Waters brought their loud rock sounds and upbeat energy to The Roxy on Thursday night. It was the second stop of their five-leg West Coast tour, which started out in San Diego. Opening for them that night was Riothorse, a newly formed LA-based band.
Riothorse took the stage at 8:30 pm and delivered their moody music to a surprisingly receptive crowd. Despite the room being only about half filled, the energy of both the band and audience was high. Their song “Rabbit Hole” was a standout and slightly reminiscent of the sounds of Warpaint. No EP yet from these guys, but based on audience reception, we’ll likely be seeing more of Riothorse in the future.
Waters took the stage around 9:45 pm to a now more crowded room, looking like a true modern day rock band in their eclectic mix of denim and thrift store-esque floral shirts. They quickly picked up their instruments and started off with a couple new songs from their second full-length album, which the band has been working on for two years and has yet to be released.
Formed in Oslo, Norway, the band is made up of five members: Van Pierszalowski (vocals/guitar), Brian DaMert (guitar), Greg Sellin (bass), Andrew Wales (drums), and Sara DeMert (keyboard). Now based in Los Angeles, Waters most recently joined Tegan and Sara on their “Let’s Make Things Physical” tour.
Waters then played a few fan favorites like “For the One” and “Take Me Out to the Coast” from their first album, Out in The Light. The band repeatedly thanked the crowd for coming out and seemed truly humbled to have some fans singing along.
The show took a serious turn when the band left the stage so Pierszalowski could perform a solo acoustic version of “Mickey Mantle,” a slower, mellow song from their first album, which Pierszalowski said is his favorite. Despite Pierszalowski describing the experience as being “so amazingly terrifying,” he appeared confident when he asked everyone to be quiet so he could sing without the microphone. For a full three minutes, the room fell to complete silence to make space for Pierszalowski’s raw voice.
It is easy to miss the depth and even sadness in Water’s lyrics, which are often drowned out by the loud sounds of the drums, bass, and yes- tambourine. This made the acoustic moment all the more special. It allowed to audience to feel the full weight of the song’s lyrics, like, “Can’t nobody ever see, don’t make a mess of me… I’m not too young to regret.”
Immediately following the solo performance, the rest of the band members rejoined Pierszalowski on stage, bringing with them flowers, which they graciously handed out to the crowd.
Waters made sure to end the night on a high note with their popular songs, “Go To My Head” and “I Feel Everything.” They encouraged the crowd to sing along to the “whoa’s, whoa’s,” of “I Feel Everything,” but not without a few practice run-throughs first.
Waters’ next full length album isn’t expected to drop for another few months, but their latest EP, It All Might Be Ok, which features standouts like “Go To My Head” and “Over It,” should be enough to hold you over until then.
Words: Giovanna Gonzalez
Photography: Wes Marala
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