaying, trees, a bunch of people moving away from a building, people break dancing, and an African woman doing a dance in the forest. These images did all sorts of crazy things like spin, flip, illuminate, and fade. The visual arts component was better than the music. I felt bored by the music, at least initially. A few of the electronic drum schemes were catchy and maybe one song was actually “good,” but other than that this band just didn’t do too much for me.

Ganglians
The best I can describe Ganglians is proto-Wavves. They played a lot of catchy noise-pop that certainly the crowd was into. There was definitely an element of their music (the bass lines, probably) that really allowed for dancing and grooving. The lead singer was rocking out and everyone in the band looked like they were having a blast. I sensed a lot of Jay Reatard garage-pop, especially in the drumming and singing. There was one number in particular that had a near identical drum part as “Blood Visions.” A song I highly recommend checking out that they played is “Blood on the Sand.” “Hair” had me mistaking this band for the War on Drugs with its active keyboards. Overall, this was a really good second band!

Wavves
After ten minutes of “technical difficulties,” the crowd got a little antsy. Like…maybe Nathan Williams consumed Valium and E before the show and couldn’t figure out which amp to plug his guitar into. Or maybe not since the only amp on stage was a huge Marshall double-stack mammajamma. Safe to say that no public breakdown happened last night. Williams, with his New York Death Adders hat and tee, welcomed the crowd saying “Hi, we’re Wavves” before blasting into “So Bored,” my favorite song! Everyone easily recognized this song because it’s Wavves’ biggest and just started going nuts, singing along, dancing, etc. The next set of seven or eight songs potentially ended with the word “Goth” or “Demon,” I just can’t remember. That’s because there was, at least for me, an unexpected amount of moshing. The first I got hit I was kind of like wtf okay that’s cool. But then I looked behind me and people were getting pushed around like crazy, bumping into each other. So the next twenty minutes turned out to be an awesome re-visitation of old No Age shows, because of both the music (noisy punk) and the crowd response (moshing). The final song they played was “No Hope Kids,” an awesome song to end the show! Pure pop beneath the massive wall of noise. Unfortunately they only played for 30 minutes, but it was a lengthy 30 minutes. After sweating my ass off from all the moshing and losing track of time, it felt like just enough.

Final Comments: Wavves put on a great show and the experience of watching them play was very top notch. Wouldn’t it have been better if I knew a majority of the songs performed? Probably. I didn’t let them bug me and in the end I walked out of Great Scott knowing that I had a shitload of fun. That said, this show is not comparable to some of the best shows I’ve seen. I would give it somewhere in the B+/B range.

Crowd during Wavves
Crowd during Wavves
Once Nathan Williams got stuff to work, all was well
Once Nathan Williams got stuff to work, all was well!

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