Beach Fossils made Wavves when they hit up the House of Blues for one of two San Diego shows on Friday, December 7th.
Opening the show was Spiritual Cramp, a San Franciscan post-punk act just two months out from the release of their first full-length, Television. With a consistent beat, catchy riffs, and charmingly unintelligible vocals, Spiritual Cramp presented a groovy and addictive sound. Importantly, they energized the crowd in anticipation of the joint headliners.
Wavves and Beach Fossils started their joint-headline I Love You tour in San Diego two months ago, then making space for two San Diego shows towards the end of their tour. San Diego’s own surf-influenced indie-rock outfit Wavves hit the stage first. Wavves’ frontman Nathan Williams led the charge with casual but charismatic showmanship, adding chugging (and smashing) a quarter bottle of Jameson to the tasks of singing and playing guitar. The atmosphere was electric, as a sea of fans with sun-bleached hair roiled in a sizable and enthusiastic mosh pit. While Wavves’ earlier noise-rock style was nowhere to be found, they complemented recent compositions with tracks from across their discography – 2010’s Post Acid and 2015’s Way Too Much received a particularly warm welcome.
Brooklyn’s lo-fi surf-rock act Beach Fossils closed out the show. Where Wavves energized, Beach Fossils hypnotized. Smooth drumwork underpinned dreamy soundscapes while Dustin Payseur’s ethereal vocals soared overhead. But this didn’t stop the crowd from engaging, with multiple crowd-surfers at work at any given moment. If anything, the overall low-key tenor of Beach Fossils’ performance made it all the more satisfying when rock-out moments emerged – their 2015 album-closer Crashed Out signaled one such flurry of excitement. Beach Fossils showed an impressive versatility that gave their set real charm and provided a satisfying close to a stirring evening.