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LIVE REVIEW: Wallows are Marvelous at Fortitude Music Hall

Photography by @thattomvu

The Fortitude Music Hall has played host to an array of incredible international acts this November, one being none other than the United States' very own Wallows, as they took their Tell Me That It’s Over tour down under, joined by spill tab.

Having released the album of the same name earlier that year, and coming to Australia for the very first time, the crowd was eager to hear new and old songs alike and packed the venue out right from the start of spill tab's set.

spill tab was incredible. I hadn’t listened to her before, but was an instant convert as soon as she started playing. She’s joined on stage by bassist Caleb Buchanen, and the two work together so well to create this real sense of cosy intimacy, both with each other and the audience throughout the set- enhanced by a nostalgia-inducing Fleetwood Mac cover that had the entire crowd singing along with flashlights shining.

spill tab has this way of singing that sounds almost like she’s telling you a secret, while still maintaining this real power in her voice, and some super fun builds. I noticed this especially in ‘Splinter’ as she sings

“I didn’t mean to wear us all out / Grinding my teeth there’s dust in my mouth”.

Another favourite was ‘CRÈME BRÜLÉE!’- which was released just the day before the show. Again, spill tab employed this really addicting blend of confessional songwriting and explosive musicalities- before slowing into some lofi-esque piano that makes listening to the whole song feel like you’ve been on this huge journey. Super cleverly done and so much fun live.

About half an hour on, elated screams filled the venue as Wallows stepped on stage to an intro of colour-changing lights and dreamy classical music. They launched into their first song, ‘Hard to Believe’, the opening track on Tell Me That It’s Over. It’s a super fun one, a really good mix of some softer lofi / indie rock sounding music with some real punchy moments in the chorus.

They immediately launch into the next song which is fan favourite ‘These Days’ from their first EP Spring. The warm red lighting for this song reminded me of the EP cover, and gave this sense of travelling through the eras with them. Alongside playing guitar, Dylan Minnette and Braeden Lemasters switch seamlessly between singing lead vocals and interacting with the crowd.

The set list is a great blend of old and new- fitting, as it’s the first time Australia’s gotten to hear any of these songs, and the crowd is delighted with each new track, there isn’t a single song people aren’t singing along to. ‘Marvelous’ was so much fun- it’s so jumpy and upbeat with a really fun instrumental, it's really danceable and you could tell everyone was having a good time. I loved Dylan's vocals, the drums are so punchy and good, and Braeden's solo is just incredible- it really shows off everything they can do.

You can tell they’re so comfortable as a band- they’re ridiculously in sync with one another throughout, whether they’re singing and playing individually or together- I really noticed this in ‘Treacherous Doctor’ and ‘Guitar Romantic Search Adventure’ especially.

After Guitar Romantic Search Adventure, the lights dimmed and they headed off stage, and the chants for one more song immediately arose. They come back and play two more instead, the delightful ‘I Don’t Want to Talk’, and one of their (rightfully) biggest songs, ‘Are You Bored Yet?’- I don’t think anyone in that crowd could say they were.

You can check out the full gallery from the night here.

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