Wolf Alice @ O2 Academy Birmingham (16/11/17)
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Wolf Alice are soaring at the moment, and judging by their live tour, they show no sign of slowing down. Celebrating the release of their sophomore album, Visions of a Life, Birmingham’s O2 Academy saw the enigmatic band take to the stage for an evening of chaotic fun aboard an emotional rollercoaster. And that’s the thing with a band like Wolf Alice: each track of theirs is so varied and nuanced, it’s impossible to pigeonhole them into just one genre and makes them the perfect band to listen to in most situations. Following the release of their second album, this thought is truly cemented, featuring tracks perfect for when you’re angry and pissed off, as well as tracks to listen to when you’re feeling down: they really do cater for everyone. With this in mind, I was a tad concerned that the night would erratic and hard to follow; I was proven completely, and gratefully, wrong.
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<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/etn4P80K5WU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>At risk of repeating myself, it has to be said that the set list was remarkable exposure of the band’s varied talents. It never once felt like they were playing too much new material, satisfying their dedicated fans with EP favourites ‘Blush’ and ‘Giant Peach’ with rapturous roars of delight from the crowd, with it being hard to hear the band itself during ‘Bros’ due to the volume of the singing-along. I’d argue that perhaps one of their best songs live was ‘St Purple and Green’, with the otherworldly ‘Planet Hunter’ sending us all on a trip. Overall, it was an effortless performance from the North London band, with a plain back drop and clear devotion to the music sweeping us all up in a cacophony of Wolf Alice magic. Never has a band put me through the ringer as much. Rowsell’s emotive balladry mixed with the ‘fuck this’ attitude of the rest of the band’s back catalogue took us all on a journey through space and time: Wolf Alice sure know how to make a 19 song-long set list fly by. Their sheer talent and ability to put on an effective and visceral live show is truly admirable.