The band brought an energy to the stage that doesn’t exist in their recordings.
Before I left to go to the concert, I went on YouTube and put on a few of their songs just to see if they were my taste. I found their music generic. To me, it seemed like if a cheesy romance movie wanted to show some sort of rock music moment, they would have picked something from the Wombats. I was not blown away and did not feel much excitement in the prospects of seeing them live.
My opinions were soon changed for the better. The opening artist was a singer called Barns Courtney, and his energy swept up the ballroom as the fashion forward audience warmed up to his vibes. Soon people were screaming his name. He was able to command a crowd both with his voice and his broad movements, going so far as to encourage the audience to jam-pack themselves together to get closer to the stage. What I was most impressed with from Courtney was his ability to sing with near-perfect pitch. His voice had a soft tremolo and an aesthetic similar to a lilting vibrato, which combined with his rock genre songs, was interesting and lovely to listen to.
The audience settled a bit back down and the initial awkwardness of pressing close to others ebbed away as the pit crew came onstage and reset it for the Wombats. We ended up waiting about 40 minutes before the Wombats came on stage. When they did, the crowd went crazy, screaming for them with as much excitement as there had been at the end of Courtney’s performance. At that point my expectations were a bit higher for them but the memories of my limited experience with their music videos were still fresh in my mind.
It must be the experience of a rock concert that really brings out the excellence in rock music, because every instrument worked in their favor at the live show. The bass that was non-existent on my laptop was literally dictating my heartbeats, vibrating everything around them with energy. The electric guitars were commanding and musical, and the singers were great. Not perfect, but pretty good.
The audience became less hyped as time went on, and only toward the end did they regain their energy. Near the end of the evening, I felt like I had been there for an eternity, and as the lead singer stated that the next song would be their last, I seemed to wake from a zoned-out state and into a new feeling of “Oh wait, I actually really like this, don’t leave.” The entire audience seemed to feel the same rush of emotions as me because they were more hyped than ever, screaming out lyrics in time to the band and synchronizing their raised rock-‘n’-roll hands to the beat of the bass. At this point of the event, I already felt like I knew them all personally and did not want it to end, so when they exited the stage, our group, like everyone else there, stayed and continued to clap and cheer for an encore.
The band came back a few minutes later, the lead singer saying, “You’re too kind” in his British accent and the crowd going ballistic as they returned. Obviously that was planned, though, because they saved their actual last song, “Greek Tragedy,” as the song I had watched on YouTube (the most popular music video they had made), but it was lit nonetheless. It still wasn’t as good as most other songs they had played that evening, but the crowd went crazy, and so did I.
We all slowly filtered out the ballroom after that, feeling fulfilled, off-balanced and heads full of clouds.