The Wombats @ Paradise Rock Club 10.17.12

by Siena Faughnan (Criminal Justice), published October 25th 2012

photos by James Gray-King

The Wombats are not a band of much maturity and their show at Paradise Rock Club was no exception. The crowd was swarmed with hands sporting thick, black X’s and after every song there was an uproar of girlish squeals (they were so pervasive that lead singer Matthew Murphy once asked the crowd if he could hear some manlier grunts). But what The Wombats lack in subtly and seriousness, they used to their advantage, in a performance dripping with youthful angst and energy and an unyielding dedication to having a good time.

And have a good time they did. From the moment the trio stepped on stage, they exhibited relentless passion for both their music and the crowd. The fact that they were nearing the end of a six-week U.S. tour didn’t show at all—instead, The Wombats seemed to benefit from the momentum. After half a year of touring, they were ready for a celebration. They played a nearly non-stop set, letting the audience dance, scream, and encouraging them repeatedly to “go wild.” The crowd took this request to heart (especially the five fist-pumping bros I had the pleasure of being squished up next to)—and there were few moments of stillness in the nearly two hour set. But amongst the standard teenage anthems of romance, dancing to Joy Division, and misguided adolescence, there were rare intimate glimpses of the truth behind the music, such as “Anti-D,” a tribute to Murphy’s struggle with antidepressants. With the abundance of synthesizers and stock chord progression, it was easy to overlook the unique personal feel this show had.

As an encore, the opener, Morning Parade, took to the stage in costume, ranging from Gandalf robes to Teenage Mutant Ninja suits. Crowd surfing ensued, bringing about a feeling of general jubilation. A make-out session between Murphy and Morning Parade frontman, Steve Sparrow, ended it all with a bang. The Wombats accomplished a rare feat of making the fans feel that they were an integral part of the show, the music, and the success of the band. We were each included in what felt like the kind of party the guys would have back in the hotel room after the show was well over. This sort of thing simply doesn’t happen at a normal concert. And for these reasons—for their eccentricity, energy, and dedication to the crowd, The Wombats put on a great show. Maybe their songs can be written off as overly pop-y and sophomoric, and though they probably won’t make a lasting impact on music, tonight, I had a damn good time.

Comments are closed.