On August 27th, Korean indie band wave to earth performed a sold-out show at the Constellation Room in Santa Ana. Passionate fans crowded the small venue, packing it to the brim. The band’s cheerful smiles and frequent interactions with the crowd made the show intimate and personal.
Kicking off the show was opener SLCHLD, whose stage name fit perfectly with his soulful R&B tracks. Hyping the crowd up, the soloist was surprised by the fans’ volume, as they sang, cheered, and barked together through his short set. He sang some of his most popular songs along with unreleased tracks such as “Monster,” and even signed a lucky attendee’s hat as he walked off stage. It wasn’t long before the main act of the evening, wave to earth, took the stage.
With four stops on the tour in Southern California alone, it may be hard to differentiate the shows from one another. But, the band shared the Constellation Room concert was unlike any other. “It feels like we’re at home,” described the band, looking around the simple venue, set up with just a low stage and a wide open space for fans. While larger venues are great for extravagant and fancy performances, the Constellation Room is ideal for a laidback show focused on the connection between artist and audience, and it reminded the trio of their beginning days as wave to earth. “We started out in real basement clubs, maybe in front of like 15 people, so we love this vibe.”
Even for those in the very back of the room, the view was clear, and their cheers could be heard clearly by the band, contributing to several interactions between wave to earth and their audience. Fans continued to shout words of affection towards every member of the band, but especially drummer Dongkyu, almost as if not wanting him to feel forgotten at the back of the stage. Bassist John also engaged the crowd consistently, teaching them a Korean phrase, making conversation, and constantly reminding fans not to push one another in the general admission crowd. Acting as the perfect example of the atmosphere of the show, guitarist Daniel even noticed a particular fan in the crowd and gave a special shout out in the middle of the show — for being the barista who made the band’s coffee the day prior.
Singing some of their best-known songs such as “Bad,” “Daisy,” and “Sunny Days,” Daniel sang each lyric with a passion that delivered each song’s message, and he executed each melody with ease. His smooth, breathy vocals were also paired with harmonies from the audience, as they sang and cheered along to every song. Being a band, there was also a heavy focus on their instruments, as the group bridged songs with instrumental breaks rather than talking sections several times throughout the show, and each band member was given at least one instrumental solo.
Although the music was well executed and the setlist boasted songs from their entire discography, performances did unfortunately begin to bleed into one another due to the consistent genre and the instrumental transitions. Despite that, wave to earth kept everyone engaged and enthralled with their little interactions with the audience and with one another throughout the evening. Thankfully, the chosen genre was still suited to the band and the venue, which helped move the show along and create a unique overall feeling. The atmosphere was reminiscent of coming-of-age stories such as The Perks of Being A Wallflower, in which the music is chill and relaxed, playing in the background as a group of friends hang out in a basement.
For fans of the genre and of the band, the show was one full of great music and great vibes. With promises to return again, the evening ended with an encore performance of “Homesick,” “Seasons,” and “Bad.” Not long after the final song, wave to earth was waving goodbye to their Orange County fans, as the show drew to a close and the trio headed off to their next tour stop.