Wavves Thrill in Brooklyn

By Brandi Powell, Staff Writer

Brooklyn Steel presented a trio of some of the most exciting bands in rock music Thursday night. The line-up was packed with California natives: Culture Abuse, Wavves, and Joyce Manor.

The warehouse was still filling in when Culture Abuse took the stage, but they immediately garnished energy from an audience of hard-knocks. The center of the pit was constantly jumping, moshing, and lifting crowd surfers into the air—a reversal on the typical eye of a hurricane.

Wavves came out next to their hit “Way Too Much,” and the crowd instantly turned into a sea of movement. The band started out in a tiny basement in Columbus. Even playing in a giant venue in Williamsburg, their effect was never lost. It doesn’t matter if the venue holds 200 or 2,000, the band delivers their punk-influenced sound just as enthusiastically.

Frontman Nathan Williams is an explosion on stage, and his vocals never stop improving. He feeds off the crowd’s passion, and delivers tenfold. By the end, he was front-flipping into the crowd straight from the stage.

“Take on the World,” a cult classic, sent the audience into hysteria. As always, the band relentlessly sent more favorites their way. Songs spanning from their 2010 album “King of the Beach” to their 2017 release “You’re Welcome” and equally ravished the audience. There’s no denying that Wavves have adapted, matured, and honed their sound, but their progression has never alienated their early fans. The transition has been gradual, and the band never loses sight of its origins.

The set list would flip from 2013’s “Afraid of Heights” and lock into 2017’s “Daisy” with just as much power. The crowd didn’t seem to favor one over the other; both dazzled and left fans spinning.

It was disappointing to see that nearly two-thirds of the crowd left before Joyce Manor. The band delivers just as passionately as the other acts. For those who stayed, they were just as impressed with the closers.

The mood was ecstatic; an electricity permanently filled the air. All three of these bands provide an upbeat outlet for teenagers and twenty-somethings who just want to scream their lungs out to some fast, thrashing cords. And they did. The walls reverberated with each beat and the crowd never once let up.

Every band didn’t fail to impress. Culture Abuse and Joyce Manor and both were spectacular. Their passionate delivery of their art thoroughly convinced me to dive deeper into their discography. Wavves has been on a continuous upward path with their music, and never cease to amaze.


The faster the songs came, the better the crowd reacted. Even if Wavves have some slower songs in their catalogue, their live show reimagines every single one in a completely new light. There’s not one song left untouched and electrified. This is why a Wavves show simply cannot be missed. They present every aspect of their show in the most abrasive and lovable manner. It’s hard to leave a show with the same impression one walks in with when Nathan Williams is front-flipping into the crowd and soaking in world he’s created.


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