Wolf Alice brought their ‘Visions of a Life’ tour to Glasgow for two nights, at the iconic Barrowland Ballroom.
From the offset, it was clear that the night was all about the music. Performing in front of a giant background designed similarly to the album cover of their sophomore record Visions of a Life, there was no fancy staging or effects aside from some strobe lighting. At times the band were buried under a sea of light so bright that they just looked like shadows, adding to the haunting style of some of their songs. It’s safe to say anyone with epilepsy would not have had a good time at this show!
Opening the set with the first track from their new album, ‘Heavenward’, it was like they were breaking the audience in gently with the dreamy song that really highlights the angelic tone to Ellie Rowsell’s voice. From there it was clear that this was going to be a set of contrasts, as they ended up going from one of their more mellow tracks straight into ‘Yuk Foo’, one of such rage that Rowsell had everyone screaming along to the lyrics “I DON’T GIVE A SHIT!”. From that point on, the crowd were so pumped up that there was a multitude of mosh pits throughout the night.
During ‘Don’t Delete the Kisses’, the whole audience were covered by a sky of sparkling light reflected from a disco ball. Not only did it add to the romance of lyrics like “Me and you were meant to be in love”, but it was also in keeping with the almost disco-like vibe of the track.
A major highlight of the set was one of the band’s biggest songs to date – ‘Moaning Lisa Smile’, as Ellie Rowsell told the crowd that she had decided she didn’t want to play the track while “in my hotel room last night picking my nose”. Instead she brought out a fan who had offered on Twitter to play the track, so that she could run around the stage belting out the lyrics. Not only was the girl they brought out on stage absolutely amazing on the guitar, but it gave Rowsell the biggest chance to connect with the audience, and the crowd went mad for it.
If there was one small gripe to be had, it is that they didn’t spend much time talking to the audience. While they cooed about Glasgow always being a great crowd and how honoured they were to be playing at such a great venue again, they spent most of the night jumping straight from track to track. There was the occasional comment by bassist Theo Ellis or Ellie Rowsell but aside from that it was clear that the music was carrying the set. That being said, Joff Oddie’s facial expressions and dancing around the stage while playing guitar were very theatrical and entertaining.
They closed out the show with an encore of tracks from their debut album My Love Is Cool: ‘Blush’ and ‘Giant Peach’, which had everyone’s arms in the air and singing along. The set had a great balance of new and old, taking some of the best tracks from their first album, like ‘Bros’ and ‘Lisbon’, and putting them alongside newer tracks like ‘Beautifully Unconventional’ and ‘Space & Time’.
Judging by this show, it is clear to see why they are one of Britain’s fastest-rising bands, and are being hailed as one of the best live acts to come out of the country. They are a beautifully unconventional band and that’s what makes their live performances all the more special.