Liveshot: Wallows showcase lighthearted, interactive performance for their first ACL set in 4 years

Reya Mosby, Life&Arts Editor

A sea of cheers greeted Dylan Minnette, Braeden Lemasters and Cole Preston of alternative rock band Wallows as they sauntered onto the American Express Stage. Armed with guitars, drums and a harmonica, the trio launched into “I Don’t Want to Talk.” As the opening track of their Austin City Limits set faded away into Zilker Park, Lemasters looked to the audience and joked, “What’s up Lollapalooza?”

Wallows proceeded to play past and present hits, uniting new and old fans alike with their classically grunge indie rock sound. Although not a narrative or production-driven set, which bigger artists seem to be incorporating at this year’s ACL, the band delivered a lighthearted, fun performance.     

Notably, each band member fosters a distinct tone that warps, modifies and chews on sounds in different ways. However, they still combine to create a cohesive blend throughout the entirety of the set, with their unique tones melding together perfectly as if they were destined to sing with one another. This remains especially apparent for Lemasters and Minnette, who primarily share vocal lines and make a dynamic harmonic duo. 

Wallows also expertly utilized creative and sentimental transitions in between songs. During the set, Minnette recalled performing at ACL in 2018, just a year after the band officially formed. He reflected on the growth of both the festival and the trio themselves, saying that Wallows attracted a much larger crowd this time around. The band then used this nostalgic moment to introduce their 2018 song “Pictures of Girls.”

Additionally, Wallows led another masterful transition into “Quarterback.” Singing the first verse and pre-chorus of One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful,” the band then faded into a hazy, melodic interlude of steady, humming basslines and a light guitar melody.

The band of heartthrobs provided a dynamic performance, with fans screaming along word for word to the group’s signature hits like “Scrawny,” “Pleaser” and “OK.” During the performance, each member shined, singing their own solos, interacting with the crowd and each individually delivering show-stopping performances. 

Minnette in particular excited the crowd during many of the most memorable moments from the set. He swaggered around the stage, delivering one impressive solo after the other. On numerous occasions, he amped audiences up, leading them in call-and-response vocals, prompting them to get rowdier and even going down to the barricade to directly sing to fans, leading the group in creating a thrilling and interactive concert experience.