The Wombats return to Boston to a packed House of Blues

There were two places-to-be in Boston Wednesday evening, and they happened to be right across from each other. At Fenway Park, the Red Sox were playing the Dodgers in Game 2 of the World Series. Across the street, The Wombats were tearing it up at the House of Blues.

The Wombats began their set with a song from their newest album “Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life,” released in February of this year. As the words to “Cheetah Tongue” filled the air, the venue was basked in a sultry red light. The British trio riled up the crowd effortlessly, hitting each note with ease.

Lead vocalist and guitarist Matthew Murphy donned a simple grey T-shirt with “MENTALLY GONE” inscribed across the chest in little white lettering. He added a blue baseball cap with the iconic Boston Red Sox “B” to his ensemble during the encore. He tossed the hat to a lucky fan halfway through the show’s final song “Greek Tragedy.”

They brought the crowd to life with songs from their new album like “Black Flamingo” and “White Eyes.” Their performance of “White Eyes” mellowed the crowd perfectly before kicking into “Patricia the Stripper,” a song from their 2007 debut album, “A Guide to Love, Loss, and Desperation.”

The group’s bassist Tord ØverlandKnudsen took up the largest stage presence. While Murphy for the most part stayed close to his microphone stand, and occasionally his keyboard, Knudsen was all over the stage.

Mitch Bruehwiler / Photo Editor

Their set list featured a variety of songs from both their new and old albums, showcasing the best of the music they have released since forming in 2003.

The band performed several songs from their newest album, including “Lemon to a Knife Fight” and “I Don’t Know Why I Like You But I Do,” both of which highlight the group’s musical evolution.

The trio also performed their newest single “Bee Sting” released on Aug. 29. Murphy finished the song on his keyboard, all while the stage was drenched in gold lights. The venue’s ambience matched the high energy of the audience as they danced along to the zany lyrics and relaxed instrumentals.

Murphy reflected on their first show in Boston with the audience. “There were 17 people at the show, and we knew 12 of them” he joked. The venue at Wednesday’s concert shows just how far the band has come. The scene was packed with fans trying to get as close to the stage as they could all night.

For their final song before the encore, four people dressed in wombat costumes joined the band on stage. The crowd belted out the lyrics to “Let’s Dance to Joy Division,” the song that won the New Musical Express (NME) accolade Best Dance Floor Filler in 2008, so loud that Murphy’s vocals were almost lost to the sea of voices.

Murphy took the stage alone for an acoustic rendition of “Lethal Combination.” The dark venue was illuminated by lighters and cell phone flashlights alike. Knudsen and drummer Dan Haggis rejoined Murphy on stage for their final two songs.

After performing “Turn,” Murphy took to the microphone to thank the crowd and ask what the score was for the World Series game across the street. The audience erupted into cheers when it was announced that the Red Sox were winning 4-2, which would be the final score of the game. “Even though we live in L.A., we want the Red Sox to win tonight,” he said before diving into “Greek Tragedy.”

Barns Courtney, the British singer/songwriter, opened up the show. He performed his most popular hit single “Fire,” released in 2015. This is arguably Courtney’s best song, as it gained popularity after being featured in the Bradley Cooper film “Burnt.”

With four albums full of catchy hits, the trio continues to gain popularity and enchant audiences all across the globe. The Wombats will head to Australia in mid-November, the next stop on their tour.