This year, no new band has generated as much excitement as Wet Leg, the Isle of Wight indie rock outfit founded by Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers. Following in the footsteps of buzzy British bands like the Arctic Monkeys and Wolf Alice, Wet Leg embarked on their first headlining tour of the U.S. in conjunction with their highly anticipated SXSW debut making a stop at Chicago’s Thalia Hall on March 4, 2022.
Wet Leg wasn’t supposed to play Thalia Hall on this American adventure, but they sold-out their originally scheduled Chicago venue, The Empty Bottle, so fast that it was clear the show had to be moved to a larger space. Despite not yet releasing a full album – Wet Leg’s self-titled debut is set for an April 8 release via Domino – the duo quickly sold-out Thalia Hall too.
By the time the band played “Wet Dream,” the third song of the Friday night set, Teasdale and Chambers – accompanied by a trio of touring musicians – as well as fans had warmed up and were ready for a party. “Supermarket” and “Red Eggs” followed and “Too Late Now” showcased a perfect execution of the band’s already signature singsong vs. dry spoken word melodies. Though both musicians sang and strummed, Teasdale did most of the vocal heavy lifting – with the notable exception of Chambers’ whispery singing on “Convincing” – throughout the night while Chambers delivered foundational guitar riffs as the fun unfolded.
One of the most playful moments came during the pounding rhythms of “Oh No” when Teasdale and Chambers fell to the floor to engage in some rock and roll gymnastics that left them smiling in a tangle of guitar chords. They later played a cover of “Life is a Rollercoaster” by Ronan Keating who Teasdale called a “big influence.”
The group’s soft spoken stage banter was kept to a minimum though quiet “Cheers” of gratitude were often shared following a song. They also took time out to thank Thalia Hall for their hospitality while adding some good-natured complaining about how the backstage beer was refrigerated rather than the Brits’ preferred, room temperature.
“How are we supposed to drink cold beers,” asked Teasdale with a smile.
Wet Leg, of course, concluded their set with their biggest hit to date, the infectious single “Chaise Longue,” during which Chambers’ coy responses of “What” each time Teasdale asked, “Excuse me,” were drowned out by the deafening singing of the crowd. The wry song really came to life on stage morphing into a more animated fun-filled ditty than it’s studio-recorded counterpart.
Earlier in the night, Atlanta’s Lowertown opened things up with a short set comprised of songs about dogs, friends, and the “Best Person You Know.”
Wet Leg has upcoming shows scheduled in Boston, Brooklyn, Philadelphia, and more cities before they go down to Austin for SXSW. Click here to pre-order their debut album and head over to Wetlegband.com for more information about the band.