Making Wavves at the Subterranean

Photo By: Gilles Okane

By: Josie Stahler

“Let’s start with two crowd surfers,” said lead singer of Wavves, Nathan Williams, “and by the end of this song I want at least ten more.” There were, in fact, much more than ten crowd surfers by the end of the song, with audience members stage diving left and right just for the thrill. That is the kind of energy found at the sold out Wavves Halloween show at the Subterranean.

The show started like any other, with people eagerly wandering the venue, except there was an energy in the air. Something about Halloween and the intense tunes of Wavves seem to match seamlessly for a perfect night. Audience members came dressed in costume, ready to celebrate the spooky holiday. By the end though, most costume pieces were thrown to the side in favor of dancing hassle-free. I personally went as the Black Swan and regrettably ended up crushing my tiara. I suppose that’s what I get for wearing a ballerina costume in a mosh pit. 

The opener for Wavves was Harmless, or the dreamy sounding L.A. based musician Nacho Cano. My best description of his work is if whipped cream was a genre, blending beats that hit with gentle melodies. It wasn’t until the end of the set that I realized this was the same creative behind “Swing Lynn” the viral Tik Tok tune that took over everyone’s Summer 2020. I was shocked, but grateful to have heard the tune live and relive some of my Summertime nostalgia. 

By the end of the Harmless set, everyone was excited and waiting in eager anticipation for Wavves. Members Nathan Williams (vocals), Alex Gates (guitar), Stephen Pope (bass guitar) and Ross Traver (drums) stepped on stage in their respective Halloween costumes and the audience cheered. Right off the bat the band played one of their hard hits, “Way Too Much” and the crowd immediately formed a pit. I’ve been to many shows, but I’ve rarely seen a crowd this ready to rock. The band gave their all, performing a mix of their old and new songs. Notable songs included, “Heavy Metal Detox” the opening track to their album V which discusses extraterrestrial life, as well as, “Nine is God” a moody song written for the Grand Theft Auto soundtrack. During their final song, frontman Nathan Williams dove into the crowd, floating over a wave of crowd surfers and launching off the walls. It was fitting too, considering he was dressed as an astronaut.

The band joked with audience members in between songs, as well as asking everyone to take care of each other, which was much appreciated. Many times the crowd was asked to take a few steps back and help someone if they fell. Not only was it an insanely fun show, but it also felt like a safe one. Harmless and Wavves delivered the perfect celebratory Halloween night for us music lovers, bringing nothing but energy and great tunes.

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