Despite the band releasing their first single in 2017, the line for Wallows was wrapped around the block out of Newport Music Hall when we arrived, growing longer as the concert neared. Everyone was anxious to get in — the excitement and energy in the venue immediately apparent upon entering.
That energy was met by opener Remo Drive. Hailing from Missouri, the band was certainly recognized by most of the crowd, as they sang happy birthday to the lead vocalist, Erik Paulson, halfway through the performance. The band knew how to work a stage, moving around in a way that perfectly matched their rock/pop-punk music. Thanking the crowd and headliner, the band emphasized how hard they were working to put on a great performance. Afterward, they talked with the crowd and meeting fans in the entrance.
Between acts, fans cheered as members of Wallows began appearing in the sides of the stage. As a chant began, lead vocalist Dylan Minnette appeared and began singing ‘Do Not Wait’ – the last track on their album. The other members joined him on stage and immediately the chemistry between them was obvious. Vocalist and guitarist Braeden Lemasters and drummer Cole Preston worked the stage with Minnette, bouncing energy off each other.
The band played all the crowd favorites, mostly from their debut album, “Nothing Happens,” released in March. However, they played some older tunes like “These Days” from their EP “Spring,” and a brand new single “Trust Fall.” Despite the single being released the day before, fans still sang along to every word and matched the energy of the other songs on the setlist. Minnette even paused between songs to tell the crowd, “You’re good singers — I can hear it.”
Even with the indie-rock band’s general admission crowd being filled with mostly late teens and young adults, the VIP section on the balcony was notably packed with older adults. As it turns out, the concert was a family affair for the band members, as recognizably Minnette’s mom Robyn Minnette, Minnette’s girlfriend Lydia Night of The Regrettes, and Lemaster’s family members were occupying the section. Robyn Minnette cheered her son on, posting on Instagram and going live on Facebook during the performance. Other family and friends jumped along with the crowd, turning around to join the rest of the audience dancing as the band closed their show with crowd-favorite ‘Scrawny’.
Aside from the effect of the crowd interaction, the alternative band showcased their skills with guitar, drums, piano, and even a trumpet interlude. The crew also did an amazing job with matching the lights to the music, timing it perfectly with guitar chords and drum solos.
Being my first concert experience, both bands certainly set the bar high for concerts to come. Wallows did a great job of making the whole concert thrilling, playing their songs with enthusiasm and packing an exciting energy into the intimate venue that left all with a great post-concert high.