Concert Reviews

Wavves Brings Beach Partying and Fun to Club Dada for Not So Fun Weekend

The best way to describe Wavves is a band that takes beach partying as seriously as possible.
The best way to describe Wavves is a band that takes beach partying as seriously as possible. Carley Elsey
What better way to cap off a weekend of wild concerts than to host one of the biggest party shows at one of the smallest venues?

That’s what happened Sunday night with the second-to-last show in Not So Fun Weekend’s five-day concert series with five bands: Omni, Okey Dokey, La Luz, Crumb and the weekend’s biggest headliner, Wavves.

With party balloons spelling NSFW lining the curtains at Club Dada, the venue teemed with people coming from all over the state and beyond to witness an event that had so much promise — and delivered.

The night began with a solid opening from Omni, a group of sleepy, Devo-like post-punkers from Atlanta. With quirky rhythms and the vocal swagger of singer Phillip Frobos, the band got the crowd moving and shaking to warm it up for what came next — Nashville’s Okey Dokey, which got the people swaying to its so-called psych-soul sound like a 1950s high school dance.

“You know, I grew up always thinking that Dallas wasn’t a cool scene, but wow,” Okey Dokey lead singer Aaron Martin said.

The love both shown and felt by Dallas’ growing music scene was apparent when Seattle psychedelic group La Luz took the stage in front of a wall of applause. When the dreamy jazz-rockers of Brooklyn’s Crumb took the stage, they definitely a much-needed aura of relaxation.

John Iskander of Parade of Flesh, the booking agency that runs Not So Fun Weekend, pledged a wild Sunday night show, and the San Diego surf rockers of Wavves made sure that that promise was kept. Wavves is a band that takes beach partying as seriously as possible. Attempting to stay still at a Wavves show would be a hopeless endeavor.

With an 18-song set list, Wavves kept the crowd’s spirits up in the wake of a post-St. Patrick’s Day hangover at the close of the evening. The band also maintained a remarkable interaction with the audience. After its first song, “Way Too Much,” lead singer Nathan Williams delightfully accepted a hit off some unknown smokeable substance handed to him from a fan standing front and center.

“You know, I grew up always thinking that Dallas wasn’t a cool scene, but wow.” — Aaron Martin, Okey Dokey

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After performing a fan favorite, “King of the Beach” from the album of the same name, Williams regaled the audience with the band’s recent experience driving through Dallas during its wild St. Patrick’s Day festivities.

“There were these white guys in khaki shorts pissing on our car,” said Williams to a cheering audience. “Don’t cheer for that," he responded. "I’m OK with St. Patrick’s Day, but don’t cheer for people pissing on our car.”

When the band got to one of its more recent songs, “You’re Welcome,” it became obvious that the audience was there to dance. There was so much stage-diving, however, that Williams had to instruct the fans on the proper way to go about it.

“The monitors are not nailed down,” he said. “I don’t give a shit if you jump from the stage, but if you jump from the monitors, they will fall over.”

When Wavves played its second-to-last song, “Post Acid,” Williams welcomed the ocean of beer being thrown around the crowd and onto the stage. Closing with “Green Eyes,” the band and the audience became one in a chorus of music and chaos. The song begins like a ballad and ends like a 10-car pile-up.

The last chance to get in on the Not So Fun excitement is tonight at City Tavern downtown with U.S. Girls and Ruby Haunt.
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David Fletcher writes about music, arts and culture for the Dallas Observer. You can usually find him at a show in Deep Ellum whether he's writing about it or not. A punk scholar and local music enthusiast, David focuses his attention on the artists screaming in the margins of Dallas' music scene.
Contact: David Fletcher