Wolf Alice and their Columbus fans have an intense relationship; one that involves rage, love, intrigue, respect, enthusiasm and intensity. You might guess that this relationship is one sided and selfish, but that’s not the case.
The London-based four-piece alternative rock band recently performed in Columbus for the sixth time in two years, professing their love to 300 of their fans in an intimate setting with an industrial underground feel, playing 55 minutes of raw, angst-driven songs that perfectly transitioned from one to the next.
If you were lucky enough to get a spot in the pit, you were made to feel as though Wolf Alice were playing in your living room.
Wolf Alice, an incredibly cool guitar band in their twenties — who can’t be pegged by any one genre — took their places on stage, seducing an audience made up of guys and gals from Gen-X to Gen Z who became intoxicated from an impassioned performance of Don’t Delete The Kisses — self described as a synth-heavy tune from their highly anticipated forthcoming sophomore album.
Visions of a Life is the follow-up to My Love is Cool, due to be released on Sept. 29. Ellie Rowsell’s lyrical phrasing in this song is both seductive and commanding when she whispers and speak-sings, “I’d like to get to know you, I’d like to take you out/We’ll go to Hail Mary and afterwards make out,” accompanied by dreamy guitars and steady, light drum beats that are seamlessly woven through the fabric of this song.
It’s insanely different from Yuk-Foo — a naughty, aggressive, sarcastic track that makes you want to mosh in inappropriate places.
All eyes were on Wolf Alice the entire show, creating a perfect atmosphere for watching a band in a small venue, void of the sounds of conversation hovering during or in between songs.
Powerful front-woman Ellie Rowsell, at times, sang like a sweet and naive young girl while playing her black Partcaster — drawing fans closer with clarity and precision before she crescendoed into a rage filled vibrado in songs, You’re a Germ, Moaning Lisa Smile and Fluffy.
Wolf Alice plays in classic Pixies’ quiet-loud fashion, produced by satisfyingly piercing guitar riffs that bring you back to the quiet, leaving you wanting more.
Fans were urged throughout the performance by the very charismatic bassist, Theo Ellis, to shout along with the choruses and dance while the band head banged in perfect sinc. Ellis and guitarists Joff Oddie and Rowsell, and drummer, Joel Amey, fueled the energy in the room right when you thought it had already climaxed.
It was clear that the fans didn’t need any encouragement, and it was as though they had been preparing all their lives for the opportunity to connect with their greatest love — singing every word of every song, and at times, dancing with reckless abandon.
If Wolf Alice has any ego at all, they left it at the door. Clearly they wanted to be there and were having fun. They showed it by making each person feel as though every song was being played for them through eye contact, pointing to and smiling at their fans.
As lovers do, Wolf Alice keeps their fans close, seducing them with cryptic messages about their upcoming release, posting delicious photos of themselves on tour and onstage — leaving sincere comments of thankfulness and adoration and daily posts via their social media accounts – Facebook and Instagram. They remain honest and loyal and are always grateful to receive loyalty and love in return.
Loyalty only comes with respect and trust, all of which are the glue that holds every relationship together. When Rowsell announced that they would be playing their new song, Planet Hunter, live for the first time, she requested that everyone put away their cell phones and not post on Instagram, so that everyone could experience the moment together.
She once again revealed her melodic and gentle side by singing her heart out about a moment of happiness. It was impressive to see a 99.999% compliance to her a kind-hearted, sincere request. There’s always that one person who tests the waters of infidelity. And there was. Thankfully, his peers scolded him, demanding that he put down his phone and enjoy the moment.
Wolf Alice is one of the most exciting bands to break into the scene. They don’t spend a lot of time talking on stage, but that’s one of the things that make their performances so powerful — enabling them to maintain momentum.
Most bands perform their best song last but that’s an impossible task for Wolf Alice, as they don’t write anything but great songs. After performing Moaning Lisa Smile, fans realized that it was time to part ways for the time being, ecstatically happy knowing that very soon they would be experiencing the next high on Sept. 29.
Columbus and Wolf Alice won’t be breaking up anytime soon.
This love affair will only get stronger after every performance, album release, and social media post.
About Jennifer Broderick
Jennifer Broderick photographs, and writes reviews and articles for NID Magazine.