Halloween with The Wallflowers

Just as quickly as their hiatus started, front man Jakob Dylan announced The Wallflowers would be returning for a new album and naturally another tour. But would this be the same band we had heard through the 90’s? Sure, some of the original members returned for another go round with Dylan, but taking a break has a way of rearranging creative characteristics.

The new album Glad All Over has gotten mixed reviews. Some say it’s hit and miss, some have great praise for it. Whether you like it or not, there is no disregarding how different it is compared to the earlier years of The Wallflowers.

Glad All Over has the same basics that made The Wallflowers, that authentic and vintage soft rock style, but Glad All Over brings a little more movement and pep to a few of the newer songs. Check out “Reboot the Mission” and you’ll hear what I’m talking about.

Glad All Over had a big part of The Wallflowers’ Halloween show at Turner Hall Ballroom in Milwaukee, but the overall mix of previous material was very tasteful. Their newest hit “Reboot the Mission” didn’t get as much recognition as I thought it expected at the live show, but maybe the new album is too new for people to get hyped just yet.

Jakob Dylan’s authentic vocals work well with the style of music The Wallflowers have developed. He has just the right amount of rasp and range that works very effectively. And his guitar is not only a part of his performance; it’s a part of him. That Fender Telecaster is perfect.

While churning out hits from the past and present the rest of the band also have some star roles. Jakob and fellow guitarist Stuart Mathis frequently injected impressive scurries of notes to accent the alternative bluesy vintage rock mix of songs.

It wasn’t until at least the sixth song when Jakob stopped to talk to fans a bit. Realizing it was Halloween, Dylan took the time to call out some fans on their costumes. “Are you guys dressed up? I’m dressed up.” Jakob singled out a taller man dressed as Doc from Back to the Future asking, “Will you show me your flux capacitor? I’m not hitting on you though!” and “Show me your DeLorean after the show?”

The Wallflowers’ performance seemed to be in good spirits, especially for the mid-week Halloween celebration. I think fans got to see every side of this growing band. They’ve had their ups and downs already and are now venturing out into new territory with the new album’s slightly revamped style.

Fans old and young gathered to see The Wallflowers. The familiar sounds of Dylan’s voice draw in the more seasoned concert goers while the younger crowd from the 90’s are still drawn in by that soft rock/pop alternative to the repetition of mainstream pop. It’s great to see these mixed demographic shows.

Jakob Dylan also has a voice that is rather rare these days. It’s not underpowered and not too over the top. He can be very authoritative when he needs to, but tones it down a lot of the time. This reserved style makes the music much more relaxed as a whole. His voice makes everything sound from the heart and so rich.

“Hey Milwaukee, Happy Halloween!”


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