Wallows’ Tell Me That It’s Over Tour Comes to Pittsburgh

Photos and review by: Abigail McNatt

After a long two years of cancellations and reschedules, we have finally reached the time where shows are back and in full force. The last time Wallows was in Pittsburgh was in February 2020, just before the whole world shut down. Since then, they have had quite the glow up, having played Mr. Smalls Theatre in 2020 to Stage AE outdoors now in 2022, on June 12th.

This time they brought along Spill Tab, an alternative/indie artist from LA. A slight delay pushed the night to be a little longer than anticipated, but right out the gate, Claire aka Spill Tab brought the heat! After being a little thrown off by the delay, she got the crowd on their feet. Throughout her set, there was a good amount of bass that overtook her voice, which was a shame because she does have a good voice. Her set may have begun with chill, smooth vibes, but by the end she had the audience dancing as if they hadn’t been standing in line waiting for doors to open since 8 that morning. One of the crowd favorites she did was “Since U Been Gone” by Kelly Clarkson, which really got the attention of the audience as it ended up a sing along! She basically went from a Lana Del Rey vibe to a groovy, faster paced Billie Eilish vibe, beginning to end.

Only having had one opener, the moment the audience had been waiting for all day… Literally… was finally here. The lights went down and the band members made their way to their spots on stage for their opening track. As soon as they spotted them, the crowd lost their minds. Being one of the longest lines I’ve ever seen at Stage AE, the excitement came as no surprise to me. Starting out the show just like their new album, Tell Me That It’s Over, “Hard to Believe” was the opening song. Throughout their entire set, they played a nice mix of songs, older and newer, which is always nice to appeal to the different fans you may have in your audience.

After talking to a few fans who had gone to various shows on the tour thus far, I learned that they’ve changed up their setlist for each different show, so the songs and the order of them has been different each night, which is so unique. You never know what to expect, which is great, especially for the fans attending multiple shows.

Early on they played hits like “Remember When” and “Treacherous Doctor”, which are high energy tracks but the band and audience energy never wavered throughout the entire night. “Talk Like That” was after “Treacherous Doctor”, an electric song off of their 2020 EP, Remote. Mid-song, Dylan, one of the vocalists in the band, stopped and challenged the crowd to go absolutely bonkers… To which they of course obliged.

A few other Wallows hits that followed were, “OK”, one of their most popular songs on Spotify, “Pictures of Girls” and “Scrawny.” The fans never missed one beat or lyric all evening. Speaking of fans, I’ve seen a lot of different fan groups, but the Wallows fans are some of the friendliest I’ve ever seen at live shows. The band made every effort to include them in the show from sing along opportunities to lots of conversation… Which obviously ends in lots of screaming. There were also some girls in the front row with cowboy hats, each one with a different band member’s name. Braeden, the other vocalist, noticed these and got the one with his name on it and wore it throughout the rest of the show.

The show'”ended’ with “Are You Bored Yet” and “I Don’t Want To Talk”, before the band left the stage. Hoards of fans left the venue, clearly not remembering that shows have encores. That’s like leaving a Marvel movie before the inevitable end credits… You just don’t. So for the fans who stayed, the last three songs were all fan picks. Adding to the fact that the setlist is different every night, this only made the show that much more unique. They selected different people at random in between each song, who yelled out which Wallows song they wanted to hear. The three songs that were selected were all from their 2019 release, Nothing Happens. “Do Not Wait”, “Sidelines” and “I’m Full” finished out the evening with the same amount of energy that it started out with.

Wallows was the last band I’d seen prior to the start of the pandemic. Last time they were in Pittsburgh, they were at, “this creepy haunted church venue,” a quote directly from Dylan speaking fondly of Mr. Smalls Theatre. This time, only 3 years later, they upgraded to a bigger space at Stage AE which is incredible growth. They have such a crowd appeal and they’re incredibly talented. They’ve got an indie/pop/alternative sound to them and they’ve only just gotten better live since the last I’d seen them.

Their Tell Me That It’s Over Tour continues throughout the US through this fall. If you have a chance to check out a show somewhere, I highly recommend it. In the meantime, check out their recent album release, Tell Me That It’s Over.

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