Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images Kenny Chesney has joined a campaign to supply…
- Posted on Sep 25th 2009 12:00PM by Kenneth Partridge
Performing Thursday night at the New York City club Santos Party House, Williams ratcheted up the intensity, recasting such songs as the aforementioned 'So Bored' as raging hardcore free-for-alls. Credit for the stylistic about-face mostly belongs to Williams' new band mate, drummer Zach Hill, a heavy hitter who joined Wavves in August before the duo launched this latest tour.
Throughout Thursday's show, Hill didn't so much accompany Williams as play over him, throwing the whole of his gangly body into a string of thundering fills. As Hill pummeled his kit, his long, stringy hair whipped back and forth -- at least for the first few songs, until sweat plastered it to his face.
If fans couldn't help but gawk at Hill's relentless thrashing, Williams, too, seemed in awe of his partner. Early in the set, when a speaker positioned near the drum set toppled over and crashed to the floor, Williams smiled and shrugged it off, as if such destruction were inevitable.
In fact, Williams, who made indie-rock-blog headlines back in May when he suffered an alcohol-induced breakdown onstage in Barcelona, grinned his way through much of Thursday's show, disappointing anyone who came expecting another meltdown.
"Are there cats on the screen?" he asked at one point, tickled by the silly video he'd chosen to play on the club's projection screens. "Cats wearing glasses? Yeah!"
Plowing through such favorites as 'To the Dregs' and 'No Hope Kids,' as well as a new song he introduced as 'Poker Face,' Williams was nothing if not affable -- a trash-pop auteur very much in control of both his faculties and his audience.
By the end of the night, the area in front of the stage was a boiling sea of slam-dancing bodies. This was egalitarian moshing: Downtown yuppies brushed up against hipsters with bad haircuts while a hapless cameraman tried in vain to roll steady footage.
After 10 songs, Wavves walked off without an encore, leaving Williams' guitar buzzing and a roomful of ears ringing.