Jolene Goes to a Wallows Show
If you know me at all, you know that I really enjoy live music and attending concerts. I think there's something special about the energy you experience at live shows, and something very attractive about watching passionate people exhibit what they are feeling through a creative outlet. This is also a reminder that my goal for this blog wasn't just to post about over the top trips to other countries. I really want to make a point to share my local experiences, because I believe those can be equally special, and sometimes even more special. This experience was definitely one of those times.
I also partook in the recent 13 Reasons Why craze, watching the series on Netflix and being emotionally compromised for a few months. The show hit me hard and brought me back to a lot of my own experiences being bullied in high school. However, something else came about from the show - Dylan Minnette was put on my radar. Soon after finishing the series, I was informed that he was in a band called Wallows. Despite being intrigued by their name, I was reluctant to listen to a band that could potentially be riding on the newly-found fame of one of their members. That reluctance became a distant memory after my first listen to their debut song, Pleaser.
Now, I might be committing rock sacrilege here, but I was truly reminded of The Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas, whose voice was once described as having the same "warmth you feel when you swallow an aged whiskey." I don't drink whisky, but I still knew what that meant. Between this kind of voice and honest, relatable lyrics, I was hooked.
Wallows has played a handful of shows in the past months, and of course I have missed every single LA show. l was so disappointed to miss out on these early shows in small venues. These guys don't even have an album out!
To my absolute delight, the band posted on Instagram about a secret show, and the first 25 people had a chance to go and bring a +1. The only catch was that we wouldn't receive our notification until a couple hours before the show! To be honest, I wasn't hopeful - I submitted my entry but had the feeling it was a bit late... and I was right. The good news is that my friend Cathrine was able to snag a spot and asked me to be her +1!
After receiving this text from her, I knew we were going to have a crazy night. The only information we got was an address, and that there would be food, drinks, and valet.
We spent about an hour in traffic (on a Saturday night! Can you believe it???) and finally arrived in a familiar area that I hadn't been to in years - the Sunset strip. We pulled into a small street by the Laugh Factory and saw the party. We were a bit baffled, since there were considerably more people than the 50 invited via Instagram.
We got our wristbands and weasled our way through the crowded courtyard. There was a food truck serving tacos and a swarm of people in front of it. We headed to the backyard where there were even MORE people. At this point in the night, we didn't realize where we were and spent a lot of time trying to figure out what the event was, whose house this was, and who all of the guests were. As the night went on, we got answers. First, the house is known as the Levi Haus, which I did not know existed until this event (I suppose I am quite the lame Angeleno). It was the picture perfect house party, complete with twinkly lights, free drinks (including La Croix), trendy guys and gorgeous girls. I was completely intimidated, which I believe contributed to my lack of photos. It was a very LA party, the kind you see in movie like La La Land... definitely too cool of a crowd for me.
After grabbing drinks and people watching, we finally noticed the stage - it was on the roof! We grabbed a spot with a perfect view and eagerly awaited the set. They went on late, but being there was more than worth it. I spent more time enjoying than taking photos, so forgive the few snaps I have.
I was beyond impressed with this young band. They aren't afraid to be quirky and it's obvious they want to produce something authentic, unique and fun. Their lyrics are cheeky and relatable, not to mention they get you moving! I had a really great time seeing them and was even more impressed with Dylan after watching their set. He has a great command of the stage and isn't afraid to go all out. Their songs are nostalgic, but at the same time, fresh and new. The lit-up trees, plastic flamingoes and Southern California sunset behind them was the perfect backdrop for their West Coast sound.
After the set, the boys said they would hang around and greet their party guests... this was an insane time. Long story short, I avoided all three of them because nerves got the best of me, but EVENTUALLY I mustered up enough courage to talk to Dylan. He was more lovely than I could imagine; despite how many celebrities I've met, I'm always surprised when they get big but remain polite and treat fans like, well, people. He was wonderfully polite, despite some crises that were happening at the time. One crisis was my own - my brand spanking new Polaroid camera decided to malfunction while I tried to take a selfie with Dylan. He was incredibly gracious about the whole thing but I was feeling a mix of embarrassment and fury. At least I got a decent iPhone photo.
Not only was I thrilled to see such a great band, I feel that my "trip" to the Levi Haus was straight out of every Los Angeles hopeful's dreams. While it's not my scene, I did very much feel like I was experiencing something out of a John Hughes film. I was surrounded by the trendiest people, celebrities (including at least one member of the 13 Reasons Why cast), Youtubers, and probably a number of industry people. Everyone (probably except myself) was fabulously dressed - leggy model types sipped La Croix while the sun was setting behind the palm trees. It was surely a surreal experience, but I'm glad I got to participate. Again, apologies for the lack of photos - I was surely awestruck. I'm pretty sure I'll never have this opportunity again!
Until next time,