Review: Wallows bedazzles fans at The Westcott

Review: Wallows bedazzles fans at The Westcott

The hot Los Angeles trio delivers an invigorating set during their sold-out Syracuse show.
Published: February 28, 2020
Fans cheered as Wallows took the stage Thursday at the Westcott Theater.
Dylan Minnette of Wallows performs at the Westcott Theater on Thursday night.

It’s hard to pick just one word to describe fans of Wallows, but it definitely falls somewhere between devout and hardcore.

In the midst of the Nothing Happens tour, the scene at Wallows’ sold-out Westcott Theater show Thursday night has become a familiar one to the indie rock heartthrobs — hundreds of zealous fans, packed shoulder-to-shoulder, joyously singing every lyric to every song at the top of their lungs.

The enthusiastic response during Wallows’ live show is an impressive sight to see for a band that released its first single only four years ago. But since then, the Los Angeles trio has built a faithful fanbase thanks to millions of digital streams and a little Hollywood pizzaz.

Friends since age 11, the trio has been playing music while at the same time landing some notable acting gigs. Bingers may recognize bassist Dylan Minnette from his portrayal of Clay Jensen on Netflix’s hit drama series 13 Reasons Why. Frontman Braeden Lemasters starred alongside Ray Romano and Andre Braugher on TNT’s Men of a Certain Age for a couple seasons. Drummer Cole Preston appeared in the 2017 indie flick Where the Great Spirits Live.

Wallows formally launched with 2017 single “Pleaser” that gained the attention of Atlantic Records. Last year, the label released the band’s debut album, Nothing Happens, that included “Are You Bored Yet?” featuring fellow indie sensation and former Syracuse University student Clairo. That track alone has more than 78 million streams on Spotify.

Early in their Syracuse set, Wallows played what would be one of many fan favorites, “These Days,” during which four different blocks on the stage alternated lights. The rhythm of the show fluctuated itself from hard jams such as “Scrawny” and “Pictures of Girls” to slower songs like “1980s Horror Film.”

Minnette drew plenty of attention from fans all night, but not just because of his striking blue hair dancing around the stage. Fans cheered him on as he was moving to the melody and playing to the rabid fans bobbing along with him.

Then between songs, Minnette and his bandmates made a point to chat and engage with their Syracuse fans. It’s that kind of close and personal connection that Wallows is aiming to have with fans — even as big as the crowds get with every show — that will have them coming back for more.