“I hate straight people!” are the first words I hear when I arrive at the Music Hall of Williamsburg for the No Joy/Best Coast/Wavves show. For some strange reason, I’ve arrived an hour early and am stuck waiting in the cold with an irritable lesbian couple. I don’t let their heterophobia affect my excitement though. As I’ve mentioned before, I hate going to shows, but the possibility of seeing three of my favorite bands play back-to-back was too great to pass up. After enduring a month of particularly harsh weather, I was looking forward to hearing Best Coast and Wavves play their musical love letters to the beach and California.
The audience was mostly comprised of lesbians, gay hipsters and teenage mallrats, which wasn’t surprising. If Best Coast had come out when I was an angsty teen, her music would’ve been my absolute Jesus Christ. I mean, I’m already a huge fan, but lyrics like “I wish you were my boyfriend” and “My highs are high, my lows are low” would’ve resonated with me on a seriously profound level at the age of sixteen.
My blessed No Joy babes took the stage around 9:00 P.M. in classic ’90s attire. Guitarist Laura Lloyd donned an oversized men’s shirt and ripped black tights while singer Jasmine White-Glutz channeled a Pocahontas vibe, and they began their set with the swirling six-minute epic “Ghost Blonde.” Full of heavy guitar riffs and haunting vocals, their songs cast a hypnotic spell on the teen brat audience. I even felt compelled to sway my body back and forth while wishing for luscious blonde tresses to obscure my face with. After playing most of the songs off their debut record, they ended their set in typical No Joy fashion with their backs turned to the audience and lost in a sea of distortion. It was the perfect appetizer for an amazing show.
While waiting for Best Coast to take the stage, a dark cloud moved into my horizon when I realized I was stuck next to the token annoying drunk guy at the concert. He was wearing a fedora, splashing his beer and yelling at everyone to “get active”, promising that shit was going to get real crazy during Best Coast’s set. Everyone around him, including me, started to stiffen up a bit because, hi, had this guy ever listened to Best Coast before? She sings poppy love songs—music that is optimal for head-bopping, body-swaying and occasionally hand-clappng. Moshing to their music is pretty much illegal. When the band took the stage, the guy attempted to get the party started, but people were just like “get the fuck away from me. I want to sing along to this song and hold my boyfriend’s hand.”
Best Coast put on a great show. The highlight of the set was a Loretta Lynn cover of “Fist City” in which Bethany Cosentino’s voice adopted a pitch-perfect country twang. Along with playing some new songs, they also played their old lo-fi gems “Something In the Way”, “That’s The Way Boys Are”, “Wish He Was You”, “Make You Mine.” and my personal favorite, the quiet shoegaze-y “Sun Was High (So Was I)”.
Unfortunately, a strong craving for curry and sleep prevented me from staying for Wavves. I’m sorry, but going to concerts seriously feels like an Olympic sport. There’s so much standing, moving, shuffling, pushing and waiting involved. I can’t. But I’m sure Wavves did great and everyone was happy to see the reigning indie-rock couple share the same venue. Afterwards, I bet the audience even went home to smoke weed and play with their cat, thinking of the high school days. If they’re single, they might have even wondered when they were going to find the Wavves to their Best Coast. “Soon”, they’d whisper to their MacBook Pro. “Maybe in the summer.”