Wild Frontier Fest II to bring Wavves of excitement and debauchery
West Coast punk-pop outfit Wavves will kick off their tour this weekend at Wild Frontier Fest, and it should be a hell of a show. Assuming, that is, if Nathan Williams and his crew of slackers don’t get rejected from the venue for some sort of ridiculous stunt, like the one they pulled recently at MTV’s Video Music Awards when they were ejected from the ceremony for carrying in a backpack with beer, champagne and thirteen joints along with their band-branded weed grinder (which was, to their dismay, confiscated).
After a somewhat troubling 2009—which involved the band provoking a bar fight with the Black Lips and their infamous meltdown in Barcelona, blamed on Williams' taking of an unscrupulous benzo-MDMA cocktail—the band has been mostly well-behaved.
So hopefully Wavves can party without foul this weekend, and tear Austin up. Perhaps Williams will surprise the crowd by bringing Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino onstage for a live rendition of their fuzzy new boyfriend/girlfriend jam, Nodding Off. Whatever the case may be, we know that Emo’s won’t be hosting anything less than an alcohol-fueled, rage of party this weekend. And with 39 other (mostly local) acts sharing both inside and outside stages, you’d be hard to find a better $35 gamble than the one you’d make on a two-day pass to this burgeoning festival.
In just their second year at the helm of WFF, the 20 year-old organizers, Ricky Valenzuela and Cory Green, have roughly 13 times more in their budget for the second installment of the festival. And with no real corporate sponsors lined up and just their do-it-yourself crew at Vagabond Collective, they’ve set WFF up for party-goers with sincere purpose: “We like to say it’s a culmination of the best Austin music. It’s not really limited to one genre. Everything we think, I guess, what Austin’s about this year. And then we get the national bands to kind of connect those two,” Valenzuela says.
At just 18, the pair came out of a local program that teaches kids to make records, put on battle of the bands events and learn booking techniques; after graduating, they each decided to stick to the trade. “I guess the whole thing was that this is really fun—putting shows together that we would actually go to. And we didn’t see much of that going on in the scene,” Valenzuela says. “This isn’t even on the same playing field as what we did last year,” he says of WFF, having even had help from Graham Williams of Transmission Entertainment in booking national act Holy Fuck last year.
Five bands that you should definitely see this weekend? “Thieves for Hours and Ours, Marmalakes, and Little Lo all put on amazing shows. Peelander-Z—I’m really excited about them. And of course, White Denim,” Green tells us. So go out, support your local musicians, and have fun at what looks to be the biggest party in advance of ACL.