It was 60 degrees in Boston this past weekend, and the aptly named Summer Is Forever II tour came to town for a two-night, sold-out show at the Royale. The tour included California natives Best Coast and Wavves and featured pop-punk Cherry Glazerr as their opening act.
The all-ages crowd, weighted heavily toward the younger end, filled the dance floor. As Cherry Glazerr took the stage, phone cameras were pointing in the opposite direction of the main act. Aside from a duo of dads holding newly-purchased Best Coast vinyls, the bopping half-buns mostly belonged to younger fans.
Cherry Glazerr opened at 6:30 p.m., and especially noted the early start time: “Sometimes, I don’t even have pants on at this time,” bassist Sean Redman said.
The group played songs off its newest album, showing off lead singer Clementine Creevy’s breathy vocals, which exuded sugarcoated songs about crushes and cry-babies. It started off slow. Even the security guards were drinking Red Bull to stay alert. Eventually, though, more people arrived to fill in the dance floor and mezzanine spots, and the music’s energy followed suit.
Toward the latter part of the set when everyone was clapping for the end, Creevy took off her sweater to reveal a strappy sundress, took a swig of her Stella Artois and played one last song. The set felt a bit piecemeal, with some sultry, surf-rock ballads mixed with screamy-whiny songs about grilled cheese.
The first headliner, Wavves, took the stage shortly after with no introduction or address. The San Diego locals opened with “Sail to the Sun,” and the energy of the room skyrocketed.
Although he told the crowd he was feeling “sick as f—,” lead singer Nathan Williams went on to bring down the house with a very loud and confident rendition of “Idiot.” The mood was not as oppressive as the title might suggest, and the loud vocals took the attention of the crowd away from their phones and up toward the stage.
Coming off the high from a great song, Williams encouraged the crowd to crowd surf, despite the fact that Friday night’s show apparently disgruntled some of the security staff.
“You got your keys?” he asked the crowd. “Let’s get as many people to crowd surf at once.”
The crowd took to Williams’ instruction and crowd surfed, yelled and threw bras, baseball hats and cell phones toward the stage. Williams threw his water bottle back at the crowd during “Dog” and rushed through the next three songs.
Of the fast-paced trio, the band’s 2010 album’s title song, “King of the Beach,” was a crowd favorite and felt just a bit more Californian than rest. The closing song of the set, “Green Eyes,” however, got everyone scream-singing along from the very first line. The catchy, singable love song was punctuated with fleeting ballistic moments that epitomize everything Wavves represents. Think Beach Boys meets skate park punk, embracing weed, beachy fantasy and just a touch of self-loathing.
Up next came Best Coast, Wavve’s “best friend” band, which also hails from the Golden State. Bethany Cosentino, the feminist front woman, appeared through the fog in a mesh bodysuit and silver disco shorts. The band opened with “When I’m With You,” which had teenybopper couples kissing and dancing along to, “The world is lazy / But you and me / We’re just crazy.”
The transitions from song to song were either a quick ‘Thanks,” a rushed “This is [fill in song title here]” or just didn’t happen at all.
“I’m a little sick,” Cosentino said in one of these short breaks. Her voice, however didn’t reflect this at all. The beachy vocals sounded exactly like the record, powerful riffs and all.
About halfway through, Cosentino called out three security guards who were standing in between the audience barrier and the stage, holding a full conversation during the set.
“It’s a little disrespectful,” she said, before going into the oldie-but-goodie singalong “I Miss You” from the 2010 album “Crazy for You.”
The rest of the show flew by, with an almost-in-fast-forward “The Only Place,” in which Cosentino told the Boston crowd of her faraway Los Angeles home: “We’ve got the ocean, got the babes / Got the sun, we’ve got the waves / This is the only place for me.”
Cosentino came back strong with the single “Boyfriend,” which got all the females in the crowd singing along at the top of their lungs. After the song, she went to the back of the stage and knelt down with her back to the audience, presumably to get water or catch her breath. The band vamped for a while, and she returned to quickly play a low-energy “Our Deal,” also from 2010’s “Crazy for You” album. During the guitar breaks, she powered through, sticking out her tongue with the kind of expression you would make at a friend while running laps in gym class.
“I’m sick,” Cosentino said again after the song. “I’m a bitch, but I love you all.”
She promptly thanked Wavves and Cherry Glazerr, and then left stage with absolutely no promise of an encore. Although the performances lasted almost three hours in total, summer didn’t feel as much like “forever” as it did rushed.