Shows sell out up here in the Twin Cities a lot and I don’t blink an eye. Even if I’m slightly surprised by a certain act selling out, it’s not usually enough for me to feel like I just have to be there. Thursday night’s show was the exception to that. After selling out super quickly at The Amsterdam Bar & Hall in Saint Paul, the Wet Leg show was relocated to the legendary First Avenue main room where it, again, sold out. I figured it was just one of those groups that the kids are obsessed over. Maybe a viral tik tok band or something that just wouldn’t be for me but add to the sold-out show the fact that this band doesn’t even have a full album or EP out and sold out multiple shows on their epic North America tour– okay, they had my attention.
The sole opener on the Thursday night bill was Atlanta-based Lowertown. Much like the headliner, I knew nothing about this band when walking into the show so I was excited to see what they are all about. Upon further research this morning, I have come to find out this is actually a duo but they came to First Avenue in full-band form on Thursday. Right off the bat, I was intrigued by Lowertown’s sound. Although the instrumentation was fairly lo-fi and chill, the vocals had this raw edge to them. Even when the instrumentation amped it up a bit for a few songs throughout their quick forty-minute set, there was this almost ambient soundscape-like quality to it. Although I’m using words like “lo-fi” and “ambient soundscape” to describe the music of Lowertown, I don’t want you to think that there was a lack of energy or anything because there absolutely was not.
There was something super energizing about watching vocalist Olivia Osby. She came off as a bit odd and quirky but in all of the right ways. There were moments throughout their set where you could see her feeling the words she was singing into the microphone and it was an absolutely intriguing thing to witness. The rest of the band seemed to fall back a bit to let Olivia take the spotlight. I don’t know if that was on purpose or just how it happened but it really made the band’s performance feel dynamic. There were moments throughout Lowertown’s set that felt a bit rough around the edges but, like Olivia constantly stealing the spotlight, I can’t help but think that was intentional. It added a sense of slight danger and a punk attitude to their music and stage presence that was just what the audience needed to get ready for the headliner of the night.
There was something completely captivating about the entire band that graced the stage on Thursday night but most eyes were on the founding duo of Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers. There was this feeling of everything being almost effortless of the two of them which just goes to prove that although this band blew up in what felt like one night, they know damn well what they are doing and they are not going to let it pass them up. On the different side of the same coin, there was something so sweet and innocent about Wet Leg’s stage presence that I just absolutely adored. Sure, they have seen viral success but I got the feeling that it hasn’t really hit them yet or they are just still a bit shellshocked by becoming a household name overnight. Regardless of what it was, I was in love with the overall mood coming from the stage even though the show felt a bit understated.
Although Wet Leg only has five singles out, they were able to treat the sold-out audience to songs off of their upcoming album along with a cover of Ronan Keating’s “Life is a Rollercoaster”. All in all, their set ended up being sixteen tracks ending with their viral hit “Chaise Longue”. Even though most of the tracks were unknown to the audience, there was an undeniable sense of excitement that could be felt between every track. I’ll be honest, I found their overall sound to be a bit too mellow and poppy for my personal preference but I get it and loved seeing people get so excited for such a new and young band. Although I love getting lost in my hazy clouds of nostalgia and going to see my “classic” pop-punk bands, there was something super energizing about seeing a brand new band get the reception that Wet Leg did on Thursday night.