wallows, 04.24.2019

Wallows (from left to right): Braeden Lemasters, Cole Preston, and Dylan Minnette. (press photo from Warner Music Atlantic)

“I found my f*cking capo!” Wallows front man Dylan Minnette proudly yelled into the microphone, causing thunderous cheering from the crowd. This instance was a perfect example of why people everywhere are falling in love with the indie rock band. The boys had spent a couple minutes searching around the stage for Dylan’s capo and had told the crowd they hadn’t been able to perform this specific song on tour yet due to constantly misplacing the capo. They were not embarrassed by having to pause to search for something, and were happy to admit it was the first time they’d be playing this song on tour. The personality of the band is so incredibly likable that the audience members feel like they’re watching their close friends perform. Casual interactions between the members, Dylan Minnette, Cole Preston, and Braeden Lemasters, create an atmosphere that ultimately feels comfortable, welcoming, and for lack of a better word, chill.

The third stop in their first headlining tour, Seattle showed up with energy and enthusiasm for good music and good times. The concert was opened perfectly by indie pop/rock artist Mk.Gee (pronounced “McGee”) who performed a set of songs that immediately had the crowd moving around and those who were more familiar with his work singing the lyrics in sync. The dreamy but catchy sound of Mk.Gee’s music was contagious. I had never listened to their music before, but before the first song had finished I leaned over to my friend and told her I would definitely be listening to more of them. There were soothing high vocals and funky bass riffs, as well as impressive guitar solos which hooked the crowd. It is generally a hit or miss for me with opening acts if I haven’t heard of them, it is rare that I have actually gone back to listen to those artists (although it has happened), but I was genuinely bummed when they announced they were playing their last song of the night. Luckily my spirits were quickly lifted when Wallows arrived on stage.

The band members all looked straight out of an indie film and many were swooning over the attractiveness of the boys. Wallows’ energy was consistently high and positive throughout the entire concert, and had fans singing the lyrics to every song along with them. Wallows played one of their more popular songs titled “Are You Bored Yet?” which features artist Clairo, but for the live version the band asked the crowd to take on Clairo’s verse as she was not present. The band did a fantastic job at including the audience and making them feel like they were a part of the show. There were casual interactions between the band and the audience members, and the connection between band members was clear on stage. My favorite performance of the night was of their song “Scrawny”, to which the crowd was jumping and yelling along to throughout the entire song.

“what’s the fun if you know what’s comin?

i don’t want to escape it.”

“Ice Cold Pool”, Wallows

The perfectly constructed set ended far too soon for the audience, and an encore was requested moments after Wallows left the stage. Luckily, the cheering brought them back to perform two songs: “Do Not Wait”, a mellow vocal-centered song that builds into a rock anthem, and “Only Friend”, the opener of their debut album which is incredibly catchy and upbeat. Wallows’ lyrics and sound both reference a sense of nostalgia for summers spent riding in cars with friends, hanging out in grocery store parking lots, spontaneous road trips, and night drives. They bring out that feeling of teenage confusion where life is happening around you and you realize you are simply along for the ride. Brief romances and forever friendships are foundations of much of their lyrics, and how to navigate these in today’s modern world. Their lyrics are strange and comforting at the same time, encouraging the listener not to take life too seriously.

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