For any concert junkie, there is nothing better than the day that their next most anticipated concert finally arrives. On Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020, that day finally came for every Wallows fan in Tampa. Fans had been waiting for the band to tour in Florida for years, and with their most recent tour, Nothing Happens, several Florida dates were the first of many stops on the list.
Just before the tour officially started, the band announced that they would be taking donations at each venue in order to benefit a local nonprofit in the city they would be performing in. Fans who donated received a free pin that stated “I donated at a Wallows show” as an incentive to bring in items. At the Tampa show, the nonprofit being supported was CASA St. Pete, a domestic violence shelter and advocacy group. Boxes upon boxes of hygiene items were donated by fans as they came through the doors of the Ritz and waited for the show to begin.
Once the show started with the band’s opener, Penelope Isles, the crowd vibed to the obviously unfamiliar but well-received indie sound that the British band gave. As they played through their songs, the crowd seemed to enjoy the music more and more as they danced to it with their friends. By the end of their set, it was clear that the band from across the pond had gained some new fans.
After Penelope Isles was finished and the Wallows stage was all set up, they started the show. The stage reflected the band members personalities with bright lights that were brought by the band’s crew and the cover of their latest album displayed behind them. Playing fan favorites from their newest album and older songs that were released on EPs and as singles, the variety of different songs was clearly loved by the crowd. A mix of slower songs and fast-paced ones let the crowd have little breaks from jumping and dancing while still enjoying themselves and listening to their favorite tunes. The band kept the crowd interested by even accepting gifts from fans such as hats and letters and throwing things into the crowd such as balloons. Although parts of the crowd were definitely less lively than others, it was clear that everyone there was having a great time.
Overall, Wallows had phenomenal stage presence and knew how to keep the fans engaged, even coming out for an encore to hype up the crowd one last time for the night. At the end of the night, as the fans poured out of the venue, anyone there could tell that they had had a good time. Wallows provided an entertaining set that livened up Tampa, even if just for the night.
Grace Barnett // Centerspread Editor