Joyce Manor / Wavves - live in Boston (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Joyce Manor / Wavves

live in Boston (2017)

live show

It just wasn’t meant to be. This co-headlining tour with Joyce Manor and Wavves was particularly alluring because it featured Culture Abuse opening, with their great, spazzy, punky alt-rock of sorts a great intro for the lineup. But it was a perfect shitstorm: A Perfect Circle were playing the much larger Agganis Arena just one block away, creating more foot and vehicle traffic on the already busy Commonwealth Avenue and taking away what few parking spots were available in the near vicinity on a block already largely blocked off for construction. By the time I arrived, Culture Abuse were wreaking havoc on a noisy, extended finish of their “Jealous” highlight, from last year’s Peach full-length. It sounded cool, and it was a real bummer to have basically missed what looked like a really fun set.

Wavves is a band I’ve always been sort of ambivalent on, but I was positioned to give them a fair shake here. They certainly weren’t bad; for a fun sound that blurs the lines between raucous indie rock and ‘90s pop-punk, they played like seasoned professionals, and certainly whipped the crowd into a frenzy while offering jovial humor for an hour’s worth of tunes. They played fan favorites like “King of the Beach” and, my personal favorite of theirs, “Post Acid.” At one point early in the set, Nathan Williams donned a costume police hat someone threw on stage and proclaimed “Fuck me,” later accepting a skull bracelet as a gift. He dove onto the crowd (with fair warning) during the last song just for good measure.

The audience’s respective reaction to each band was somewhat comparable, but it seemed like Joyce Manor’s was just a little bit bigger and more spread out throughout the venue. They played their own awesome hour of songs that spanned their whole catalog, all the way from their early Constant Nothing EP (which they played most of) to their most recent album, Cody, which they played a nice chunk of. My two favorite albums of theirs, Of All Things I Will Soon Grow Tired sadly only included the cover and the popular “Violent Inside” single, but Never Hungover Again got plenty of love, more than any other album. They played pretty tightly, and didn’t mess around with the banter too much, knocking out over 20 songs in the process. They said Boston was one of their favorite places to play and it showed, as the crowd never really slowed down singing along, pitting or jumping on top of one another. Recent singles like “Fake I.D.” and old favorites like “Five Beer Plan”, of course, were shouted just a little louder than the others.

Set list (10:11-11:02):

  1. Beach Community

  2. Derailed


  3. Fake I.D.


  4. Eighteen


  5. Falling in Love Again


  6. Stairs


  7. Video Killed the Radio Star [Bruce Woolley/The Buggles cover]

  8. Last You Heard of Me

  9. Constant Nothing


  10. This Song Is a Mess But So Am I


  11. Schley


  12. Million Dollars to Kill Me [new song]

  13. The Jerk

  14. Violent Inside


  15. Over Before It Began

  16. Victoria


  17. End of the Summer

  18. Chumped


  19. Constant Headache
  20. Heart Tattoo

  21. Catalina Fight Song

    Encore (11:03-11:07):

  22. Christmas Card [?]

  23. Five Beer Plan