Wolf Alice @ O2 Academy
Words: Laura Mills
Photography: Sahar Ghadirian
Sheffield gig-goers finally got their fix of the Blue Weekend Tour last night when London four-piece Wolf Alice made their long-awaited entrance at O2 Academy. As the crowd felt the band’s presence, roars of cheering from everyone in the room could be heard while they graced the stage.
They kicked off their set up in Yorkshire with the heaviest of bangers, ‘Smile’. Ten seconds of tension before a powerful guitar riff appears out of the mist sending fans flying around the room. Ellie Rowsell, the baddest b**tch in indie, wearing a blue blazer with every pair of eyes in the room on her, and singing in this direct but reserved tone leading me to feel like I’m watching the female version of Van McCann. Every bit of her radiates power and she lyrically demonstrates this, ending verse one singing “And you don’t like me / Well that isn’t fucking relevant.” Instrumentally this song is so powerful, the heavy clattering of the drums combined with the driving rhythms of the guitars making it a pleasure to immerse your ears into. As the chorus hits, Ellie changes her tone into much more beautiful and melodic singing.
Next up, and one of my personal favourites, ‘You’re a Germ’. Starting off with the slight strumming of the guitar behind Ellie’s reserved vocals, the impact of a screeching guitar guides us into a heavy but heavenly instrumental. However, the pace then changes back to something more reserved yet again; no one can take their eyes off of the band because everyone is transfixed waiting for the chorus. The band is counting down, ready for the moshpits and chorus to launch in “One! Two! Three! Four! Five! Six! Seven!”- and then Miss Rowsell put us out of misery, bellowing every single word of the catchy chorus, “You ain’t going to heaven / ‘Cause I’m dragging you down to hell.”
Throughout the evening the bass played the part of a metaphorical clock, featuring as frequently as the minutes rushing by for fans of Wolf Alice, and I guarantee no one in the room would have rather spent their time in any other place. Every need from the crowd the band f**king met.
A certain two and half minute track was one of the most beautiful moments of the evening for me: ‘No Hard Feelings’. Lyrically something fans can resonate with, but if not can thoroughly appreciate. Ellie’s controlled vocals rolling around my mind and into my ears like fine wine. There’s something incredible about watching this rock star making herself so vulnerable in front of the eyes of thousands of adoring fans.
Wolf Alice closed the Sheffield set with their most popular tune ‘Don’t Delete The Kisses’. The most utterly stunning and romantic indie love song filled the room with a sense of euphoria; fans gravitating together, linking arms and belting out every single word. The chorus each time like a tribal cry, “What if its not meant for me? Loveeee.”
The band were not only absolutely faultless but you could also see the admiration and love between band members, just through the way they interacted every single second of the night.
Wolf Alice, you are my new number one.