UK-based garage rockers Dream Wife were winding down their first-ever North American headline tour with a Wednesday night show at The Echo and I made sure not to miss it.
Coming a day before I embarked to Desert Daze 2018 for the weekend, it kicked my weekend off early as I got to see not one but two up-and-coming awesome bands worth keeping an eye on. I missed the opening act but made it in time to see rising local favorites Russo kick off their set.
The band is a four-piece fronted by Cailin Russo and formed earlier this year. Russo has a Gwen Stefani quality to her sound. The guitarist Tyler McCarthy has a very animated face while moving across the stage — the equivalent of “when the drugs hit”. Russo has very good frontwoman tendencies and I can see this band going very far. They had a great crowd that was very into the show for an opening act. The song “Loudmouth” is an absolute catchy-as-fuck banger.
Closing things out was Dream Wife, who first came to my attention thanks to some well-placed e-mails by their publicist in my inbox before they dropped their debut album this year. It’s one of my favorite debut records of the year and their Echoplex show in December was so good I had to catch them again.
The way they bring these songs to life is amazing. Frontwoman Rakel Mjöll’s stage presence is of the highest level. She’s very expressive with her eyes and twirls her hear while delivering daggers into the hearts of the crowd.
They kicked things off with one of my favorite songs “Hey Heartbreaker” and from that moment they had the crowd hooked. One of their old songs that isn’t on the record “Lolita” followed, and the guitar riffs Alice Go smashed out made it feel as though this song belonged in that film Wanted.
“Somebody” is one of the best feminist anthems written in the last several years. “I am not my body, I’m somebody” shouted Mjöll to the heavy cheers of a mainly female audience. Unfortunately, we’d later learn via a Dream Wife post on Instagram that one of their friends allegedly had something slipped in her drink — a nefarious and fucked up thing at any event but especially at a concert by a band like this one.
The song “F.U.U.” is incredibly intense as Mjöll shouts she’s “gonna fuck you up, gonna cut you up, gonna fuck you up” before exploding into a banging chorus as well as a snipped of “Wannabe” by the Spice Girls. Mjöll may resemble that girl group’s Baby Spice but she packs a much grittier punch than Emma Bunton despite her innocent look.
The band closed with “Let’s Make Out” and I caught a couple taking them up on that as the rest of the crowd bounced around. By the end of the show, many were a sweaty mess. It’ll be great to see this band continue their upwards trajectory — I think big things are coming from this group.