Summer Kickoff at Metro with Wavves, Cloud Nothings, and Ultra Q

Article and Photos by Josie Stahler

The last time I saw Wavves live, my boots got torn clean in half in the pit. I had similar expectations for their 2023 U.S. tour with Cloud Nothings and Ultra Q. This time around the sun was just as fun, if not more (and no shoes were hurt in the process). 

What better way to kick off the summer than a Friday evening at Metro. The energy was buzzing the minute we stepped in the room. Fans twittered with excitement, sipping beers and waiting patiently for their favorite bands to take center stage. We had fought our way through the Dead and Co. crowd down at Wrigley Field, so it truly felt like a reward to finally be standing on the floor ready to dance. 

Ultra Q opened first, all smiles. The Chicago show marked the release of their debut album,My Guardian Angel and the excitement was clear. The album is equal parts dreamy and angsty, with some strong shoegaze influence. It’s the kind of sound you could only make if you’re a member of the effortlessly cool West Coast music scene. 

Lead singer Jakob Armstrong, drummer Chris Malaspina, guitarist Enzo Malaspina and bassist Kevin Judd played a mix of new tunes like the hazy “Rocket” and some of their punk-influenced tracks like “Rosy”. My personal favorite was “VR Sex” which sounded like the finale of a really good teen movie and got the crowd moshing. By the end of the set we were all wishing for more, but they thanked the crowd and promised to say hi down at the merch table. 

Josie saying hi to Ultra Q at their merch table!

Before we knew it Cloud Nothings were on stage ready to go. They came on with no intro or fanfare, but that’s just how they roll. The Ohio band consisting of Dylan Baldi, Jayson Gerycz and Chris Brown gets ready to rock your world without you knowing. Their music leans more towards jam band, thoughtful and immersive. You think, “Where are they going with this?” and they take you to a whole other plane of existence. 

Their track, “Wasted Days” stands out as a moody build of emotions. At one point in the set they sat frozen on stage, pausing for effect, and then suddenly erupting into a display of musical talent. It was a sight to behold. In addition to their performance, the band expressed their gratitude to the crowd for curing their boring day of sitting in traffic. They were met with cheers and hollers, as audience members relayed back their excitement in seeing them. 

Last but not least Wavves came in guns blazing, opening their set with “Way Too Much”. The crowd immediately took to the floor to open a pit. Cups went flying, and so did people. There were so many stage divers a crew member had to come on stage and fix the monitor mid-set. One thing about Wavves is that they will always bring energy for their fans. 

Stage Diving and Crowd Surfing during Wavves

Lead singer Nathan Williams was sure to check in with the more intense pitters. “You hit your head, and you’re okay?” he asks a fan. The fan ensures he’s good and the songs keep coming. Along with Williams, guitarist Alex Gates, bassist Stephen Pope and drummer Ross Traver played a balanced mix of their discography, from their track about aliens, “Heavy Metal Detox” to their angsty finale, “Green Eyes”. They even played a few tracks off their album, Afraid of Heights which celebrates its tenth anniversary this year. 

The evening was overwhelmingly fun, with the three bands bringing their A-game and the crowd shaking every corner of Metro. Tour runs from now until July 6th 2023 across cities in the U.S. if you’re looking to rock your local venue. 

Check out Ultra Q on Instagram

Check out Cloud Nothings on Instagram

Check out Wavves on Instagram and you can check out their Spotify below!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.