I have vague memories of discovering Wavves through skate videos as a really young kid. Like probably shouldn’t have been allowed on the internet young, but hey for all of the traumatizing things I found surfing the web at that age hearing a kick-ass new band is pretty much the internet equivalent of going to Sunday school.
This goes without saying but having known the band since early childhood and never having had a chance to see them live, this was an exciting opportunity. Judging from the age of the crowd it was a lot of people’s first Wavves show too. Albuquerque doesn’t have a ton of all-ages shows, bar the pretty vibrant seedy underground of anything goes basement shows, so just about every kid in the city came out to pack the mosh pit.
What ensued was a night of somewhat controlled chaos. A short set from local band Crime Lab delivered to a pretty sparsely populated audience kicked off the night. The band had good energy, riling up the crowd with some quality pop-punk tunes.
With the venue slowly packing SadGirl took the stage. An L.A. group, their set spanned across a pretty deep discography with a majority coming from their latest record, Goodbye Queenie. They struck a good mix between freak psych-rock jams and soulful ballads. It was clear the audience wasn’t in the mood to be lulled by soul jams which the band picked up on, turning the second half of the set into an intense, noisy riff-fest. Ending on a high note they said good night, leaving most of the crowd begging for an encore.
After a long break between bands, the crowd began to chant for Wavves to take the stage. At close to 10:00, they did just that. Not wasting any time, the band jumped right in, and the crowd followed suit. From the get-go, it was a rowdy show. Within the first track, a stage diver tripped over the bass rig unplugging it entirely and the bouncers dragged a pair who started a fight out the backdoor in a chokehold.
The band blazed on only stopping once when someone yelled “I want to have your baby” at Nathan Williams. The setlist included a lot of tracks off of the new record Hideaway with a few earlier hits like “Green Eyes” and “King Of The Beach” sprinkled in. After the band said goodnight, they laid their instruments down leaving a wall of feedback noise and a totally awe-struck crowd.
Between the stellar performances, great atmosphere, and intimate venue this show was a crazy amount of fun. It only took a decade or so years for me to catch a Wavves show, but it was well worth the wait.