Last updated on March 16th, 2022 at 02:22 pm
Back in March 2020, just when the COVID-19 pandemic was beginning to ravage the globe and force us into lockdown, many people had all these grandiose ideas about how we could really benefit from a few weeks indoors. Well, with all this newfound free time, we could certainly learn a new language, finish a few projects around the house, or figure out how to make a great loaf of sourdough bread…
Two years and a handful of mutated variants later, many of those same people now shudder at the thought of how little we actually accomplished during that time while simply learning to adapt and survive the onslaught of political, societal, and personal challenges we would all be met with during these (stop me if you’re sick of hearing this) unprecedented times.
Members of the music community were hit particularly harshly during the lockdown, losing the biggest source of income they had in being able to perform live, as well as losing months, years, or even decades of momentum as regular promotion cycles were thrown out the window while we all attempted to figure out what would come next.
On the flip side, though, for those whose creative spirits weren’t entirely crushed by our seemingly impending doom, the freedom of being able to experiment with new sounds, ideas, and collaborators allowed for the creation of some genuinely incredible pieces of art.
This, mixed with the fact that everyone else on the planet was stuck inside fixated on their cell phones and other various screens, meant that getting your music in front of people was easier than ever before, and allowed for dozens of viral hits to spread like their own uncontrolled virus.
One of my personal favorites out of them all is without a doubt Wet Leg.
Taking shape one mid-pandemic January night on the Isle of Wight in England, Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers (with the help of roommate/guitarist Joshua Omead Mobaraki) started fiddling around with a drum machine while ad-libbing lyrics about a particular piece of furniture and obscure quotes from the film Mean Girls… eventually making one of the hottest songs of the year entirely on accident.
The song, “Chaise Longue,” which almost immediately upon its release in June of 2021 started showing up everywhere from viral Tik Tok clips all the way up to topping local and national radio charts across the world, propelled the group from not even really being an organized band to selling out venues across the United States before officially releasing a debut album.
That brings us to Thursday night, when the band rolled through Minneapolis for a sold-out performance in First Avenue‘s mainroom, a show which was initially scheduled to take place at the 600-person-capacity Amsterdam Bar & Hall in downtown St. Paul.
Since unleashing “Chaise Longue” on us, the band has only released four other singles (including the equally catchy “Wet Dream”) so it’s fair to be a little bit surprised that a band who seemingly came out of nowhere and has barely scraped together a proper EP could sell out the most prestigious room in Minnesota.
For everyone in attendance last night, though, we are fully aware that we are witnessing the beginning of something truly incredible.
Ripping through sixteen songs in a tight fifty-five-minute set, Rhian and Hester held all 1550 of us in the palm of their hands, cracking jokes and taking turns gleefully twirling across the stage while soaking up the pure absurdity that brought them across the Atlantic Ocean to stand in front of us.
“I don’t know how anybody drives in this country… it’s too large!” said Rhian during one of the very few pauses during the show.
Short on banter but long on absolute heaters, the band emphatically blasted through what I have to assume is their entire discography, and gave us a preview of what to expect on their upcoming debut record, which is set to be released on April 8th.
The highlight of the night was, of course, the performance of the song that started it all. Taking one final pause before jumping in, Rhian thanked the crowd and took a second to breathe it all in before the thumping bass line kicked in and she joyfully asked us all if our muffins were buttered.
It became almost impossible to hear the band as the raucous sold-out crowd shouted back “What?” after each “Excuse me?” Rhian offered as well.
After the song concluded there were a few waves and obvious “thank you’s!” offered to the crowd before the band shuffled off the stage almost as quickly as they seemed to rise to the top of our collective consciousness.
And just like that, the screen dropped back down and we were thrust back onto a chilly corner of First & Seventh, still processing what we just witnessed and quietly wondering if the band has already risen to stardom this quickly, where would they end up playing next?
Wet Leg setlist –
- Being in Love
- Wet Dream
- Red Eggs
- Too Late Now
- Oh No
- Life is a Rollercoaster (Ronan Keating cover)
- Piece of Shit
- Loving You
- Ur Mum
- It’s A Shame
- It’s Not Fun
- Chaise Longue