Concert Review: Summer Is Forever II Tour (Detroit, MI)

 

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Surf punk sweethearts Wavves and Best Coast have hit the road on the Summer Is Forever II Tour with support from up and coming LA rock outfit, Cherry Glazerr. The tour came to Detroit’s Majestic Theatre on February 23rd, 2016.

Cherry Glazerr kicked off the show to a warm welcome from fans that took no time to win over. I was first exposed to Cherry Glazerr in 2014 when I saw them open Tyler, The Creator’s Camp Flog Gnaw music festival/carnival in Los Angeles, and I knew they had affiliation with Burger Records, which is usually enough to peak my interest. The garage rock act expressed how excited they were to be in Detroit after a nasty situation getting back in the country after playing Toronto and shredded their way through their set with songs about relationships, being on your period, and a grilled cheese. Yep, a grilled cheese. And the song enough was enough to make me salivate and kickstart a massive hankering. It may have also been the joint I smoked before the show.

For a garage band that’s fresh out of high school, Cherry Glazerr definitely knew what they were doing and were able to hold their own in front of an audience that largely had never heard of them. The band managed to not only get fans of Wavves and Best Coast bobbing their heads, but get the mosh pit in full effect across much of the floor space. I applaud a band that’s able to win over a crowd in a room where they either aren’t known, or are not the reason the people are in said room. It’s a real credit to not only their musicianship that shines in their young age, but their ability to, as garage rock legends MC5 would say, “Kick out the jams!”

In a timely manner, Best Coast was on next. Keep in mind, if you plan on going attending a future date of this tour, Best Coast and Wavves have changed up the order of when they play on occasion. Best Coast closed the show in Chicago, for example. That being said, they both played a nearly equal sized setlist despite the billing order.

Best Coast played a pretty extensive setlist for a band of their nature, managing to play a decent amount of material from each of their albums to please as many fans as possible. I try to gauge how the crowd receives a setlist by how often and how many people are moving, which I would say a good 70-80% of the crowd was doing the majority of the set. Frontwoman Beth Cosentino was firing on all cylinders and did not miss a beat. She was not the only star of the show, however, as every member of the band not only held their own, but all had their moments to shine. A fantastic band with excellent musicianship that shows their fans a fun time.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from Wavves’ incoming set. The band has released two albums in the last year since I had seen them, a collaborative effort with Cloud Nothings, and their proper full length effort, V. Save for the singles, I have yet to become very well versed with the band’s new material, and I feel like a lot of fans are in the same boat. The friends I went to the show with, who are pretty big Wavves fans in their own right, weren’t even aware that they had any new material. Plus the last time I saw Wavves, the set was tight, but felt rather brief, and frontman Nathan Williams didn’t seem to be in the best place at the time.

All worries were put to rest when Wavves walked out to the tune of Metallica’s “Battery” and kicked right into the Afraid of Heights opener, “Sail to the Sun.” From then until the very last note the band played at the end of the night, the energy in the room would not quit.

I could tell the setlist was picked very carefully. 18 songs spanning a good amount of Wavves catalog, although nothing prior to 2010’s King of the Beach was heard in the set, sorry fans hoping to hear the first two records. On the flipside, it was cool to hear some deeper cuts, such as “Nine Is God” which never appeared on an album, but you probably heard in the video game Grand Theft Auto V. Beyond that, the band stuck to playing majority songs off of King of the Beach and Afraid of Heights, while sneaking in a song from their Cloud Nothings collab, and a couple new songs off V.

The band seemed to gel real well this time around. Everyone was perfectly in sync, balancing a structured performance, while keeping with the face paced in your face nature of their musical aesthetic. What I’ve always loved about Wavves was their ability to be loud and brash, while still write a fun, catchy tune you can whistle.

Contrast to the last time I saw Wavves live, Nathan, as well as the rest of the band seemed to be in a much better mood. He cracked jokes with the crowd and had a smile on his face the whole time. While stage banter is not the reason to go to a concert, it really does add a lot to the experience, especially when it’s honest. Every band says they love playing <insert city here> and fans can tell when they’re just reading their internal script or if they’re really enjoying themselves, and Wavves made it clear that they were. It made for a great time.

The Summer is Forever Tour II is still going, and if you have the means, I strongly recommend anyone that just likes to have a good time at a rock show and maybe get a little rowdy to check if they’re coming to your city. Fans of both Best Coast and Wavves are sure to be pleased, and you’ll most likely walk away a Cherry Glazerr fan! The most pure fun you can have at a rock show. (Johnny Athey)

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