It was a cold night in the city and the wait outside the Oxford Arts Factory seemed to be infinite, it was helped along by a couple of younger guys playing their "acoustic wavves". Finally inside...
Sydney young-uns Sures were on first and played a style of Indie pop that reminded me a lot of Pavement. I'd seen them once before when they opened the 2012 Laneway Festival, although their songs are good (and obviously rehearsed well), I felt they fell somewhere between not being Sloppy and fun enough to draw in the punkier end of the crowd and they Lyrics weren't insightful and smart/quirky enough to make them that happy-go-lucky slacker rock band (a la Pavement). However I will say that with a bit more crowd interraction and maybe a bit of time these guys could be a cool band, and all credit to them for obviously putting in the time to prepare, when so often you will see a support band completely unready for the stage.
A short wait followed before Wavves took the stage. From the get go the crowd was an intense swirling mass of bodies/bags/and flying limbs. Opening with King of the Beach was obviously a great way to get the crowd firing early (in fact the entire set bar the few song off the Life Sux EP was basically the same as the show last year at the Manning Bar). From there it went on with the band and the crowd obviously having fun, getting drunk and losing their minds. It has been the first real mosh-ish crowd I've seen/been part of, at the Oxford Arts Factory. During One song Nathan even threw himself into the crowd, guitar and all, that had everyone clamouring to get to him.
An impromtu sing along of the Aerosmith "classic" I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing had the crowd laughing and joining in, before they closed with the double smack of Green Eyes and Post Acid, the finale of course greeted with the crowd going positively crazy and crashing into each other while 4 or 5 people crowd surfed and one gentleman, still suited (from work?) was flung onto stage where he proceeded to dance before throwing himself back onto the receiving hands of the masses.
All in all Wavves are a band that are great on record and at least the 2 times I've seen them, even better Live because they know it's not about playing the songs perfectly or sounding exactly like the recorded version, but for their style of music, how much fun the crowd and the band are having. and just remember "You're better than Michael Jackson!!!!"