Wallows delivers the perfection of indie rock in San Francisco

Aloos is worth the hype. With the star’s seamless aura, the band’s Thursday night performance at The Warfield in San Francisco would have had the same effect whether it was performed in a garage or Madison Square Garden: the venue shrank to just include you and the band. Led by charming Dylan Minette and charming Breaden LeMasters on vocals and guitar, with drummer Cole Preston to round out the band’s three central members, the Wallows instantly captured the audience with an intimate, rehearsal-like vibe. However, despite their down-to-earth personality, the band’s skill and passion for their music was evident, with crystal clear live vocals and energetic instrumentation. The members were in sync and relaxed, confident in their rising popularity with a clear identity and musical sound.

Although the six band members walked on stage unceremoniously wearing cargo shirts and pants, the audience’s reaction was explosive. The energy of the crowd remained high throughout the party, and for good reason. Almost every song was a fan favorite, and Wallows gave a good performance. In addition to songs from their new album Tell Me That It Over, the band played songs from their previous album “Nothing Happens” (2019), EPs “Remote” (2021) and “Spring” (2018), also as their single “Pleasor” ( 2017). Although the music was pretty much true with the recordings (particularly the vocals, to a pretty impressive degree), subtle changes in the arrangements made things stand out. The versatile group played around the instruments for each song. In addition to guitars, bass, drums, keys, and synth, the band also brought out the trumpet for a few songs played by Danny Fernbach. Minette held guitar, tambourine and harmonica.

The individual skill of the band members as entertainers was evident, and they balanced each other perfectly. As lead singer, Minnette, who is also known for his role in the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why, did not disappoint. Wearing a distinctive cardigan, he showed a natural presence on the stage, confidently walking on stage and swinging along to the rhythm, his points and gestures eliciting shouts from the beloved audience. While the slow songs were accompanied by an emotional Minette holding the mic, the faster songs made him dance and perform guitar solos.

While the outgoing Minnette aired his energy throughout the crowd, the quieter LeMasters were able to interact with fans one-on-one. LeMasters gave shout-outs to the porch, wished fans a Merry Christmas and received gifts including a bouquet of flowers and a homemade Shrek hat, which he wore to the rest of the group. Standing alongside the larger-than-life character of Minnette, the LeMasters also enjoyed his moments in the spotlight, with guitar solos and smooth vocals taking center stage. The group was so comfortable playing together that the performance would have been a jam session for a group of high school best friends (which, given Wales’ teenage origins, was somewhat of a snooze). The bond of the group was evident in her performance. The instruments and vocals of each member are easily fused together to become a sonorous and joyful sound.

The relaxed tone of presentation is underlined by the array of options. A nude stage with a few mic stands and scattered white floor lamps add to the feeling of being in a personal home setting with the band. The lights (including the color changing bulbs) were glowing warm, unobtrusive but a perfect complement to the music. Thanks to the technicians, the stage lighting seemed almost vivid, the pulsating purple light the heartbeat of a musician’s song and bright red accompanying the beating heart of a rock song.

The band clearly knows and loves their audience and has put on a great show for them accordingly. Many songs included popular hits, most notably “Are you bored yet?” During which Minette thrilled an audience with thrills to sing Clayro’s poetry. Despite Clairo’s absence, the party received a surprise guest. Toward the end of the group, Lydia Knight, lead singer of the pop-punk band The Regrettes, ran onto stage to unbridled cheers. Night joined forces with Minnette on the melancholy “Permanent Price,” and her moody, moody vocals complemented the song well.

On a flawless set, Wallows’ only visible slip occurred during the high tempo of “Marvelous,” which Minette sang while playing a tambourine. After mixing some lyrics during the song’s fast forward, Minette quickly called to replay the piece, telling the audience that they deserved the band to perform the song properly. If anything, the crowd was more excited the second time around; They were honored because Minnette would do just that so they could sing along with the right lyrics. The performance that followed was a defining high point on the set.

Passionate fan who sings with music

The group’s affinity with their fans was similarly evident during the group’s debut. After the band played their last song (and Minette delivered his pick to the crowd), the crowd quickly started chanting “One last song!” After we left the band on hold for a minute, the band came back, the lights flashed green in time to the infectious “hard to believe” beat. Minnette asked a fan to choose the next song, and after a few moments of preparation, the band gave an unexpected performance of Ice Cold Pool. The crowd favorite “Remember When” wrapped up the show—the actual “last song,” Minette joked.

Spill tab, also known as Claire Sheesha, is a well-chosen opener. Her performance—a blend of relaxed aesthetics, wordplay and dance-worthy musical instruments—matches Wallows’ energy with a tee. Join singer and guitarist Caleb Buchanan with a simple setup of a laptop and microphone stand. Just as every great editorial does, the spill tab made the crowd sway even though most of the audience wasn’t familiar with its music. She has also covered in some audio covers, including Usher, Kelly Clarkson, and Moses Sumney, and invited the audience to sing. The highlight, however, was her original song “Velcro” and “Grade A,” whose high-paced beats thrilled the crowd for lead acting and encouraged at least a few of us to listen well to her discography.

The Warfield was a beautiful, ornate place with rich, dark wood paneling and reds, mostly occupied by high school students in bright patterns, baggy bags and jeans, and chunky black platforms. At my first gig in over two years, I was pleased to see the tradition of dressing your fancy dress up to a concert still in effect (albeit with quite a few masks).

The commitment of the band and venue to fans was evident throughout the night. Water bottles were distributed, the paths to the pit were kept clean and paramedics actively surveyed the crowd. Following their example, the audience was energetic but respectful; The place was comfortably filled, but the members of the crowd left each other enough room to breathe. Halfway through the Wallows group, Minette took a few minutes to ask the busy section to take a step back and display more water. “It’s all you guys need,” he said. “We want you guys to be comfortable.”

Fame looks good on Wallows. I have no doubt that their stardom will continue to rise in the coming years. Their talent speaks for itself. No claim necessary. A must-see live show, Tell Me That It Over Tour is without a doubt the perfect moment to catch this group amid their rise to indie rock greatness.

Editor’s Note: This article is a review and contains opinions, thoughts, and self-criticism.

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