Armed with a short yet striking setlist, the ever effervescent Wallice, dressed perfectly in pink and a pair of black boots, leapt on stage to kick off a carefree and exuberant night at San Francisco’s Bimbo’s 365 Club on March 7.
Once the blue lights illuminated her from behind, a scintillating Wallice opened with the song “90s American Superstar” from her EP of the same name. Right off the bat, the energy in the room was high as she bounced around the stage, wholeheartedly stepping into the titular role. Wallice then followed up with “Little League” from the same EP, wowing with its vibrating instrumentals and her pristine belt.
Despite her zestful music and tough appearance, Wallice’s personality proved to be far from the angsty persona she evokes. Her voice sounded much softer live than it does on her recorded tracks, and she wore minimal eye makeup, contrary to her dramatic look on the “90s American Superstar” cover.
Wallice told off a male manipulator on “Hey Michael” and embraced the capitalist lifestyle on “Rich Wallice” before introducing a new song titled “Disappear,” which she said made her laugh because the setlist had it misspelled as “Dissapear.” Similar to much of her music, this song started off very slow before accelerating. Layered with a robotic voice spelling out “disappear,” Wallice wailed the song’s chorus while buoyantly moving around the stage.
After sweetly introducing her band, Wallice transitioned to the most somber song of the night: her latest single “Japan,” which was released in both English and Japanese. While this diaristic song slowed down the energy in the room, the audience gazed up admiringly at Wallice to soak in her soft, lulling vocals.
Despite “Japan” being an outlier in Wallice’s discography as an acoustic guitar ballad, it is no less Wallice. She earnestly sang the song’s English lyrics with emotional and intentional intonations, beautifully showcasing the range of her voice from how she cried, “Tokyo’s so loud” to how she delicately sang, “I wish we had more time.”
Coming out of this intimate performance, Wallice thanked JAWNY for having her as the supporting act for his tour, which follows the release of his new album “It’s Never Fair, Always True.” Whenever she addressed the audience, she spoke in a timid yet endearing way. Her wholesome and shy personality contrasted her punchy music in a way that brought out a new side to Wallice, making her even more authentic and enjoyable as an artist.
Putting her guitar back on, Wallice introduced “Punching Bag:” the first song she ever released and the first song of the night that the audience knew all the words to. “In my right mind less than half of the time / I can be a punching bag,” she sang as she reflected on a rift in a friendship. During parts of the song when she wasn’t playing her guitar, she sang with hand gestures so as to interact with the audience.
On the other hand, no one knew the words to the next song, an unreleased track called “Best Friend” that is set to be the first single on her new EP coming out at the end of this month. Though the track started a bit slow, it built up nicely into the chorus. The instrumental featured a strong rock beat, which was seamlessly complemented by her soft vocals.
Saving the best for last, Wallice introduced her penultimate song, which she said was the “favorite song [she’s] ever made.” The live performance of “Funeral” paralleled the song’s chorus; although the audience was dancing at her concert rather than her funeral, Wallice was still rocking and rolling.
“I wanna rock and roll” Wallice sang with fervor while jamming her guitar and jumping up and down. The energy in the room swelled and the crowd did in fact lose control, just like Wallice sang in her lyrics. The one-minute guitar outro was amazingly executed as Wallice shredded around on stage before moving on to her final, and perhaps most popular, song of the night: “23.”
The final song elicited the most energy as the audience sang and bopped along to this twentysomething anthem, a perfect reflection of the anxiety that accompanies early adulthood. Wallice screamed the lyrics “Get a job!” with an angst that resonated with the crowd.
Wallice concluded her set with a few twirls on stage before bowing and lingering around to sign setlists. During JAWNY’s set, she even appeared at her merch table to meet fans. Although her set was too short to encompass all her hits, the energy in the room was undeniably Wallice with every minute she was on stage.