Cal Mcvann, someone who appears in the photo, posted it on his Facebook page (“About Cal: HIPSTERxHOLOCAUST”) in the album “RAINBOW WAARCHES by Cal Mcvann” and tagged all the names. The caption reads “911.” Three people–Jaimee Arthurs, Alexander James Hirst, Racheal Crowther–like the picture. The following people had this to say about the photograph:
Joe Broady: “thats fucking ill” [sic].
Kayleigh Heydon: “sickkkkk” [sic].
Jordan Carrol: “aw this is good” [sic].
WU LYF is a four-piece band. Their names are Evans Kati, Joseph Manning, Tom McClung and Ellery Roberts. The Observer wondered if a young band with “pretty good” songs was really worth the effort of finding out more, or if having to make an effort at all was itself appealing. Still, the more WU LYF avoided The Observer, the more we wanted to know.
There were a number of people wearing white scarves wrapped around their faces mingling about the venue before WU LYF took the stage at Glasslands. The Observer kept his notebook discreetly hidden because the person in charge of booking the show said the headliner demanded that no press or label representatives could be included on any of the other bands’ guest lists. The Observer saw at least two label heads, a number of journalists and a great deal of photographers. How did a band with no album out come to believe they had more power than the record industry?
After 12:30 a.m., four skinny and young-looking guys left the room marked “staff only” and set up instruments. They tuned quickly and then walked offstage back into the forbidden room. Through the cracked open door, The Observer glimpsed one of the four–the singer, whom The Observer recognized from YouTube videos–holding a water pitcher and fake pouring it on himself. He was grabbing his rear end in feigned sexual positions, posing for the camera phone of a member of one of the opening acts, Wise Blood. The door closed. Soon the four guys started to file back onstage, and The Observer felt someone touch his arm. It was the guitar player, who was squeezing through the audience frantically toward the bathroom. He was wearing a hideous giant sweater that looked like a rug.
He returned quickly, and the band started to play. At the first notes of “L Y F,” for which the band released a video a few days prior to the show, the audience applauded loudly in recognition. The singer wore a jean jacket buttoned up all the way with torn holes on both elbows. His jaw was hard and clenched while he played his keyboard with one tense arm, the other clutching his heart like his chest hurt.
“I’ll love you forever,” the singer screamed loudly until the veins in his neck bulged and throbbed. It helped that he was good-looking.
“They’re just a boy band,” an audience member said to The Observer with a certain venom.
At the end of the song, the singer ripped off the jean jacket in one big movement. Instead of stage banter or introducing himself, he made a Donald Duck sound into the microphone, spewing gibberish. In a normal voice, he requested that all the lights be turned off.
By the end of the second song, he and the drummer–expressing more indifference with his face than if he were in math class–were both shirtless. In addition to being introduced to some of the band member’s tiny nipples, the audience was hearing most of the songs for the first time. They thrashed and moved their bodies. When WU LYF played one of the songs that has been floating around the Internet–namely, “I Got Dem Wu Wu Busted Teef Spitting It Concrete Like the Golden Sun God”–the singer announced, “Here is a song all of you know,” with genuine hubris. The guitar player shouted “New York City!” into his microphone the same way Spinal Tap shouts, “Hello, Cleveland!” The bassist poked fun at a girl for looking like “the singer from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.” (Many of the girls in the room did. We were in Williamsburg.) What the
y lacked in charm they made up for in intensity. WU LYF will not change the world–or the music industry–but they are excellent performers.
“Well, it’s just a band,” the bassist said sarcastically in between songs, though it was hard to hear. The singer was making Donald Duck sounds into his microphone again to obscure all the words.