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Gig Review: Wolf Alice at O2 Academy

Written by Live Reviews, Music

As far as years go, 2017 hasn’t been far from perfect for Wolf Alice. The North London rockers released their second LP, Visions of a Life, in September, to an outstanding critical reception. Beyond this group project, the band has also been divulging in some solo ventures, such as lead-singer Ellie Rowsell’s vocals on Alt-J’s ‘3WW’, and lead guitarist, Joff Oddie’s work on a preset for the the Fender Mustang amp. It was to this momentous backdrop that the band performed to a near-sold out O2 crowd on a chilly Monday evening.

In a similar manner to the rock-mosaic style of Visions of a Life, the band leapt from the opening ballad ‘Heavenward’, to the more aggressive, punk-influenced ‘Yuk Foo’. Of the latter, Rowsell showcased the range and depth of her vocals in this intense track, resonating throughout the song’s compact two minute running time. These binary-opposing performances were most evident in the band’s new material, of which saw them regularly shift between the LP’s heavier ‘rock’ tracks, like ‘Beautifully Unconventional’ and ‘Space and Time’, with the lighter indie melodies of ‘Planet Hunter’ and ‘Sadboy’.

The accompanying lights show acted as a stimulating visual performance in its own right

If the wild moshing of fans wasn’t a clear enough indicator of these tonal shifts in the band’s setlist, the accompanying lights show acted as a stimulating visual performance in its own right. Whether it was the intense red flashing to which accompanied ‘Yuk Foo’, or the illuminating spotlight for Joff Oddie’s guitar solo in ‘Moaning Lisa Smile’, this added aesthetic worked as a visual complement to the band’s stylish performance.

The central part of the setlist was dedicated to the smash hits of the band’s first LP ‘My Love is Cool’. Such tracks included ‘bros’ and ‘silk’, to which these songs did justice to the band’s previous worldwide performances of these tracks at festivals like Glastonbury and Coachella.

The band remains diligent to its creativity; its prowess; its originality.

While encores of recent years have been criticised for being overly saturated or devoid of all previous excitement, Wolf Alice’s re-appearance for final tracks ‘Blush’ and ‘Giant Peach’ proved quite the opposite. The band’s revitalised performances of these older tracks shown how they were aware of what they had achieved, and the influence it had upon their current sound. However, the confidence and flare in which the tracks from the recent LP were performed showcased how the band remains diligent to its creativity; its prowess; its originality.

 

 

Last modified: 23rd November 2017

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