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Wallows Lights Up a Sold-Out Fine Line

Wallows Minneapolis Fine Line

There’s something that feels inherently wrong about watching a headlining performance while sunlight pours in through the ceiling skylights of the concert venue. Aside from festivals and block parties, concerts are supposed to be a late night venture. 

However, when you attend an all-ages show for a band whose fan base will likely be studying for their driving exam when they get home from the show, you have no choice but to adhere to venue curfews and the morning bell at their respective high schools. 

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Wallows is an American indie rock band from Los Angeles, California composed of Braeden Lemasters, Cole Preston, and Dylan Minnette. Braeden and Dylan’s names might sound familiar due to their prolific acting careers, the latter of which being known for his role as Clay Jensen in the Netflix drama series 13 Reasons Why.

Their major acting credits have no doubt aided the band in their musical ventures, but it should be noted that these three have been performing together for nearly a decade now, long before any Netflix exposure could boost their musical careers.

They first formed a musical group as children in a program called GigMasterz, going by the name of “Join the Band.” Over the course of the next decade, the three performed together using different band names, most notably performing on the 2011 Warped Tour.

In April 2017, the band released their first single under the Wallows moniker, “Pleaser.” The song would eventually reach number two on the Spotify Global Viral 50 chart and number one on the KROQ Locals Only playlist. In May 2017, Wallows released a second single, “Sun Tan,” and began playing live shows in the Los Angeles area, selling out The Roxy and the Troubadour. 

After touring and releasing an EP titled Spring in 2018, Wallows released the single “Are You Bored Yet?” featuring Clairo in February of this year. This song is a part of their debut album, Nothing Happens, which was released on March 22, 2019.

Now, out in support of the album on the “Nothing Happens Tour,” Wallows stopped in Minnesota on Thursday night for what would ultimately be their very first show in our wonderful state, and it was a packed house. 

Just by luck, we showed up to Fine Line just as the band was walking out on stage. As I stated at the beginning, this was an all-ages show, meaning it kicked off a little earlier than a night owl like me is used to. It also featured a lot more children than I am accustomed to, so we quickly hurried up to the 21+ balcony to enjoy the show. 

I feel like it should be noted that attending this concert was not my idea. My girlfriend has been pestering me for months to get us in, and by the luck of some scheduling conflicts from other Music in Minnesota team members, we were able to go.

I mention this not because I had a bad time at this concert, but because I quickly realized that I am in no way going to be able to properly capture the essence of this performance, mostly because I am about five years older than their target audience, and, honestly, a little jaded. 

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I could write 2,500 words absolutely roasting the young girls in the front row who struggled to remember the words to 75% of the songs (Wallows has roughly 25 songs total on their entire Spotify profile) but kept mouthing nonsense and closely watching their friends, who also didn’t know the words, hoping that they would not be noticed and be publicly embarrassed. 

I could also write about how about a third of the audience, including some of those same girls in the front row, watched the entire concert through their phone screen, gathering a stockpile of photo’s and images to bombard Instagram with later that night. But, as a millennial who often times becomes the butt of these same jokes, I’ll chalk it up as “being a teenager.”

It should go without saying by this point that I was a little bit out of my element, but still, I had a great time. Mostly because I got to point and laugh at the ridiculousness known at teenagers with my girlfriend, reminiscing on the times that we were those young kids a part of the yet-to-be-dubbed “stan” culture, but the music was fun and the crowd was electric.

While the band members didn’t necessarily possess the stage presence that one might expect from two accomplished actors, they performed for nearly 75 minutes using a masterfully crafted set list, and took more than a few opportunities to interact with the crowd, and as I suspect, made some actual dreams come true for some young fans. 

Another moment that I thought was great happened only two songs into the performance. As we all know, as soon as a band comes out on stage, a huge wave of people push straight towards the stage, often times pinning the front row against the barricade, or in the case, the stage itself. 

Between songs, the band literally stopped everything they were doing to ask the crowd to all take a step back and allow some breathing room for some struggling fans in the front row. It was an incredibly sincere moment, and they really just wanted to provide the best show they could for their fans. 

I’m not sure if I’ll end up crossing paths with Wallows again, but I’m sure I’ll at least be seeing their members come across my TV screen for many years to come. 

Written by Justin Bailey

Managing Editor & Social Media Admin for Music In Minnesota. Graduated Valedictorian of my class from IPR - College of Creative Arts with an A.A.S. in Music & Entertainment Business. ICON Award Winner. Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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