Fans of Wavves who won’t be at Foellinger on Saturday night are outta luck. No, the band won’t be playing in Indianapolis the next night. Not even in Chicago. Wavves are flying in all the way from sunny California just to play for you, Champaign-Urbana. Exclusive means exclusive.
Wavves first gained recognition in 2008 after releasing their self-titled debut album, which was first made available on cassette before hitting the shelves in LP/CD format. Since then, the band has released a few other albums which were all well-received as well as made some changes to their line-up. Currently the band is made up of three members: Nathan Williams, Stephen Pope and Jacob Cooper. Pope, who used to play with Jay Reatard, joined Williams in late 2009 as the bassist; and last year his childhood friend, Cooper joined as the second guitarist. As rumors of fights, public breakdowns, and romance circulated, the band continued to make music and please both critics and fans (and cat lovers), gaining themselves a loyal fan base that some have called a cult following.
So what made the California natives decide to come all the way to C-U for one show? According to Pope, the band simply just wanted to get out of town. They haven’t gotten to play a lot of shows this year because they have been busy recording their upcoming album. Promises of a new single and video to be released this month have been officially made on Facebook, but the album itself won’t be available until spring.“Never worked as hard on anything before in my life,” said Pope about the upcoming record. “We’ll also be touring all of next year. I hate being home this long so I’m ready to get back out.”
This will be Wavves first time back in C-U since Pygmalion 2009, and they’ll be forced to face some demons. First of all, when Pope thinks of Champaign it’s not rainbows and butterflies that flood his mind.
“I’ve always been terrified of going there. I remember when I was younger there was a train that derailed in Champaign and it seemed pretty terrible. Some of my friends knew a bunch of passengers that died and it really affected them so I associate Champaign with that.”
Secondly, the band will be playing for a mostly college audience and although he considers that “pretty awesome,” Pope said the band can’t seem to shake the past while visiting a campus. “Horrible memories always come flooding back from the little amount of school we had and we always just end up crying. Nobody likes school. But the shows are fun.”
The shows are fun indeed, and of course we don’t want the guys to leave here crying unless it’s because they’ll miss this place so damn much.
The concert is put on by Star Course, a U of I student run live concert organization also responsible for bringing Empires to town in October. The organization is currently planning for more events and hoping for a successful year.
“Our next show will probably be a smaller one…But who knows!” said Marsella Lopez, one of the organization’s PR managers. “The senior managers have been cooking up some ideas for something big that Star Course has never organized before. All of us are just going to have to hold our breath until then but no matter what, we’re going to keep trying to introduce this campus to great music and have a great time doing so.”
Opening for Wavves are locals Easter and The Dirty Feathers. Naturally, good times are expected from both the bands and the Dirty Feathers are promising a little extra. According to The Dirty Feather’s guitarist Andrew Kling, “We are gonna have a sax player, maybe fireworks, a new song or two, free stuff, exotic dancers, and a salty disposition.” Does it get any better than that?
Wavves are playing an all-ages show at Foellinger Auditorium on Saturday, December 8 at 8:00 p.m. Tickets can be purchased through the Assembly Hall box office and are available at $15 for students, $18 for the public.