Barns Courtney & The Wombats @ House of Blues in Boston, MA
Review & Photography by: Avery Kelly
Barns Courtney kickstarted his career with singles “Glitter & Gold” and “Fire,” both reaching top charts and propelling the solo artist into the spotlight. Courtney immediately came into commercial success. He released his debut EP The Dull Drums in 2017, closely followed by his first full-length album, Attractions of Youth. Since then, he has been touring with a multitude of artists, including The Who and Ed Sheeran. In Boston, he brought an energy into the House of Blues that is rarely matched. He started his set with “Fun Never Ends” before going into “London Girls”. He then went into a brand new single, “99”, followed quickly by his hit “Glitter & Gold.” Rounding out his set were tracks “Golden Dandelions,” “Kicks,” and “Fire,” all off of his album.
Following Barns Courtney was The Wombats. Currently touring in support of their new album, Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life, they closed out the tour in Boston. This marks their fifth full-length album. The band came out with driving energy, hooking the audience immediately. In the crowd were old, die-hard fans and newcomers alike, but all were equally entranced as the three-piece, larger than life band performed. They opened up with “Cheetah Tongue,” the first track on their new album, before delving into some of their older tracks. Frontman Matthew Murphy was spot on the whole night, and Tord Knudson (bass/keys) and Dan Haggis (percussion) were right along with him. Tracks “Give Me a Try” and “1996” gave the audience a reminder of their older, signature sounds before they got into some of their newer content. “Black Flamingo” and “White Eyes” followed, then into a string of old classics. At this point, the whole crowd seemed to know every word. “Patricia the Stripper,” “Techno Fan,” and “Emoticons,” from their first, second, and third albums respectively, were definite crowd pleasers. Again, they went back to their new album for the next three tracks.
The peak of their set came with songs “Pink Lemonade” and “Moving to NY.” These two songs are very popular tracks of theirs and seem to represent both their new and old sounds while showing off their lyrical and musical prowess. The set ended with “Let’s Dance to Joy Division,” obviously a crowd favorite, and immediately there was an uproar for an encore. They came out with three more songs; “Turn,” “Tokyo,” and “Greek Tragedy.” This show just solidified the fact that The Wombats are a band that makes huge, anthemic songs, and with just three on stage, they seem to take up the entire room.