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Wallice teases new EP “Mr Big Shot” at Lincoln Hall


It’s the second show of her tour and Wallice walks into the red light of Chicago’s cavernous Lincoln Hall with poise. Above the crowd of mostly 20-somethings, a forlorn disco ball hangs still. Wallice’s music lives in the latest evolution of alt-rock (a big umbrella, I know). Yet, somewhere between Olivia Rodrigo, Weezer, and Soccer Mommy, you’ll find Wallice’s sound. Performed live, however, it leans forward into an immediate, raucous energy. 

Opening the night with their latest single “disappear,” Wallice lifted the crowd from its humpday slump, channeling 90s grunge rock with bravado. In contrast to their ebullient sound, Wallice maintains a relatively shy stage persona. Her hands touch earnestly to her chest inviting the audience into her emotion. When the choruses kick into full gear, her long black hair occasionally whips up and down like a turbulent black sea. 

In most of her songs, the verses are kept sonically slim to allow Wallice’s sonorous vocals to shine through. This is helpful for the moments that lean toward bedroom pop. Wallice’s trademark lyricism, which blends pensive self-awareness with a wry wit is not to be missed. 

Late in her set, she plays the syrupy tune “Dramamine” which drips with need and confusion, only to follow it with “Hey Michael” a diss track for the unearned confidence of straight men. “Hey Michael, you American Psycho, / where the hell did my night go?” she lambasts her subject with an on stage eye roll. 

Her most exciting tracks are her most recent. “Best Friend” and “Loser at Best” are knock-down and drag-out firecrackers, while a softer (and unreleased) “Why Do You Love Me” carries a more cinematic energy. The night was the perfect teaser for her newest EP Mr Big Shot  which drops Friday, June 23rd

At times the performance felt too polished. The show was supported by tracking, which kept the set on a smooth course, but left little room for the unscripted. Whenever Wallice did speak to the crowd, they responded enthusiastically. “On the count of four, we’re all gonna scream,” Wallice said midway through “Headache”. And scream they did.

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