With the temperature below freezing and the streets covered in ice, Webster Hall was feeling the warm sunshine of California last night. Best Coast and Wavves brought their first ever joint tour—pun intended—to New York City for a night filled with beach vibes, Snacks The Cat and certainly a case of the munchies stemming from the Wavves merch table (grinders and rolling papers on hand).
Montreal band No Joy opened the show with its dreamy shoegaze sound and ethereal stage presence. The set included songs from the band’s debut LP on Mexican Summer, Ghost Blonde, with a great deal of washed-out noise in between tracks. No Joy played a solid half-hour of music that flowed naturally and kept the crowd interested. Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino tweeted during the set, saying, “No Joy strobe light is giving me a seizure.” The lighting, in true shoegaze fashion, was quite blinding.
The lights dimmed after some waiting and on came the X-Files theme. As always, Nathan Williams likes to make a strange entrance… While coming onstage, Wavves threw beach balls and inflatable aliens into the audience, which quickly began a violent circulation throughout the room. The theme song stopped and the band launched into its first surf punk song, turning Webster Hall into one giant dance floor. Williams and the boys played for almost an hour, hitting tracks from the Fat Possum LP King Of The Beach, as well as the previous two self-titled albums. Crowd favorites included “To The Dregs,” “Post Acid” and the title-track summer anthem “King Of The Beach.” The set seemed to run smoother and more flawless than in past shows I’ve seen Wavves perform, but with that great noise-punk aggression Williams has been known for. Just before leaving the stage, the notoriously rambunctious singer thanked his listeners and threw his hat out to the crowd in a final farewell.
Best Coast came on shortly after Wavves left the stage and started things off with “Crazy For You,” the title track off its highly successful debut LP. The rest of the set included songs from the album and many of the early 7-inch releases in addition to a cover of Loretta Lynn’s “Fist City.” “When I’m With You” was a crowd favorite as well as the first single off the LP, “Boyfriend.” Not only did the music win the room over, but Cosentino’s warm stage presence and interaction with her audience made for a more intimate performance. Despite being sick, Cosentino and the band were the most memorable of the evening. All in all, the sun might have been low, but the crowd’s spirits were high… after all, it was Best Coast and Wavves.