Concert Review: Wolf Alice at First Avenue in Minneapolis, MN – October 5, 2015

Photography and review courtesy of Joe Stadele for TWTHS.  Photos may not be used without consent.  Published October 8, 2015.  

If you haven’t heard of Wolf Alice yet…now’s the perfect time to bring yourself up to speed. The English rockers have been globetrotting nonstop for 2-3 years and are now in the midst of their third US tour of 2015.  Yes, third US tour of 2015!  To add, they also managed to record and release one of the best debuts in recent memory.  At the end of the year, My Love Is Cool is sure to find a home on many Best of 2015 lists.

Wolf Alice ©JoeStadelePhotography1005 (14)While the band was excellent during their May performance at the Turf Club, Wolf Alice’s set at First Avenue on Monday night was pure electricity.  Imagine witnessing a young Smashing Pumpkins or My Morning Jacket with a fully realized diverse sound that has yet to fulfill their potential.  The energy was undeniable.

Wolf Alice were poised and confident as they shifted and mashed layers of sounds and styles into alt-rock perfection.  The audience was on board from the show opening “Your Love’s Whore.”  In just the first few songs, the band moved through a variety of styles; from the cool of “Freazy” to the colorfully building “Bros” to the bratty rocker “You’re A Germ” and dreamy “Soapy Water.”  While “Giant Peach” and “Wonderwhy” were rock perfection, the band was at their best in the gorgeous dream-pop of “Silk” and “Blush.”

The band’s largest strength is its mesh of diversity.  All four playing integral parts and never seeming to overshadow one another.  Ellie Roswell, the bands emotional center, sets each songs tone and attitude with her vocals as she commands the audiences attention. One moment adding angelic vocals against punk rock snarl.  Bassist Theo Ellis, perhaps the most vocal member of the band, helps rile up the audience between songs and holds down the low end from atop drummer Joel Amey’s bass drum or on top of a stack of Wolf Alice ©JoeStadelePhotography1005 (39)speakers.  Behind the drums, Amey is an animal on the skins while also contributing backing vocals.  In fact, his lead vocals on the shoegaze “Swallowtail” was a mid-show highlight as he flawlessly pushed into falsetto for the songs chorus.  The band’s secret weapon may be Josh Oddie’s layered keys and guitars that add a depth beyond many bands of their age.  In fact, in another album or two, we may be witnessing one of the most diverse and prolific bands in rock.

In a recent interview Theo Ellis of Wolf Alice said the band has “one goal in mind — world domination.”  Based on their current output and live shows — I, for one, am a believer.

Stay up to date on Wolf Alice’s latest tour dates here!

Wolf Alice’s Setlist:

Your Love’s Whore

You’re A Germ
Soapy Water
Giant Peach
Turn To Dust
Moaning Lisa Smile





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