Live Review: Wallows

9 November 2022 | 4:37 pm | Michael Prebeg

“Melbourne, it’s been a long time coming, hasn’t it?”

Photo Credit: Joshua Braybrook

Photo Credit: Joshua Braybrook

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A line of punters wraps around Hosier Lane, ready to pack into the venue early for the sold-out show tonight. It’s an all-ages event, so the crowd keep hydrated with plenty of water and Red Bull. French Korean American singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Claire Chicha, aka spill tab, gets the show started with her gritty and ethereal sound accompanied by bass player Caleb Buchanan. Together the duo delivers a chaotically fun and high-energy set packed with a mash-up of genres with a lo-fi bedroom pop sound.

As a self-confessed lactose-intolerant cheese lover, she tells us she’s happy to see a lot of vegan options in our city before sharing a few tracks from her dairy-free Oatmilk EP. They keep us guessing, touching on tracks that showcase her delicate vocals with a beautiful sweet falsetto, along with sleek melodies to high-intensity songs that pack a punch with shredding guitars. Spill tab adds a couple of covers for us to sing along to in a cute and communal way, including Fleetwood Mac’s Dreams and an unexpected indie dream pop version of Usher’s Yeah, complete with a ukulele and flows into her own track Cotton Candy. To finish, they encourage everyone to go crazy as they unleash some huge drops and flail their bodies around the stage. They share a duet that comes out tomorrow called CRÈME BRULEE! full of jangling beats, sweeping guitar riffs and a sexy piano-driven outro.

Photo Credit: Joshua Braybrook

The shades of floor lamps positioned around the stage illuminate with changing colours to welcome Wallows. It’s an exciting moment to mark their first time performing on a stage in Australia.

“Melbourne, it’s been a long time coming, hasn’t it?” Asks Dylan Minnette. “We can’t explain how happy we are to be here. We came to have a good time, and we hope you do too!” Teenage screams fill the air as they begin with Only Friend.

After five long years of being a band, they are finally here to play down under, and since it’s our first time hearing them live, they include a mix of new and old songs to please their patient fans. The crowd shows their appreciation by throwing roses on stage, and one fan can even be spotted holding up a giant cardboard cut-out of lead singer Dylan Minnette’s head.

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Photo Credit: Joshua Braybrook

The energy is electric, from the front of the mosh pit all the way to the back of the theatre; the place is alive, with everyone shouting the lyrics on every track and bouncing along to the charming, sun-soaked indie rock with plenty of hand-clap moments. Braeden Lemasters and Minnette alternate vocal duties while also both playing guitar throughout their set. The whole band is perfectly in sync, and they genuinely engage with the audience so naturally. They take a moment to stop mid-song during Talk Like That and ask the crowd to let loose and go as crazy as they can as the final chorus explodes.

After Guitar Romantic Search Adventure, they make a quick exit from the stage to leave the audience chanting for one more song. They return to the stage and strike up their infectious rhythms and charismatic style with I Don’t Want To Talk and one of their biggest songs, Are You Bored Yet? The crowd is anything but bored and seems energised enough to go on all night. Wallows promise it won’t be another five years before they’re back on our shores, and they hope that by that time, we can join them again.

Photo Credit: Joshua Braybrook