When lead singer of Wallows, Dylan Minette, told the audience to “go as crazy as you possibly f**king can,” the audience responded with screams. When the audience called for an “encore,” the band obliged with three more songs. When guitarist Braeden Lemasters raised his arms, encouraging the audience to cheer, they met him back with a roar.
Wallows took the stage of the Shrine Auditorium on September 25 for their “Tell Me That It’s Over Tour” with energy, excitement and eagerness to engage with the entire audience. The result was an enthralling 90 minute set, by proxy of both the band’s zeal and the lively audience.
Wallows is made up of Minette, Lemasters and drummer and USC graduate Cole Preston. The band is embarking on the second part of their North American tour this fall, and their performance at Shrine was their second stop.
Alt pop singer Wallice opened for the band. While she was a talented singer and dynamic on stage, it was clear the audience didn’t recognize her music. She shined during her covers of “Just a Girl” by No Doubt and “Kyoto” by Phoebe Bridgers, where the audience was able to sing along with her.
Wallow’s opened with their high energy lead single “I Don’t Want to Talk.” From that first number until the finale, Wallows, and especially Minette, made the stage their playground. During every drum solo or instrumental interlude, Minette ran around the stage—dancing, jumping, cheering. His energy was contagious and the audience fed on it, turning the back of the general admission floor into a dance floor as Wallows’ set went on.
Wallows succeeded in maintaining their ardor throughout the set by adding surprises as the night went on. In addition to his guitar, Minette played a kazoo and a tambourine. During “Remember When” confetti cannons placed around on the outskirts of the floor set off, filling the air with brightly colored paper.
The set design was simple but impactful. Six white lamps were placed around the stage with two illuminescent rectangles behind the drum set. They utilized warm colors—red, teal, yellow, pink. It created a cozy environment, ideal for songs about the pain of growing up. The lighting also worked in tandem with Preston’s drum solos, as the lights often flashed at the same tempo of the drum.
While the tour is meant to promote their newest album, “Tell Me When It’s Over” the band didn’t shy away from playing music from their “Remote EP” and “Nothing Happens” albums. In fact, their final song was “Are You Bored Yet?” from their first album. While fans were eager to hear their newer songs, Wallows’ calls to their past garnered even more excitement.
Perhaps the best example of Wallows’ audience interaction was for their second to last song during the encore where they called for fan input into which song they play. Ultimately, the fan they chose requested their song “Iced Cool Pool” from their first album, which the band happily played.
For a band that is still relatively new to touring, they had the same stage presence as veterans like Harry Styles or Elton John. Their ability to involve the audience in their performance is admirable and led to a vibrant and sensational environment.
Wallows will be playing at the Greek Theater on September 28 and at the Shrine again on September 29 before embarking on the rest of their tour.