WATERS – The Independent – San Francisco, CA – January 24, 2015
San Francisco based WATERS hasn’t been actively releasing any music since their debut album they recorded in Norway almost four years ago. Calling it a hiatus would be overstepping, so I’ll say they were just perfecting their sound for the recently released EP, It All Might Be OK. The EP has been well received, highlighted by the signature track, Got To My Head where front man Van Pierszalowski sounds eerily familiar to Christian Zucconi of Grouplove. Coincidentally enough, Ryan Rabin, the drummer from Grouplove produced the track for WATERS.
Well, WATERS is back, and they’re on a five stop “West Coast Winter Tour”, including a show in their base city, San Francisco, which is nestled in the middle of the west coast tour. They played this last Saturday, January 24th at The Independent, an indie music venue that hugs the Lower Haight district of San Francisco. And to say the least, they made their hometown crowd proud. The band mates had a confident and comfortable air about them, facilitating a sense of community and closeness among everyone at the venue.
WATERS was able to maintain our attention, especially when Pierszalowski asked the crowd to quite literally, “Shut the f*** up for three minutes” while he went unplugged to play a track Mickey Mantle, from their first album. No microphone. No amplifiers. Just his acoustic guitar, a stomp of the foot and a vulnerable voice under a single spotlight. Being exposed and authentic through the entire stripped set, the front man was able to stay forever young by captivating the silenced crowd.
Once fellow band members, Brian DaMert on guitar, Greg Sellin handling the bass, drummer Andrew Wales, and Sara DaMert on the keys, came back on stage the show was kicked into another gear as they played the aforementioned groove, Got To My Head. One recommendation for WATERS to take into consideration is for the Sellin and DaMert to take more control of the stage; to migrate around, creating an ever-changing visual dynamic and increasing the audience’s sense of the band’s involvement. The band hit full speed when Mike Deni of the San Francisco based band, Geographer, decided to jump from the spot next to me on stage to join in singing I Feel Everything.
It turned out to be a pure hometown San Francisco concert when members of the indie pop rock band French Cassettes also stormed the stage to join in with Deni and WATERS. The headliners knew how to finish off a show. But, we were not finished. The crowd was ready for more, as we politely demanded for an encore – even after Pierszalowski jokingly noted they aren’t used to additional performances after the end of the set list as they are usually opening for others. WATERS ended up obliging and played us one final track that satisfied our demand for more.
Although WATERS might not be used to encores, with their ever impending success, they are going to have to start making it a normal part of their routine.
Give their new EP It All Might Be OK a listen:
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