Wild Nothing formed in Blacksburg, Virginia — known more for Virginia Tech than as a hotbed for indie rock. In the Internet Age, though, geography is no limitation. Jack Tatum‘s band pulls inspiration from 1980s Brit bands like The Cure and The Smiths with momentary nods to My Bloody Valentine. Clearly, they’re not alone in that regard, and contemporaries include The Drums, Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Cut Copy and Weekend.
Tatum himself looks like a sensitive prep school version of Steve Stifler, and for this show, Stifler’s doppelganger’s mom is in the house (as is his dad). His understated vocals provide a contrast to increasingly dancy beats, the thumping bass and its fat tonality undergirding the familiar sounds of a jangly hollow body guitar. If someone remade “St. Elmo’s Fire,” it seems a good bet that Wild Nothing would be on the soundtrack. They proceeded in this vein until closing with a jammy number more reminiscent of Wilco‘s “Spiders” than the aesthetic of those aforementioned groups, exactly the type of tune that should translate to the wide open spaces they’ll be playing this weekend at Lollapalooza.
A hirsute concertgoer said it best, succinctly encapsulating Wild Nothing and the crowd it drew out on this Saturday night, “This band is a commercial for being in your 20s.”