Wallows w/ Empath•October 1, 2022• The Union

Reviewed and Photographed by Josillyn Wakkuri Lybbert

The Union hosted Wallows, along with Empath, on Saturday, October 1st. The sold out show drew in a full crowd of excited fans ready to enjoy some of their favorite music! It was Wallows’ first time playing Utah, so there was an extra sense of anticipation for the concert! 

I, unfortunately, missed the first part of Empath’s set. By the time I got in, they already had the crowd having a great time! Everyone was jumping up and down, loving the show! The American punk band from Pennsylvania is composed of members Catherine Elicson, Jem Shanahan, Randall Coon, and Garrett Koloski. Every band member in Empath had an energy level that I could only dream of and was so impressed by! Their energy level reflected into the audience throughout the entire set. That, along with the constantly flashing, color changing lights and their upbeat, rocking songs, made them a wonderful band to kick off the night! 

Photo Credit: Josilyn Wakkuri Lybbert

In between Empath and Wallows, security guards went through at least a handful of cases of water bottles to pass out to the crowd. Which I always find to be a very thoughtful gesture. Once they got through the people closest to the front, they started tossing them further back. Almost everyone started cheering! There’s nothing like free water at a concert to keep a person going, especially when it’s warm and crowded. While we were all waiting for the show to begin, there was a lot of chatter from fans about how excited they were! I asked one group of girls that were at the front of the crowd how long they’d waited to be able to get to the front. They said that they got there three and a half hours early! 

Not long after, Wallows were on stage and the crowd was absolutely thrilled! The stage glowed light green, and then the lights turned a bright white. They and then continued to flash, almost like a strobe light at times while flashing different colors during others. The lead singer, Dylan Minnette not only had a great, clear voice, but he was also a great performer, too! Each band member also did an incredible job with their respective instrument(s). They were very interactive with the crowd, which was of course well received! 

It was immediately obvious that Wallows was well loved. Everyone seemed to know every word to every song, and they sang along loud and proud! While there were a variety of people in attendance, the majority of the audience were teenage girls. That made for an extra fun energy throughout the night! They can always be counted on to be enthusiastic which has to be rewarding for the band to see! Right off the bat, one could hear a multitude of, “I love you!”s being shouted. People were joyfully freaking out after they made eye contact with someone in the band. 

After the first few songs, the band thanked the audience for such a warm welcome. They said that it was their first time performing in the state of Utah. Wallows expressed that they were happy to be there! They also did a great job by reminding people to give each other space, allow people to easily get out of the crowd for water or air if needed, and not to crush the people in the front. I thought that was really kind of them!

While Wallows played through songs like, “Pleaser,” “Treacherous Doctor,” and, “Marvelous,” the venue was filled with happy, dancing people! Some were dancing in the thick of the crowd. While others were dancing on their own or with a partner in the back with a little more space! Later on, they announced that they had been a band since 2017. Wallows would be playing a song from back then! They played the song, “Sun Tan,” and people were jumping so much that the whole venue was shaking! They ended that one with a little bit of One Direction’s song, “What Makes You Beautiful,” which was a personal highlight of the show for me and seemed to be loved by many others there, too! Following, “Sun Tan,” they played, “These Days.” The song was finished up by the audience singing it beautifully a capella! 

As the show went on, fans enjoyed songs like, “Quarterback,” “Scrawny,” and, “Remember When.” The band and the audience both impressively continued to not miss a beat and were all just as energetic as the first song! It was like both parties could’ve kept it up all night! After singing, “Guitar Romantic Search Adventure,” they said, “We’ll be right back!” The lights went down and Wallows exited the stage. The crowd began to chant, “One more song!” over and over until Wallows came back on for the encore to end their stop in Salt Lake City. A crowd favorite during the encore was an a capella mashup of Journey’s, “Don’t Stop Believing,” and, “Mr. Brightside,” by The Killers! 

The Wallows’ and Empath’s stop in Salt Lake was a night filled with singing, dancing, and great music and performances by everyone who took the stage! Fans that poured out from The Union after the show could be heard chatting so happily about what they were just a part of. One person said, “I haven’t been this hyped about a concert in a long time!” I think many people felt that way and left the show on cloud nine!

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