30 May 2009
Yesterday, news came over the internet wire reporting that Wavves had a bit of a breakdown during their Thursday night performance at the Primavera Sound Festival in Barcelona, Spain. Apparently, things started off rocky as Nathan Williams first began having trouble during the sound check. This was a less than ideal scenario, but heaped upon this was the fact that the crowd was totally stoked from a day of music that included sets from My Bloody Valentine and Phoenix. Other sources have said that Williams and drummer Ryan Ulsh were not on the same page and were having a little tiff on stage. It seems that they played a off-key songs and then they finally played "So Bored" and everything was groovy for a second until Nathan Williams started making fun of the crowd and Spain. Then Ulsh poured a beer over Williams' head which is never a good sign and then the crowd started throwing bottles and shoes at the stage. The drummer had left by this point, but Williams tried to keep the show going and tried to play more songs but the sound had been cut and the crew was already breaking down the drum kit. The purpose of mentioning this on here is not to celebrate the misfortunes of others, but rather try to understand why and how this happened. Wavves went from being Williams' one man bedroom recording project to a full-fledged two man band in a matter of months as the internets began to fawn over the group upon the release of Wavvves. I mean, even Rolling Stone liked it. And Hipster Runoff made fun of it so clearly this was a band on the right track. So what happened? It probably was the move to full-fledged two man band. Its almost like Wavves was dragged by force from the bedroom to the stage. So far the reviews of these live shows seem to suggest that they leave a lot left to be desired. At the same time maybe that's just the one mark on most of these lo-fi garage-y acts that are so totally rad. I really dig on some many of them its not a bad thing, but sometimes it seems that sound isn't same between album and live performance. The sound walks a tightrope between noise and 60's era tenderness in the form of rock and roll. But maybe, if there was little more time spent of assembling a full band then perhaps the live show would go more swimmingly. One of the unsurprising things is that everyone in the crowd became pacified when they played "So Bored". It makes me wonder if this indicative of something greater. Is it possible that what's hot on the internet doesnt always translate to being hot on stage? Could internet fans be that different from live music enthusiasts? At times it certainly seems plausible to say the least. Think about it. Most of the internets and the hype machines flip shit when any kind of new dance-y pseudo- techno mad-house rave shit comes out, but after it drops and the internet tells you its cool and you go out and download it and then you take it out to your next social gathering it doesn't necessarily translate. Put it on at a party, and people look at you like you're completely bat-shit. Its kind of frightening that this may apply to all non-mainstream music, but it might. Then again, it is entirely possible that the people in attendance at this one show were just a bunch of assholes and werent going to be satisfied regardless of what they heard.