From the moment I stepped out of the hazy, rainy LA winter into Downtown Los Angeles’ Belasco Theater I was instantly transported to sunnier days. The atmosphere rock bellowing out of the speakers, the swaying crowd and those milling around the back bar tapping their feet to the beat illuminated Beach Fossil’s LA crowd. Although the indie pop band is known for producing reverb-heavy west coast sounding vibes, the line-up of Dustin Payseur, Tommy Davidson, Jack Doyle Smith & Anton Hochheim actually originated in Brooklyn, NY. And you’d believe it if you can look (or listen) past the mystifying reverb and heavy-handed bass to hear the bands lyrics laced with loneliness and uncertainty.
“Couldn’t really tell you what I’m trying to find, everyone’s so boring makes me want to lose my mind” Payseur sings. Although the lyrics are melancholy, the performance certainly wasn’t. Beach Fossils made up such an animated set that the crowd was even moshing enthusiastically, and a few brave souls took a dive into crowd surfing among the hazy audience along to the thick base lines and guitar solos.
Following these surfing attempts Payseur held a singular guitar note for what seemed like forever to tease the crowd, however the audience only got more and more amped—feeding off of the energy of the explosive crowd Beach Fossils went straight into their final song. The crowd raged when the team wrapped up their final song, eagerly anticipating an encore the crowd watched in awe as Beach Fossil began to tear down their set.
However, no one was disappointed, and the crowd only got more restless for San Diego natives Wavves in all their hazy beach glory to take the stage for round two. I was witnessing a rare LA music scene treat, a co-headlined show by two bands that complimented each other perfectly. Nathan Williams took the stage in a roar and took the energy of the crowd to a whole new level with his distorted no-fi and sunshiny melodies.
The low-reds and blues of shifting light over the crowd and the simple backdrop displaying “Wavves” along with a tarot card image made you feel like you were at your high school best friend’s basement show of the first time. This kind of intimacy couldn’t have been more pinnacle, and no doubt was to blame for the energetic crowd.
The double feature of Beach Fossils and Wavves was a perfectly complimented live music treat, and after witnessing both bands completely take control of a crowd so much so that they were entirely at their will was a spectacle in itself to watch. I left the Belasco Theater that night thinking to myself that if this was representative of the LA music scene, it was something I must certainly could get used to.
— Elise Roncace, Staff