The Waiting Room was jumping Tuesday night (10/9) as The Wombats and Barns Courtney treated the sold out crowd to a huge helping of super polished Indie-Pop.
When I arrived at the Waiting Room there was a pretty decent line forming down the block. Even with the cold and rainy weather these fans were ready to get crazy! As I made my way down the line I ran into my concert buddy Robert, who was chatting up some girls about opening act Barns Courtney. Aly and Rainy were so excited to see Barns they came all the way from Canada! Far out! I was largely unfamiliar with his work, but after hearing these girls came from Canada just to see him my expectations were building.
I didn’t get a chance to listen to Barns before the show, but sometimes it can be really fun to go in completely fresh and be introduced to new music live.
I went inside and got a spot towards the front with Robert and our new Canadian friends. As I talked with the folks around us I learned several other fans had traveled in for the show. Several couples had driven in from Des Moines and Kansas City and one couple flew in from Austin. The Wombats have some die-hard fans!
Soon it was time for the show to start and Barns Courtney took the stage. He sure had the swagger of a rock star. With long shaggy hair, silk shirt, and black skinny jeans, he looked like a young Freddie Mercury. His slick, hook-filled jams got the place rocking right away.
I really enjoyed Barns and his band. You could tell he was having the time of his life. Towards the middle of the set he had to restart one of the songs because he and his drummer were laughing so hard. Barns said “Just sing my part” and the drummer said “I don’t know your lyrics”. Barns said “It’s my song, I can make up the lyrics if I want!” This got a huge laugh from the predominantly female crowd.
Towards the end of the set I thought to myself, Barns has some really slick songs, I bet a few of these could be in a car commercial. As the chorus of the final song “Fire” kicked in I realized, “This song IS in a car commercial!” Oh boy, I had to laugh at myself for that one. Barns thanked the crowd for being so kind and giving him the opportunity to have “this crazy ridiculous job”.
After Barns, Aly and Rainy left. I moved a little closer in anticipation for the boys from Liverpool. A giant banner hung from the back of the stage with an image from the cover of The Wombats’ latest album, “Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life.”
As the stage hands put down a giant set list the girls next to me squealed with excitement. As the house lights went down a siren-like sound filled the room and strobe lights started to flash. The Wombats entered and started the set with “Cheetah Tongue” from their new album.
Nearly everyone in the crowd had their hands in the air as the Indie-Pop wizards worked their magic. After “Cheetah” was “Give Me a Try” from 2015’s “Glitterbug.” Synth melodies whirled about and the harmonies were on point. This may have been a smaller venue, but The Wombats played like it was Wembley Arena.
Though The Wombats are currently touring in support of their new album, there were songs from every period of the band’s career represented. I personally love “Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life.” So “Black Flamingo” and “Lemon to a Knife Fight” were the standouts for me.
After a 16 song set the band graciously came back out for a three song encore including “Turn”, “Tokyo”, and arguably one of their biggest hits “Greek Tragedy.” The fans screamed for more as lead singer Matthew thanked everyone for a fantastic evening.
It was fun seeing a band that normally packs large theaters in the U.S. and arenas in the U.K. playing such a small venue. It’s not something you see every day. This will surely go down as one of the best shows of 2018.
Make sure you check out The Wombats’ new album “Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life”, you’ll be glad you did!
Huge shout out to The Wombats’ management for the guest spot!
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