“I heard you guys go hard,” CARR said during her opening set at The Wrecks’ Wednesday night show at the Majestic Theatre.
And the sold-out Madison crowd did. Between cow onesies, a short-lived mosh pit, a spilled High Noon and The Wrecks’ lead singer Nick Anderson moving into the crowd during the encore, the concert did, in fact, get “unhinged.”
CARR’s witty, cool-girl personality immediately lit up the venue. She instantly took the microphone off the stand to bounce around the stage, her high pigtails flying during every guitar or drum solo. Her lyrics about “loser” guys complimented The Wrecks’ breakup songs off their new album — I just wished her vocals were a smidge louder.
Cute interactions between CARR’s talented backing members were a bright point. The crowd-favorite guitarist, Michael, took photos at the merch table after the show, where CARR was incredibly sweet to everyone who wanted an autograph.
I actually appreciated how long CARR’s set was; I think most of the crowd was still numb from standing outside in winter-grade temperatures. The crowd kept itself entertained during the set transition by singing along to “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” which was a strange choice but illustrated that everyone was just there to have a good time.
The crowd’s enthusiasm grew as The Wrecks took the stage and moved through their setlist, which featured new and old tracks in fairly equal measure. I was curious to see how their punkier early work would transition into some of their slower, indie rock tracks from the band’s new release, “Sonder.” It worked seamlessly — they harnessed the venue’s energy and infused it into their more heartfelt ballads like “Normal.”
I expected The Wrecks to spend more time talking up their Wisconsin connections, though a large percentage of the room appeared to be committed fans who have probably seen the band before. At multiple points, Anderson pointed his mic at the crowd, which jumped and screamed back the lyrics. The Majestic was the perfect choice for the band’s first Madison stop; the experience just wouldn’t have been the same at a larger venue.
The band’s musicality — especially Anderson’s vocal command and Nick “Schmizz” Schmidt’s frantic guitar shredding — would have been enough to make this an incredible live performance.
But the best part of the night was watching the band interact with their devoted supporters. Whether it was something serious, like making sure the front row had enough breathing room, or something silly, like taking BeReals, it was clear that The Wrecks adore their fans.
The Wrecks rewarded their loyal crowd with an exhilarating encore. Anderson got out a guitar to sing the wistful “Where Are You Now?” from “Sonder” before teasing the intro of “Favorite Liar,” their breakout single, and hopping down into the crowd to share the unforgettable moment with them. The energy in the Majestic was simply electric.
The Wrecks love Wisconsin, and I suspect they’ll be back soon. Whether it’s Madison, Milwaukee or somewhere else, go see them. Their show encapsulated everything that live music should be.
Hope Karnopp is the news manager and dabbles in music reviews at The Daily Cardinal. She previously hosted the Cardinal Call for WORT-FM and edited state news.