by Katie Zepf
On Tuesday night, indie vets The Wombats finished off their 2018 U.S. tour at Terminal 5. The British outfit features lead singer Matthew Murphy, drummer Dan Haggis, and bassist Tord Øverland Knudsen. Playing to a Halloween costumed crowd, all members dressed as cats for the occasion, with Murphy sporting a full catsuit, ears, and furry boots.
The colorful, upbeat set included songs from their newest album Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life (“Cheetah Tongue”) as well as older hits from their albums A Guide to Love, Loss & Depression, This Modern Glitch, and Glitterbug. The band’s fun, positive energy was reflected in every aspect of the show: from the colorful lights projected on stage, to the surprise dancers dressed as cheerleading wombats who appeared during a lively performance of “Let’s Dance to Joy Division”.
The audience was an enthusiastic mix of all ages, who had more respect for people's personal space than any GA crowd I've ever been in. The audience's excitement shot through the roof for “Moving to New York”, as the crowd sang and danced about the city they adored. For their encore, the band performed two of their more recent hits, “Turn” and “Greek Tragedy”, showcasing how their sound has evolved throughout their fifteen year career.
Opening was English singer-songwriter Barns Courtney. I have been a fan of Courtney’s music for a little while, so having him open felt like a special treat. Playing selections from his album The Attractions of Youth, Courtney performed as if he was the main act. Not only did he stage dive onto a crowd of adoring fans (including me), Courtney joined the GA floor to perform his hit song “Fire”, jumping around with the fist-pumping audience.
The Wombats are set to play a few shows in Australia and New Zealand, before returning to Europe in early 2019.