Wet Leg showcases humor, crowd banter in lyrics at Lollapalooza set

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Sydney Laput

Rhian Teasdale sings alongside Hester Chambers as rock duo Wet Leg on the Discord stage for Lollapalooza on Friday.

By Aidan Sadovi , Staff Writer

It can sometimes take musicians a decade — or their entire careers — to make it to Lollapalooza, let alone to travel internationally to play at the festival. Wet Leg has done it in about three years. 

Wet Leg is made up of Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers from the Isle of Wight, which is a small speck south of the United Kingdom. The duo have since carved out a niche in the already crowded genre of lyrical indie-punk rock, similar to bands like Dry Cleaning and Idles.

The pair’s music is catchy, and their lyrics are a type of funny that one can almost hear in the half-baked inside jokes that eventually blossomed into indie-punk meditations on the mundane. 

“Is your muffin buttered?” Teasdale sang on chart-topper “Chaise Longue.” “Would you like us to assign someone to butter your muffin?” 

Wet Leg’s humor may sometimes be immature, but, aside from a somewhat furtive start at Lollapalooza on Friday, it’s developing into an exceptionally creative, smart and eclectic band that deserves to be near the spearpoint of a hopefully up-and-coming British indie invasion. 

Wet Leg performed an afternoon show at Lollapalooza’s Discord stage on July 29, which started with a bit of reluctance from a somewhat static crowd before transforming as the hour went by. By the end of the show, a mosh pit had formed near the front in rhythm to the chorus of “Chaise Longue.” 

The band came into being in 2019, so the relatively new artists still have a bit of work to do before winning over the popularity and discerning ears of American listeners. 

Jacob Brown, an Evanston native and stranger to Wet Leg, who showed up early to the field at the Discord stage after hearing rapper Jasiah, said he came as a means of “killing time,” as well as hearing something a little more “chill.” 

“It’s early in the afternoon, so I feel like going to EDM this early would be hard to sustain,” he said in reference to the often chaotic slew of electronic dance music and DJ sets happening during the day. 

Although the show started off “chill,” the vibe didn’t last. 

Teesdale and Chambers started the set with the droning jam-ballad, “Being in Love.” It was arguably the weakest moment of the show. 

The best songs of Wet Leg’s eponymous albums are the ones that let Teesdale and Chambers really have fun, which doesn’t sound like it’s happening as much when Teesdale is confined to something of a whisper register and when the dueling guitar intonations that the two women skillfully play together are inaudible. 

Head-bobbing and shuffling feet would change to more active participation in the show by about halfway through when tracks like the marching “Oh No” and “Ur mum,” a song about loafing, insensitive men, came on. 

Just as good as the quips and comments from a giggling Teesdale throughout the show — who looked like she was enjoying the time she had on stage — was the duo’s excellently coordinated guitarwork, which combined to create ripping and crackling melodies that acted as springboards for the little stories that each song contains. 

The gleeful crowd joined in on the double entendres of songs like Chaise Longue, chanting, “Mommy, daddy, I got a degree / I went to school, and I got the big D.” There were even more overt lyrics that implored a certain hypothetical front row audience member to come backstage, which Teesdake sang with an impish smile. 

Early in the show, Teesdale made a joke about Lollapalooza previously sounding to her like “loser” in a British accent. 

“More like lollapawinna, am I right?” she punned.

The crowd, let in on the joke, laughed and groaned in equal measure.

 

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