Teeny bop: The Wave comes on strong

So far, when someone brings up teenage bands in Charlottesville, the name Sparky's Flaw is usually mentioned first. Rightly so. The band has dominated teen competitions for the last few years and gone on to record a polished record at Crystalphonic. Last I heard they were going to open for Blues Traveler or some other obsolete-but-once-popular band. Maybe it was something to do with management... I don't know. But hey, that's a big step for a band fresh out of high school (if that).

Sparky's Flaw is a great group, no doubt. I wish them the best. But if they're the only teen band you know, then let me drop this blip on your radar. The Wave is a modern classic rock trio slowly getting their due recognition. The group recently won the ACAC battle of the bands and took the money to put finishing touches on a debut album, Dreamers.

I had the pleasure of being invited to the Dreamers CD release show at The Gravity Lounge Friday, November 4. The Gravity Lounge has supported young local acts by opening their stage at "family friendly" hours. On this particular evening, fans at the 5:30pm show consisted of parents and friends who have supported the hard work and dedication The Wave has shown as they've developed.

The band played a well-executed set that lasted an hour and some change. Included were covers of a few classic rock staples (Hendrix, Stones, Neil Young). But truth be told, I was more impressed by the originals. A few times I was downright shocked at the songwriting maturity. The original tunes were exciting and full of mood and rhythmic changes. It was hard to believe that these three youngsters wrote the tunes themselves.

Then again, maybe it isn't so hard to believe judging by their skill level on their respective instruments. I was most impressed by bassist Marsh Mahon. I know some adult groups that could use a bass player like him. This kid is as solid as they come. As a matter of fact, he's so solid that the one time, I repeat, one time I saw his fingers flub a note he turned bright red. It was quite humorous– only because I don't think casual listeners even noticed.

That illustrates the band's attitude in general: They want the best for themselves and won't settle for less. They're serious about their music because they care about how it sounds and they want the best for fans who come to listen. Beyond all else, that's the winning attitude. Judging by the crowd response after their performance and smiles on the faces of those in attendance, I think The Wave can keep on winning if they put their mind to it.