Words & Photos by Marco Denzer
Wolf Alice played in Hamden, CT as scheduled in the North American leg of their extensive 2022 Tour in support of their third album “Blue Weekend”, and they delighted fans with a superb performance at the Space Ballroom.
Charlie Hickey, the young California based musician who engaged the audience with his amazing voice and an impressive acoustic repertoire, kicked things off with a brief but captivating set of folk infused pop songs that had many in the crowd shouting “We love you Charlie”!
At approximately 9:00 PM, after a brief technical check of instruments and equipment, Ellie Rowsell and band mates hit the stage, visibly excited and in good spirits. And as fans had patiently waited for the venue to open so they could enjoy the show, the band’s positive energy immediately filled the room with good vibes and primed the crowd for a really fun time.
Wolf Alice began their set with “Smile”, the relatively high-energy tune recently released on “Blue Weekend” and immediately followed it with “You’re a Germ” from their 2015 debut album “My Love is Cool”. “Formidable Cool”, the popular track with twangy guitar riffs and infectious bass groove, from the album “Visions of Life” was third on their setlist, and by now they had definitely captured everyone’s attention. They had set the pace for the rest of the show.
The quartet, along with musician Ryan Malcolm, who accompanies the band on keyboards and backup vocals, played an excellent selection of tunes from their repertoire during the set. And although it primarily consisted of newer compositions from “Blue Weekend”, the show included several favorites from their previously released albums “My Love is Cool” and “Visions of Life” as well.
Songs from the band’s newest album are noticeably different from their previous material – they’re ethereal and include multiple layers of chorused voices and string arrangements. They’re a bit delicate perhaps, as compared to their earlier work, but still true to form and very characteristic of their sound and style.
There are subtle passages in songs like “Lipstick on the Glass” and “How Can I Make It OK? where Ellie is accompanied by a single acoustic guitar, or she sings along with a gentle keyboard melody line. They’re notable passages where Ellie’s voice effortlessly captivates the listener, and although it may be challenging to play these in a live setting. Ellie, Ryan, and drummer Joel Amey managed the arrangements quite well by singing them in outstanding three-part harmonies. Adding the audience’s eager participation singing in chorus with the band complimented the sound very well, and the fact that everyone in the small intimate venue was having a blast singing along was just icing on the proverbial cake.
In conclusion, the selection of older and newer songs the band included in the setlist created a very dynamic listening experience for the audience. Wolf Alice walked on stage with a great attitude in mind and set mood for those in attendance to have a very good time and enjoy a great show… and you can’t beat that.
The band will continue touring in North America until April before traveling on to many other cities around the world. Tour details are available on their social media links.
You’re a Germ
Lipstick on the Glass
Safe From Heartbreak
How Can I Make It OK?
Play the Greatest Hits
Vision of Life
Moaning Lisa Smile
No Hard Feelings
The Last Man on Earth
Don’t Delete the Kisses
TheWaster.com | Blue Weekend