Rising indie rock trio Wallows ended their North American tour with two sold-out shows (May 23-24) in their hometown of Los Angeles. Over the past few years, the band have cemented themselves as one of the most promising bands in the indie world. Wallows was started by childhood friends Dylan Minnette (guitar/vocals), Braeden Lemasters (guitar/vocals) and Cole Preston (drums). The band garnered public attention when Minnette landed the starring role in the Netflix series 13 Reasons. Wallows is definitely not a side project for Minnette. The band has been consistently releasing top-notch EPs and recently released their debut album Nothing Happens in March through Atlantic Records.
What makes Wallows so different? Well for one, there is no main frontman. You would think Minnette would take the reins since he is the most known member, but no. Lemasters and Minnette share lead vocals and do a very fantastic job at complimenting each other. Lemasters’ voice is strong and attention-grabbing, while Minnette is more subtle and whispery. Their material is also fresh yet vintage sounding, mixing lo-fi rock with upbeat synth riffs, melodic rhythms and infectious lyrics.
Their music really came alive at the Fonda Theatre. This was the second time I’ve seen Wallows live. The first time was when they opened for Vampire Weekend last year at the OC Observatory in Santa Ana, CA. At the Observatory, the band gave a solid performance but they didn’t have the crowds energy to play off on.
For this show, the fans were their just to see Wallows. The band seemed happily humbled to have sold-out two shows in their hometown and in a venue they’ve frequented as Minnette revealed during the set. The band treated fans to a 19 song setlist of hits including “These Days,” “Pleaser” and “Picture of Girls.” The fans gave the band all the energy they had, singing, mosh-pitting(surprising to witness) and dancing on top of their lungs especially on the crowd favorite “Scrawny,” as the chorus “Scrawny motherfucker with a cool hairstyle” is wickedly fun to scream out loud. The most awestruck moment of the night was when the crowd sang Clairo's feature in “Are You Bored Yet?” with no assistance from the band. During the end of the night, the band surprised fans with an unexpected cover of The Cures “Boys Don’t Cry,” a rendition that would make Robert Smith very proud. Wallows still have a long way before they become a household name, luckily they have the fan power and talent to get them there in no time.
For more, visit wallowsmusic.com
Photos and text by Jacqueline Naranjo