Juan Wauters’ Quirky Party Vibes at Mohawk: Live Review

Juan_Wauters_071015-2Juan Wauters is a special kind of performer and songwriter. “Outsider music” a friend called his sound as we discussed Wauters’ set between songs Saturday night at the Mohawk. I’m buying it, but there’s something universally accessible here as well—something simple, direct, and pure. During one song, after a series of semi-coherent rapid-fire rhymes, Wauters shouts earnestly, “This is a good show!” These lyrics are part of the song, and he means it completely. He’s a purveyor of posi vibes running classical acoustic guitar through a garage band filter. A South American Jonathan Richman. (There’s even a resemblance.)

Juan_Wauters_071015-7I’ve seen Wauters three times now, and every show has been energetic, transfixing, and well attended. Standing at a performance that eschews cynicism completely and draws in the masses by riding that line between weirdo outcast and fun-loving party guy, well, I can’t help but fall in love completely. It helps that I can see flashes of one of my favorite bands, Beat Happening, in Wauters’ performance, but this demands far less from listeners. There’s a little something for everyone here, and it’s basically impossible not to dig live. My recommendation: catch one of the remaining shows on this tour.

All photographs © Bryan C. Parker & Pop Press International; all rights reserved. Click any image to open set in slideshow viewer.

About author
Bryan Parker is a writer and photographer living and working in Austin, TX. He is the founder of blog Pop Press International and print journal True Sincerity and recently released his first book, a volume on Beat Happening in the 33 1/3 series.

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