Wallows sells out their Baltimore debut

Wallowing doesn’t usually make for a fun night out. Some people wallow in grief. Others wallow in self-pity or nostalgia. Pigs tend to wallow in the mud. Every rule has an exception, though—the only wallowing I observed at a Wallows show on Tuesday came from droves of teenage fans waiting for the venue to let them inside. In support of their debut studio album, Wallows played their first-ever show in Baltimore’s Rams Head Live! during the second leg of the mostly sold-out “Nothing Happens” tour.

Penelope Isles, a four-piece band hailing from Brighton, UK, warmed up the crowd with a 30-minute set marked by fuzzed-out guitars, dreamy synth leads, and male/female harmonies.

Singer/guitarist/keyboardist Lily Wolter sang a few bars of “Good Morning Baltimore” from the musical Hairspray in between songs, accompanied enthusiastically by the crowd.

Lily Wolter (Penelope Isles)

Los Angeles-based Wallows took the stage at 9:00 p.m. sharp amidst flashing white lights and frenzied screams. Braeden Lemasters and Dylan Minnette traded clean, punchy guitar riffs to kick off set opener “Treacherous Doctor”.

Lemasters handled the majority of vocals here and on the follow-up “Sidelines” while Minnette harmonized, but they would switch frequently and share vocal duties equally throughout the hour-long main set. Drummer Cole Preston, the third and final founding member, provided an energetic backbone to Lemasters and Minnette’s guitar interplay. The core trio rounded out their live sound with two supporting musicians who shared bass, keyboard, and trumpet duties, sometimes switching instruments in the middle of a song.

Dylan Minnette

Preston, Minnette, and Lemasters have been best friends since age 11, and it shows. The trio ended “Sun Tan” with a seamless transition into the theme song from Drake & Josh, a Nickelodeon sitcom from the mid-aughts. Afterward, Minnette informed the crowd he needed to tie his shoe.

As he bent down, Lemasters quipped, “Good job, Dylan, I didn’t know you knew how to do that!”

After “It’s Only Right”, Preston shared his prediction that the Baltimore Ravens would win the next Super Bowl and praised quarterback Lamar Jackson’s performance on his fantasy football team.

Minnette, Preston, and Lemasters write deceptively simple songs with hooks that sneak into your brain immediately, despite the fact they rarely last more than three minutes. I couldn’t stop humming “Scrawny” during my drive home.

In the middle of the three-song encore, Minnette deadpanned: “We’re gonna play a couple more songs…realistically, we only have a couple more songs”. Wallows isn’t taking any of this too seriously, even as their fame grows—they played “Are You Bored Yet?” on The Late Late Show with James Corden, and you might recognize Minnette from the Netflix smash hit 13 Reasons Why.

For now, these three friends are clearly having the time of their lives. Fans of alt-rock infused with bedroom and power pop should catch them in an intimate venue while it’s still possible—it won’t be long before Wallows is filling arenas with fans who know every lyric to every song.


  1. Treacherous Doctor

  2. Sidelines

  3. Sun Tan

  4. These Days

  5. Ice Cold Pool

  6. Pulling Leaves Off Trees

  7. It’s Only Right

  8. Pictures of Girls

  9. Let the Sun In

  10. Uncomfortable

  11. Remember When

  12. Just Like A Movie

  13. I’m Full

  14. Scrawny

  15. Are You Bored Yet?


  1. 1980’s Horror Film

  2. Only Friend

  3. Pleaser