Wet Leg – Live in NYC

Once again, Wet Leg charmed NYC for the holidays....
Wet Leg : Live
Wet Leg : Live

Last year, ultra-charming indie-rock duo Wet Leg exploded out of their Isle of Wight as the buzz band with “Chaise Lounge” (QRO review), following that up with “Too Late Now” (QRO review), and in 2022 “Angelica” (QRO review) & their lived-up-to-the-hype great self-titled album (QRO review). It was just over a year ago that they played a string of small, ultra-packed shows in NYC (QRO live review). Spring of this year saw them be the must-catch of South-by-Southwest (QRO photos), and a moved-into-a-bigger place NYC show (QRO live review), even before Wet Leg came out. There was a North American tour in the summer that included Atlanta (QRO live review), Toronto (QRO photos), California’s This Ain’t No Picnic (QRO photos), Chicago’s Lollapalooza (QRO photos), and Austin City Limits (QRO photos). But they returned to NYC for another December, playing a string of four shows at intimate-for-them venues, including Bowery Ballroom on Thursday, December 15th.

The third of four shows, of course it was packed at Bowery Ballroom (QRO venue review), even on a cold, rainy December night just before the holidays. It was notable that the crowd wasn’t just hipster kids, but even veered into the older, and not for the first time at a Wet Leg show – perhaps because they didn’t have to cram for winter finals for to get their degree (i.e., “The Big D”). The packed house (December jackets also add to space issues) meant for some definite squeezing through of folks, from not being able to see around the guy in front of you with his phone up making what is sure to be a terrible video of every song, to young women deciding only when the band finally took the stage to try and push forward towards the front, past all the people who had been appropriately waiting there for a while.

But none of this takes away from Wet Leg’s absolute charm. Rhian Teasdale & Hester Chambers have that sweet, bashful, even surprised-people-want-to-listen nature, plus a lived-in best friendship you only wish you had in your twenties. Songs like “Chaise” have a catchy, just having fun way about them reminiscent of the alt-pop of the eighties & nineties that never took itself too seriously. And it’s all only heightened live, the duo and their very able backing band having the time of their lives on stage, such as Teasdale jumping up & down and rolling around on the ground during the cathartic scream with the crowd in “Ur Mum” (she also took a selfie with the crowd, because this is the twenty-first century). After one fan gave her a Talking Heads “PSYCHO KILLER” t-shirt, she held up and showed to the audience, jokingly adding, “Is that what you really think of me?…”

Rhian Teasdale

A young band with only one full-length under their belt does suffer from a limited repertoire, and the show was relatively short – at least compared to the old fogey alt-acts that are usually playing their umpteenth time at Bowery. They played every song but one (“Loving You”) from Wet Leg, and added a song “not from the album,” “Obvious”, a sadder piece with some whistling and even French. A different vibe from them, more akin to Leg’s lower key “Convincing” (when they were bathed in blue light on stage), it does show growth, if not the catchy Wet Leg that you fell in love with.

After making 2022 their year, it is likely time (after the holidays) for Wet Leg to set about making the high expectations, high risk ‘album after the breakthrough’ follow-up to Wet Leg. We’ll be waiting in anticipation, and they’re welcome back to the Big Apple any time.

Wet Leg

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