REVIEW: Wavves with Post Animal at Brighton Music Hall (5/17)

It’s over 90 degrees out and Boston is slowly melting away as Wavves prepare for their performance at Brighton Music Hall. Only a month into their latest tour, and with just two days before the release of their latest album, You’re Welcome, Wavves is rested and ready to rock. In addition to the buzz surrounding the new record, singer and guitarist Nathan Williams has been making headlines of his own, having flipped from the balcony into the crowd at a recent show in New York–––so Boston’s expectations were high.

Doors opened at 7:30pm, offering the crowd relief from the heat, or at least temporarily so, as the venue quickly became just as warm. After swarming the merch table to pick up an early copy of You’re Welcome, fans filled every inch of the floor, from the back to right up against the metal barrier.

Right on time at 8:30, Chicago rockers Post Animal hopped on stage, sizing up the floor full of soon-to-be fans. Having toured with Twin Peaks in 2016, Post Animal was no stranger to being the opening act, nor to converting new listeners into die-hard fans (though it helps that Joe Keery, aka Steve of Stranger Things, is involved in the band)–––which is exactly what they did. Blasting through their half hour set, Post Animal cut the chit-chat and let their music do the talking. Leading the charge was drummer Wes Toledo, who thrashed over his kit and blasted the crowd with heart thumping gusts of air from his bass drum. As Toledo pummeled away, bouncing a pair of ping pong ball inside of his tom-tom like bingo cage on steroids, the rest of the band followed suit with heavy bass lines and explosive guitar riffs.

After Post Animal cleared the stage, roadies began breaking down Toledo’s drum kit, clearing the way for Wavves to begin their instrument check. Though guitarists Stevie Pope, Alex Gates and drummer Brian Hill all made an appearance on stage, Williams was still nowhere to be seen. Finally, at 9:30pm, Wavves cued the entry music and dimmed the lights, walking to their instruments and waving to the crowd.

Wavves kicked things off with “Way Too Much” and “Take on the World,” bringing the crowd to their feet, and by the time they began playing “King of the Beach,” the mosh pit had expanded to the entire floor. And when a fan threw a bra on to the stage with “Nathan” sharpied across it, Williams didn’t miss a beat, immediately enlisting the help of Pope to clasp the bra over his shirt. To his credit, Williams lasted nearly five minutes before taking it off, tossing it in Pope’s direction who looped it over his microphone for the remainder of the show.

Following a high-energy performance of “No Life for Me,” a song from their collaboration album with Cloud Nothings, Wavves played some songs from their new record, including bouncy surf rock tracks “Daisy” and “You’re Welcome.” Halfway through the set, Wavves broke out crowd pleaser “Demon to Lean On,” inciting a barrage of crowd surfers to the front of the stage. Other highlights from the setlist included recent single “Million Enemies” from You’re Welcome, oldie but goodie “So Bored” from the band’s second studio album, and exclusive Grand Theft Auto V track “9 Is God.”

Taking five after finishing “9 Is God,” Wavves returned for a three-song encore, busting out “Sail to the Sun,” and “Post Acid,” for the first two tracks. The band then ended the show with “Green Eyes,” dousing the crowd in moody iridescent light that highlighted the many white trails of smoke drifting upward to the ceiling.