The Regency Ballroom was packed tighter than a joint on Saturday night, as eager kids of all ages came out to see Wavves and Best Coast. The prince and princess of the indie scene have been touring together for a while, and that night’s show was the last of the “Summer is Forever” tour.
So what do you get when you pack a bunch of angsty, heat-intolerant teens in a room with smirking punk rock blasting in their faces? A lot of shoving and a lot of failed crowd surfing.
Is Wavves’ music considered punk rock? That’s a debate for a different day, but he did cover Black Flag’s “Nervous Breakdown,” and with a lot of heart.
The three piece also threw down their adolescent sing-a-longs like “King of the Beach” and “So Bored.” At the beginning of their set a few people ran out with hand fulls of beach balls and blow-up aliens to make the scene complete.
When people are jumping all over others though, feelings tend to get rubbed the wrong way. All the sweat and teenagers and angry shoves really made the scene complete, though. It reminded me of going to high school garage shows, but a lot more lights and a lot better sound quality.
Best Coast’s environment was almost the complete opposite, lulling the crowd into a lovey-dovey, hip-swaying, make out mode.
Lead singer Bethany’s voice was flawless, even more beautiful when live and raw. Without all the distorting effects it’s smoother than the Southern California tides that inspire her sound. It’s just lovely.
Best Coast isn’t a lively band, the other two members never spoke a word, but they didn’t need to be to command attention. The crowd gazed on as they went through “Boyfriend,” “When I’m With You,” and many, many others about longing and loving. No one seemed to mind when Bethany flubbed and blamed it on smoking too much pot that day, in fact it only made her more likeable.
The two sets complimented each other like a fight and a make up kiss, because that’s kind of how it went. Wavves got us all riled up, and Best Coast cooed at us until we were sedated on lust.
Summer usually isn’t the biggest deal in San Francisco, but the vacation was definitely enjoyed.