Review: Wavves at the Observatory North Park

Wavves at the Observatory North Park, September 15, 2015 | Photo by Lara McCaffrey

Wavves at the Observatory North Park, September 15, 2015 | Photo by Lara McCaffrey

San Diego, California native Nathan Williams of Wavves revisited his home town while on tour in promotion of his newest album, V. The Observatory North Park seemed very receptive of his homecoming performance as well as those from openers, Oakland’s Swimmers and Twin Peaks from Chicago.

Swimmers started off the evening. They’re an enthusiastic and energetic four piece playing poppy garage rock. Swimmers were especially enthusiastic when they played their last song, “I Hate Los Angeles.” Wonder if they play that in LA when they tour there…?

Twin Peaks went next and really got the crowd dancing. Their 60s influenced jangly guitar rock got some people moving enough to make security worry. The five piece has three singers who switched off or combined vocals for shout out loud lyrics. Their stage presence was excellent–they didn’t take themselves too seriously and were obviously having fun.

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Wavves at the Observatory North Park, September 15, 2015 | Photo by Lara McCaffrey

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Wavves at the Observatory North Park, September 15, 2015 | Photo by Lara McCaffrey

Wavves at the Observatory North Park, September 15, 2015 | Photo by Lara McCaffrey

Wavves at the Observatory North Park, September 15, 2015 | Photo by Lara McCaffrey

After Twin Peaks, Wavves made their entrance. The stage went black, except for magenta lights focused on a Yin and Yang symbol. Dreamy music played as the band walked onstage.

They then launched into their first song amid cheering. Wavves played lots of throwbacks such as “So Bored,” but also debuted new songs from V such as “Way Too Much.” Newer songs sound more pop than older songs which were reverb heavy punk songs. For an encore, Wavves played a crowd favorite–the bratty, California pride filled “King of the Beach.”

Everyone loved all of it–new and old–just the same. The crowd surfing was constant and smiles were all around. Also Nathan Williams didn’t yell at his band like he did a few years ago onstage at the Observatory Santa Ana during Burgerama. He was pretty mellow and even jumped into the crowd and high fived everyone in the front row. A lot of good energy considering it was a Tuesday night and the show wasn’t sold out.

A funny detail was Nathan Williams’ San Diego friends and family backstage. Matt Bahamas (née Barajas) of Heavy Hawaii watched his former Fantastic Magic bandmate perform with Williams’ mom. She happily shot photos of her son performing with her iPhone.

Need to hear new Wavves? Well you need to wait until early October! Trust us, it’s worth the wait. The new album V drops October 2nd.

 

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Wavves at the Observatory North Park, September 15, 2015 | Photo by Lara McCaffrey

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Wavves at the Observatory North Park, September 15, 2015 | Photo by Lara McCaffrey

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Wavves at the Observatory North Park, September 15, 2015 | Photo by Lara McCaffrey

-Lara McCaffrey

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