Brisk temperatures in the low forties Tuesday night didn’t seem to bother the jam-packed audience on the back patio of Emo’s. Those lucky enough to acquire tickets to the sold out show to see Best Coast, Wavves and No Joy flooded into the venue’s doors from the moment they opened at 9 pm, pushing their way as close to the stage as possible.
The crowd seemed rather still as Montreal noise-pop group No Joy took the stage. Lead singer Jasmine White-Glutz’s voice was overtaken by a shield of reverb throughout their set featuring songs from the group’s debut album Ghost Blonde. The trio performed with a slight stiffness, each of them hiding behind a curtain of hair that swung back and forth with each strum of the guitar. But as the night wore on, the band let loose, the music began to flow and the audience responded. By the time No Joy wrapped up, there wasn’t a head in the crowd that wasn’t bobbing along to the beat.
Enter Wavves. Wild cheering began at the first sight of Nathan Williams’s cherry red cap, and the enthusiasm only grew in intensity from there. Crowd surfing? Check. Out-of-control dancing? You bet. Beach balls and blow-up aliens soaring through the hazy night air? Oh yeah. Wavves’ contagious energy electrified the audience during their amped-up psych rock performance. Williams and bassist Stephen Pope whipped their sweat-drenched surf hair wildy as drummer Billy Hayes drove the beat to the forefront. To say the crowd got into this show would be an understatement. At one point, Williams launched himself into the crowd, relying on their desperate reaches to keep him afloat the mob. Most of the songs played came from Wavves’ sophomore album, King of the Beach along with a few from their debut album Wavves. After introducing a new song that was welcomed by the crazed fans, the guys concluded with “Post Acid.” The entire audience sang along.
Tuesday marked Best Coast’s first show in Austin apart from appearing at SXSW and Fun Fun Fun Fest. Lead vocalist Bethany Cosentino had the same laid-back attitude that anchors the tone of the group’s breakthrough album Crazy For You released back in July. Straight out of Los Angeles, the trio captured the essence of California with songs about the beach, surfer boys and hot summer days. If I hadn’t seen for myself, I would have sworn Emo’s was blasting the actual album through the loud speakers due to the quality of Cosentino’s voice. Her poppy melodic vocals entranced the crowd, who often sang along themselves while swaying back and forth. After serving up hit after hit, Cosentino surrendered her guitar, leaving band mates Bobb Bruno and Ali Koehler to back up her last song of the night. Once over, the crowd, seemingly still mesmerized, slowly dissipated.