Here is yet another lovely contribution from our dearest KG. Maybe one day, I will be as cool as her…
I have been to my fair share of concerts. Some serious ones, some funny ones, some shitty ones. But the thing they all had in common was that in each, the band actually cared in some shape or form about the quality of the music they were producing.
I thought that for the rest of my life, I would attend concerts like this… Until today, because today I saw Wavves.
Babalu is a tiny club smack in the middle of Munich’s University Scene. About twice the size of my bedroom it can barely hold about 50 people. The inside of it whilst quite warn, does not give off a shabby impression but simply one of being really well loved over its long history. Inside you are met with a comfortably claustrophobic space in which some one seemed to have erected a stage that appeared to consist only of brown crates with a carpet thrown over it and a dull red curtain hung behind it.
As I arrived inside there was already a crowd of 25 people assembled. The opening Band “Dudeman” were rocking out on stage. I am sad to say that the audience was not very accepting of their deafening, barely understandable grunge rock. From what I could hear it was dirty, messy and consisted only of a lead singer with Guitar and a drummer. To them the idea of a show seemed to consist more of having an on-going joke with some one located behind stage, than of actually making music. By the end of their set I had narrowed it down to three possibilities as to why the band behaved in the way they did.
A) They had taken some thing, drank it, smoked it, snorted it, injected it. In some way or form they had altered their states of mind through external substances.
B) They were just weird as hell.
C) They were clinically insane.
To further prove my point: One of their songs was called “King Kong Went to Hong Kong to Play Ping Pong with His Ding Dong”. Towards the end of the show a head popped up right of the stage, with a marker screaming
“Pinhead” and proceed to scribble randomly all over his face. Because I am just as weird and twisted, this scenario was hilarious to me, however the rest of the crowd seemed rather unimpressed and annoyed.
The facial expression on that some what irritated crowd’s faces did not flinch as crazy marker man proceed to plop himself behind the drum kit and start gibbering away in English to the still annoyed and now confused looking German crowd. Second later he was joined by a topless man with the words Beach Goth written in lipstick on his chest, followed by unreadable scribbles and a gigantic arrow.
By now the confused audience had gradually warmed up to the sight of these two peculiar men and had begun to accept their slightly awkward appearances.
(I feel I must warn you now, because I am in love with this next man.)
Following closely was none of other than Wavves himself Mr. Nathan Williams. I was surprised to see that he was only a head or so taller than me and far skinnier than he appeared on photos. I am not sure if he is naturally this way, but by god this man was tiny. This did not stop him from looking amazing in his black jeans, faded black sweater, light blue jeans jacket and rotten white sneakers. He appeared on stage with his baby blue fender guitar with the only request of beer and began tuning and adjusting his Guitar. As the three man ensemble concluded their set up we learned that the lipstick scribbles on the bassists chest were in fact that failed attempt at a set list, but unfortunately after Beach Goth the lipstick had gone funny and they gave up, Nathan proceed to tell us that it didn’t really matter any way because they only knew 11 songs. He explained that his original drummer had broken his hand so he had flown in these two guys from California and they hadn’t had time to practice and learn more than 11 songs. At this point all I really wanted to do was raise my hand, as if I were in school and ask the obvious question. “How did he break his hand?” and “ Why did you have to get a new drummer and bass player, if only the drummer broke his hand?” But my questions went unanswered. After Beach Goth concluded Nathan announced, “Some one fucked that up, was it me? Did I fuck that up?” he turned to the crowd and said “Yeah I fucked that up, should my guitar be louder?”
I wish I could give you an exact documentation of all the hilarious things these three men said on stage, even I as a native English speaker had no clue half the time what the drummer was saying (He did threaten to send people angry e-mails if one of us put mention of his lame Facebook joke online, well this is me mentioning it so we’ll see if I get the email).
Nathan scolded them when they insulted Germans and their food preferences announcing he does not condone such behavior. After joking around a bit saying that anyone who thought the show was shit could get a refund at the door Nathan simply said “Everyone knew coming here this was going to be a shit show”. In it’s own beautiful and magical way it was complete and utter shit and I loved every moment of it.
Aha, you think this is the end of it.
After the concert I just could not resist. I knew I had to go to these three men and show them my love for their insanity and ability to make such a chaotic and obscure show amazingly fun to experiences both visually and sonically.
At first the Bassists who I ambushed at the Bar did not want to hug me because he was covered in lipstick but I insisted, so now I have Wavves’ messy set list smeared all over my shirt. I journeyed back to the stage were a sweaty drummer was still propped up behind the kit and I motioned for him to get up which he did and he embraced me in such a huge bear hug he lifted my feet off the ground and I was afraid my head would hit the stage lights.
And then the magical moment….. Out of the corner of my eye I could see a skinny frame moving swiftly onto the stage. It was Nathan. I nervously interrupted his movement across stage and pleaded for a hug, which he gave to me with a smile and a “Sure”. I thought I was going to die. I am not one to get all swoony around Musicians and usually I manage to keep a straight head, but he made any logical or intelligent thought just leave my head instantly. He continued talking to me. The content of this very brief conversation, I will not reveal because of it embarrassing nature on my part.
My conclusion? If you have the chance to see Wavves it is an experience. Do not expect a show that will make sense, be pleasant to the ear or even have some sort of structure, but you can expect a lot of content. And if by some weird bizarre twist of Fate Nathan Williams ever reads this! When you come back to Munich ever, call me ;D