Scenes From Sunday Night's Sold-Out Wavves and Fidlar Show at the Prophet Bar.
If either of the two touring, California-based skate-punk outfits that played the Prophet Bar last night were experiencing any sort of post-South by Southwest malaise prior to their sets in front of their sold-out crowds at this show, you wouldn't have been able to tell. These brazen young bands performed with too much ferocity; there was no fatigue to be seen here.
Perhaps they had no choice in the matter. Brash as the bands were on stage, their audience — a solid half of whom wore X's on their hands, marking their under 21 status — was only more so. And the fans were rewarded in kind for their efforts: Yes, pretty much everything you'd expect to see at a show from favored brat Nathan Williams of Wavves and his fellow snotty upstarts in opening act Fidlar — child-like exuberance, stage-diving, crowdsurfing, fist-pumping, mosh-pitting, general thrashing about — was on display in spades at this high-energy affair.
It was pretty, pretty great — a cathartic display, much as is the MO of shows of this ilk.
And though it was clear that, for the bulk of this crowd, it was Wavves that was the big draw, Fidlar proved themselves a worthy second fiddle at this show indeed, their shout-along-ready lyrics (see: “I! DRINK! CHEAP! BEER! SO! WHAT! FUCK! YOU!” from the appropriately titled “Cheap Beer” and “I just want to get really high and smoke weed till I die” from the anthemic “Stoked and Broke”) immediately embraced by this up-for-anything crowd. For a moment there — specifically, when frontman Zac Carper jumped on top of the audience and sang the final verse of his band's closing song while crowdsurfing about the room — it seemed as if their efforts might not be topped.
Alas, this crowd's fandom for Wavves would ensure otherwise, even if, comparably, Wavves' set was a more low-key one from an on-stage antics perspective. With a few more years under his belt, Williams and his backing Wavves band members didn't necessarily play like they had anything to prove last night; they thrashed about here and there, but, for the most part, stayed in their pre-determined stage positions, allowing the crowd to do the heavy visual lifting for them. And lift the crowd did — literally, even — as the final third of the band's almost hour-long set delved into a nonstop crowdsurfing display. Why the crowd waited till that point is anyone's guess. Maybe things just reached a fever pitch? Who knows. Nonetheless, the entirety of Wavves' performance was sonically unyielding, coming at the crowd fast and furiously, as the band offered up cuts from across their three-LP catalog and previously released EPs, touching on some bigger hits (“King of the Beach”) earlier in the set and saving some newer ones (“Demon To Lean On” from the upcoming Afraid of Heights) for later on in the show.
When it ended, it was immediate. No encore, no nothing. Just a wave goodbye from Williams, some crowd high-fives and a stage exit.
The crowd seemed content with that, too. Maybe they had school in the morning? Either way, the whole thing was over shortly after the clock struck 10.
The night wasn't necessarily over for the Wavves crew, though. Down the road, Williams and his bandmates took advantage of their later curfews by taking in the headlining set from Pallbearer at the Double Wide for the Spillover Festival and continuing on with their increasingly drunken antics there.
If nothing else it was proof that these guys do live their lives as their lyrics imply. They certainly know how to have a good, if reckless, time.