Walking into Terminal 5 this past Tuesday night, just shortly after doors had opened, the venue was already nearly full, while the seemingly too long queue of attendees outside still stretched far down the block. Merch lines were long, and chatter of anticipation was high from the audience as fans waited for the show to begin.
Wallows – the Los Angeles three-piece consisting of Dylan Minnette, Braeden Lemasters, and Cole Preston – was about to take the stage for the first of four consecutive sold out shows at Terminal 5 in New York City.
I had first heard of Wallows in 2018, shortly before their Spring EP was released. Living near Philadelphia at the time, Radio 104.5 had them on heavy rotation, and I often found myself singing along to the undeniably catchy bridge of “Pictures of Girls” on late night drives. Their 2019 debut LP, Nothing Happens, made its way into my Spotify Wrapped that year, an album full of indie-rock tunes that felt like they were written specifically to accompany people in transit. Back this year with their sophomore album, Tell Me That It’s Over, the band was in the midst of a seemingly endless tour of the same name when they arrived in New York last week.
The stage was set with a drum riser center stage, lined by three living room-esq lamps on either side, two microphones, and a thick rectangular light box as a backdrop. Minnette, Lemasters, and Preston – joined by three additional live band members – burst onto the stage and straight into TMTIO’s opener, “Hard To Believe” while the cheers from the crowd were deafening. It took about three seconds for me to realize that Wallows was going to far exceed my expectations with this show.
The band sounded flawless – loud, full of energy, and absolutely owning the spotlight. Both Minnette and Lemasters – who share the duties of frontman – were impeccable at commanding the stage and hyping up their audience. But perhaps the biggest reaction from the crowd came when Preston left the drum kit, replaced by Minnette, and had his turn front of stage singing 2021’s “Quarterback.” Wallows played nearly every song off TMTIO, plus a handful from Nothing Happens and some deep cuts as well. With an impressive 21 song set, I could have stayed in that venue for hours longer watching them play.
With this being the first time I made it out to one of their shows, several years into their career, I have to imagine that there was a time when they were searching for their footing as a live band – but there’s no question that they’ve found it. And I’d say it’s a safe bet that anyone who gets to experience Wallows’ live show is immediately left itching to see it again.
Check out some photos from the show below!