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Best Coast, Wavves @ Cabaret Mile-End - Feb 5

Posted by Valerie / February 9, 2011

Best Coast Wavves Montreal music Steven TylerThe only people who could convince me to move to California are Nathan Williams and Bethany Cosentino, aka Wavves and Best Coast. On their co-headlining tour, Summer Is Forever, both bands stopped by Cabaret du Mile End in the middle of a snowstorm. Inside, however, the venue was full capacity and hot as a sauna.

Montreal's No Joy opened the bill with a touch of darkness. They played songs off Ghost Blonde, their first album which I would describe as prog-gaze-metal. Okay, maybe not metal but watching both frontwomen headbang throughout the show kind of qualifies. Basically, No Joy is the opposite of the ladies' previous group Badflirt, but already has quite a lot of buzz. Maybe a tad too much, considering the band is still pretty young and doesn't quite pull off as much of a mind-blowing performance as they could. Still, the table was well set for Wavves to play.

Wavves' King Of The Beach is a brilliant poppy lo-fi punk album released last year on Fat Possum. Definitely not as rough to the ears as their self-titled record put out in 2009, Wavves aka Nathan Williams brought his band to a bolder place. The band now has a more particular sound and a generally defined aesthetic. Pair that with musicians who know their shit, such as Jay Reatard's former bassist, and you just got yourself the most butt-kicking shiw ever.

Williams and his crew seemed to be pumped just enough and threw witty lines at the crowd. There were beach volleyballs and body surfing. I seriously had not seen so much stage diving since my NOFX days. As for the setlist, they revisited a few older tracks such as "No Hope Kids" in between almost all songs off their latest. There was room for a cover, so they chose to do a classic: "Nervous Breakdown" by Black Flag. It's too bad Wavves wasn't headlining that night, only because it makes much more sense and Best Coast sounds kind of boring playing after them.

"California Love" by 2-Pac was the opening theme when Bethani Cosentino and her buddies Bobb Bruno and drummer Ali Koehler (ex Vivian Girls) came on stage. They immediately played song after song with very minimal interaction with the crowd, being either too serious of not interested enough. After a while, BC became less shy and started enjoying themselves a bit more. But it did sound kind of flat, not that it was entirely Wavves fault.

The 2010 top-rated Crazy For You is full of catchy and fuzzy songs that are simply amazing, however if you take off the fuzziness like it was on Saturday, it doesn't quite have the same effect. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't bad at all and I'm not asking for as much distortion and echo as on Best Coast's previous EPs, which they also played songs from, but I'm convinced they could make their live sets sound a little dirtier. Just like her boyfriend before her, Cosentino chose to play a cover, this time it was "Fist City" by Loretta Lynn which she played solo.

Speaking of BC and Wavves being a couple, Bethany's live signing reminded me a lot of Courtney Love in Hole and it suddenly occurred to me that they were the new Kurt & Courtney! I truly wish a better future leads ahead of them because we definitely need these bands around for a long time.

A limited edition 7" record entitled Summer Is Forever was printed for this tour. it features unreleased songs from both Wavves and Best Coast as well as a No Joy's first single. Other interesting merch items were available, including baseball caps, beer koozies and sunglasses. Isn't summer forever tempting?

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