Fucked Up, Wavves [9/28/11]
Not often does a band’s name describe how you feel after their show, but after Fucked Up, I was definitely fucked up.
Wavves opened and I was as excited to hear them live as I was by the prospect of Nathan Williams pissing everyone off and starting a riot. Were this 2009, that would have been a likely scenario. There was the well-documented Primavera meltdown, the quasi-brawl with Black Lips, and the general hostility toward audiences.
I was also curious as to who was even currently in the band. Original drummer Ryan Ulsh quit shortly after Primavera and was replaced by demi-god Zach Hill (see video below…for real). Williams and Hill then toured and even recorded an album, which has yet to be released. When Hill left, Williams invited heavy metal troll doll Stephen Pope and Billy Hayes to join Wavves. At the time, Pope and Hayes were backing Jay Reatard. They accepted. Reatard didn’t take it well. Williams, Pope, and Hayes went on to record King of the Beach and three days into their tour supporting the album Jay Reatard died in his sleep of cocaine toxicity. Hayes has since left and he might be dead now, too, for all I know. The lineup stands as Williams, Pope, and some dude named Jacob Cooper…for now.
Fucked Up lead singer Damien Abraham must be having a positive influence on Williams, though, because the show ended without incident. Just good songs and a good pit. As much as I enjoyed new tracks “I Wanna Meet Dave Grohl” and “Bug”, it was great to hear King of the Beach favorites “Super Soaker” and “Idiot”.
Once Toronto’s Fucked Up took the stage, it didn’t take long to realize that Damien Abraham is one of the coolest dudes alive. As is customary, he tore off his shirt within the first two songs and was amongst the crowd delivering sweaty man-hugs. My shirt was soaked before he laid one on me; it was dripping afterward.
Further, he was referencing Columbus legends New Bomb Turks as influences, giving praise to Cleveland’s Cloud Nothings, and even quoting Cam’ron’s “Get It In Ohio”. All this while fulfilling the duties of a hardcore front man.
At one point during the show some rogue dude was moshing with elbows to the sky. He unintentionally put one across my throat and just held it there. Uncomfortable with an elbow in my throat, I pulled a swim move and essentially palmed the dude’s face to break free. We stared at each other for a tense moment, but the positive mood created by Fucked Up caused us to simply let it go and return to the pit.
Now, four days after the show, I still feel like I just got hit by a bus. Looking forward to more of the same when the aforementioned New Bomb Turks destroy Skully’s at next week’s Ohio Film and Music Festival.
As promised, Zach Hill: