Album Review: Wilderado – Wilderado Live

3/5

Tulsa-based band Wilderado surprised fans with the release of their newest album Wilderado Live, featuring electrified performances from locations ranging from Chicago to Glasgow to NYC to everywhere in between. The live renditions were recorded at shows throughout 2022 with the help of Davis McCoy. Upon the record’s release, the band took to social media, saying “It’s wild how easy it is to remember those specific nights.”

Singer Max Rainer describes the album as “Years of anguished rehearsal and blistering reception culminating into a roaring release of rhythm and blues. Banging of drums! Voices feathering on the wings of eagles! The screams of fans! … A togetherness that comes not from witnessing but sharing.”

The album kicks off with “Stranger – Live from Chicago.” The song depicts the beautiful moment when fans realize what song is about to be played. Beginning with this cheer of recognition, the band soon descends into a charged performance of this fan favorite. “Astronaut – Live from Birmingham” is another highlight of the record with its sensational crescendo of the bridge that peaks with a scream from Rainer. 

“Head Right – Live from Omaha” showcases the almost country twang of Rainer’s voice. This track also features the first dialogue of the album as Rainer talks about this performance being the first time Wilderado headlined the Slowdown in Nebraska. With “Head Right” comes a four song run that seems to have an emphasis on the country twang sound the band so effortlessly creates. 

Another highlight from the album comes from the band’s Buffalo performance of “Mr. Major.” This five minute rendition lets the guitar work by Rainer and Tyler Wimpee shine, intermingling with synths to create a fun atmosphere. 

“Surefire – Live from Tulsa” helps to bring the album to a close, saving the band’s biggest hit—streamed over thirty-five million times—for their hometown audience. Recorded at the band’s show at the Vanguard, the recording depicts just how proud Tulsa is of their hometown heroes as the audience is easily the loudest on the entire record. A love of their hometown is something the band shares with other Tulsans. The album closes out with “Rubble to Rubble — Live from NYC,” with Rainer precursing the song with “If you ever find yourself in Tulsa, come say hello.”

It almost seems as if the album would benefit if all the recordings had come from a single show, rather than 12 individual shows. Though, the variety of concert locations does illustrate just how wildly different the atmospheres of shows can vary. Wilderado Live is a stunning culmination that depicts the musical journey they embarked on over eight years, depicting the evolution of their music. The band’s studio recordings are impressive in their own right, but as a live band, Wilderado perform as if they’re another band entirely.

You can stream Wilderado Live on Spotify.

Follow the band on Instagram.

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