Concert Review: Wolf Alice at the Newport Music Hall
Wolf Alice is the best rock band in the world right now, proving it once again with an absolutely killer show at in Columbus at the venerable Newport Music Hall. So count yourself lucky if you were at the Newport last Monday night, as we were treated to a truly epic performance by Ellie Rowsell (lead vocals/guitar), Joff Oddie (guitar), Theo Ellis (bass), and Joel Amey (drums).
Last summer, when Wolf Alice was in Columbus, they played a sold-out show at The Basement, but that show, the first ever CD102.5 “Trust Us” show, sold out before the headliners were even revealed. That night, the band gave Columbus a preview of several songs from their, at the time, forthcoming sophomore album, Visions of a Life, which was released September 29, 2017. Now, back in Columbus once again, this time playing in front of more than 1,000 fans the Newport, Wolf Alice played a perfectly crafted setlist mixed with songs from the new album, as well as their debut, My Love Is Cool.
Wolf Alice opened the set with “Heavenward,” the first track from Visions of a Life, which is a perfect microcosm of what makes the band so great. The song starts off softly, with an ethereal quality, before Rowsell and Oddie launch in with their heavy electric guitar riffs, a heaviness which is then juxtaposed once again when Rowsell begins to sing. This ability to seamlessly jump back and forth from pounding hard rock, to modern punk, to melodic pop, and back again, is what truly sets Wolf Alice apart. They have created a sound that is all their own, and while the crowd may lose themselves inside of band’s sonic creations, nothing gets lost in the band’s process - Rowsell’s vocals always shine through, Oddie’s phenomenal guitar work is ever present, while Ellis’ bass and Amey’s drums tie everything together and drive forward the band’s non-stop energy.
After “Heavenward,” the band launched into “Yuk Foo,” the band’s most punk-like screamer (which made its live debut back in 2016 at Columbus' A&R Music Bar), and then “You’re a Germ,” one of the harder songs from My Love Is Cool, which got the crowd yelling along with Rowsell. Major highlights of the show included an impassioned performance of “Your Love’s Whore,” a majorly underrated track from the band’s debut album, “Beautifully Unconventional,” which is probably the best all-around track from the new album, and “Formidable Cool” and “Sadboy” which really came to life in the band’s live performance.
Visions of a Life was a more complex and ambitious album for Wolf Alice, and admittedly took a little longer to properly digest and fully appreciate, but having been out in the world for almost six months now, it was really great to see those new songs take on a life of their own on stage. After a short encore break, the band closed out the night with two of their classics “Blush” and “Giant Peach,” giving the crowd one last chance to rock out with the band, until the next time they roll through Columbus.
Fellow British rock band, The Big Pink, fronted by Robbie Furze, opened the show with a great set. Silhouetted in billowing smoke, the band remained hidden throughout most of their performance, letting their music speak for itself. Highlights of their set included “Dominos” and “Velvet” from their hit debut album, A Brief History of Love.
Wolf Alice Setlist:
You’re A Germ
Your Love’s Whore
St. Purple and Green
Don’t Delete The Kisses
Space & Time
Moaning Lisa Smile
Visions Of A Life
Check out the photo galleries below for both bands.
Many more photos can be found over on our Flickr page.
The Big Pink: