Making a stop as part of their 2022 tour, Wilderado visited Madison to perform for a sold-out crowd at High Noon Saloon April 6.
The visit was part of a five-week tour covering many major cities throughout North America. After a brief rest, the band is also due for a stint across Europe, visiting cities in Ireland and the United Kingdom.
Opening for Wilderado was Flipturn, a young alternative indie band from Florida who proved they were as much of a concert headliner as the group to follow them. Flipturn wasted no time in exciting the crowd, bringing lively rock, visible enthusiasm and very long hair to the stage.
Minutes into their performance, it was clear Flipturn meant business. Led by drummer Devon VanBalson, who stole the show with his high-energy drum set playing, the band quickly created an infectious excitement that had the crowd cheering for more by their final song.
“This isn’t even my guitar,” lead singer Dillon Basse noted, gesturing to the guitar he played that night in between sets, explaining how his personal guitar had broken early in their tour. Wilderado had been kind enough to loan him one of their guitars, which he explained he was very grateful for.
After exhausting their standard repertoire, the band played their newly released song “Playground,” followed by a number of unreleased tracks set to debut on their upcoming full-length album.
Next to take the stage after a brief intermission was main act Wilderado, whose show was much more subdued in spirit than Flipturn’s. While their presentation and energy came off slightly more rigid than their opener’s, Wilderado made up for this in their creative use of lighting to punctuate key moments in their songs.
Taking the stage in darkness, Wilderado, who originated in Tulsa, Oklahoma, stunned the audience with a set of blinding floodlights that activated at the climax of their opening song. These intense lights would flicker and blink on and off throughout the show during particularly exciting moments, grabbing the attention of all in attendance.
For songs that were much more relaxed, the band switched to soft blue and orange lights, creating a comfortable warm feeling that paired well with some of their slower acoustic pieces. They also added a gentle rolling smoke that added a layer of intimacy to the show.
“You northerners are cool,” lead singer Max Rainer said in between songs, explaining how crowds at tour stops in the southern U.S. were often “too cool” to cheer for the band during their shows.
Rainer also explained getting back to touring again after two years off was a hard transition for the band and required a “mental endurance” many of them had lost during their time at home.
Combined with the fact that the members of Wilderado had to once again leave their families for five weeks on the road, the band had a particularly difficult time returning to touring. This was made worth it, Rainer explained, by the enthusiasm they were shown by the crowd in Madison.
“It means so much to be affirmed like this,” Rainer said as the crowd applauded the show’s closing act. “Thank you.”
After closing the show, the crowd called for an encore, which Wilderado obliged with two more songs. For their final song of the night, the soft acoustic guitar ballad “Rubble to Rubble,” Flipturn returned to the stage to help close out the show by singing along with Wilderado. It was a touching moment that solidified the friendship between the two bands.
“We’re going to be friends for life because of this tour!” Rainer told the crowd after calling for a round of applause for Flipturn.
All told, the concert was well rounded and full of a balance of exciting and relaxed moments. The two bands did well to complement each other’s unique style, alluding to comfortable chemistry between the two groups. Following the concert, it is safe to say both Wilderado and Flipturn made long-term fans in the Madison area.