Wallpaper. may spell its name with a period at the end, but the band’s live show should end with an exclamation point. When the Oakland producer-performers, signed by L.A. Reid to Epic Records, take the stage, it’s an eclectic experience of eccentric proportions that includes a gumbo of hip-hop, reggae, dub step, and who knows what else.
Although this week the “hip hop and pop music project” – if you believe Wikipedia – was opening for 3OH3! on the Journeys.com Noise Tour, it’s not hard to tell why the band’s star is rising (it should be mentioned that Ricky Reed, the front-man, is an in-demand producer with hits for Jason DeRulo and Far East Movement under his belt).
Inside the cavernous House of Blues Dallas – it’s definitely bigger than the House of Blues Sunset Strip – Wallpaper. got the audience warmed with a rolling, Oakland trunk-thumpin’ bass line warmer-upper before getting into the hit “Hesher” and hands started waving side to side.
On stage joined by two drummers with two drum sets and supporting dancer Novena Carmel – a familiar face from the Los Angeles music circuit who was once booking bands at Zanzibar club in Santa Monica – the band put on a heck of a performance. The booming bass of “Hesher” was even more trunk-rattling than the previous cut, most likely culled from Wallpaper.’s Ricky Reed Is Real album released earlier this year.
Reed entertained the crowd between songs with geographical shout-outs that befit a party music connoisseur – “I know Denton is close to here, I know about those parties” – and his ever-present humor. And then, before introducing their hit “F**king Best Song Ever,” Reed dedicated a song to a best friend. How did he introduce that? Like this: “This song is about friendship, hangovers and Whataburger.”
The Dallas college student crowd and other locals didn’t seem to mind the free-wheeling fun. They surely weren’t standing up against the wall.