Ever since the band released their debut album My Love Is Cool in 2015, Wolf Alice’s star has been on the rise. Slowly but steadily, the band is evolving from underground favorite, to the indie promise of 2016. Wolf Alice is a distinctive name in the scene, with front woman Ellie Rowsell’s hushed voice, Smashing Pumpkins-esque guitars and a no-nonsense feel.
This “no-nonsense feel” was exactly what I liked about Wolf Alice’s performance in Amsterdam last week. They came up without a lot of fuss, grabbed their instruments and just performed their tracks, tight and neat. Their performance started with “Your Loves Whore”, which proved to be the perfect way of starting the concert. With its sweeping guitars and slow build-up, Wolf Alice drew the audience in perfectly.
Their second track was kind of a surprise to me, as it was Wolf Alice’s current hit single, “Freazy”. The present trend amongst live performances is that bands wait with their biggest hit single until the very last track, as of a way of ending with a bang. I was pleasantly surprised to see Wolf Alice not going along with this known formula, which of course suited their rebellious attitude. Except for it being rebellious, it also turned out to be a very clever move, as Wolf Alice alternated between known and lesser known tracks all throughout the concert. As the band only has one album and a couple of EPs, it was the perfect way of keeping the audience interested and on their toes with singles such as “You’re A Germ” and “She”.
Also adding to the “no-nonsense feel”, was the fact that Wolf Alice did not spend the entire concert on thanking the audience, which I personally really like. The band only took a brief moment near the end of the performance, which felt much more heartfelt than hearing “thank you so much” twenty times in one evening. This “thank you” was followed by “Moaning Lisa Smile”, still the band’s best track in my opinion, and Paradiso’s audience clearly felt the same. The audience directly in front of the stage started jumping around and crawling around, resulting in a mosh pit, dancing around on the guitar sounds in the purple lighting.
After this success, Wolf Alice disappeared briefly off the stage, only to return for the encore. A return that really would not have been necessary, as the band chose to perform slower, lesser-known songs. This reversed the effect “Moaning Lisa Smile” had on the audience, as they had little to no attention for the music anymore. A real shame, because the tracks were performed flawlessly and craftily. The encore songs would have been perfect for the beginning of the concert; as an encore they felt redundant.
After all, Wolf Alice’s performance at Paradiso, Amsterdam last week was one to remember, as it was a no-nonsense, tight and entertaining performance.