Earlier this year Wolf Alice released their critically acclaimed sophomore album Visions of a Life via Dirty Hit.

Following a recent US run, the award-winning London based quartet are back on home soil for an extensive tour which includes the band’s largest UK show to date at the Alexandra Palace on 24th November.

Tonight Wolf Alice makes a welcome return to Tyneside performing in front of a packed out crowd at the O2 Academy Newcastle.

As the band hit the stage, they immediately set the tone for the evening ahead with a pair of tracks from their latest offering. Wolf Alice kicks off the proceedings with the ethereal shoegaze number “Heavenward” before switching the gear up a notch during the emphatic “Yuk Foo”. The latter of which propels the audience into a pogoing frenzy.

Between the opening numbers alone there is a real stark contrast. With Visions of a Life Wolf Alice has continued to push their creative boundaries and in doing so they cover a vast musical landscape. Throughout the course of the evening, the band delivers the lion’s share of their current long player, with nine of the twelve track album featuring in the set.

The energy in the room is palpable all night long. Early in the show bass player Theo Ellis commendably asks the crowd to look out for one another. The Wolf Alice fans energetically and enthusiastically clap, sing and jump around all night long.

Ellie Rowsell showcases her phenomenal vocal range during the slower, delicate moments of tracks like “St Purple & Green” and the beautiful “Planet Hunter”.

Throughout the night Wolf Alice’s set ebbs and flows. The crowd laps up the band’s grungy rocking numbers like the fuzz fuelled “Lisbon”, the hypnotic “Formidable Cool” and “Space And Time” with its hard-hitting rhythm.

There is a real infectious quality to Wolf Alice’s brand of alternative rock, these songs simply sweep you away. This is particularly the case with the band’s Grammy-nominated single “Moaning Lisa Smile” during which the stage is bathed in solid red light. The song’s raw energy, crunchy power chords and heavy riffs are enough to send the band’s fan’s over the top – crowd surfing ensues.

As Wolf Alice approaches the final third of their show they break into the epic eight-minute title track from their latest album. This incredible composition starts off with a slow and heavy groove before picking up the pace with some almost QOTSA-esque guitar riffs and trippy breakdowns whilst altogether being ornately wrapped together by Rowsell’s stunning voice. “Visions of a Life” is a musical masterpiece and truly one of the standout moments of the set.

Wolf Alice close out their main set with a fierce performance of “Fluffy” from their debut album My Love Is Cool. In true rock and roll style, guitar feedback resonates around the room as the band leaves the stage.

Returning to the stage for a duly deserved encore, Wolf Alice goes back to the start of their career with “Blush” from their debut EP of the same name, before rounding out the night with their frantic fan favourite “Giant Peach”.

Wolf Alice has firmly established themselves as one of the most exciting British alternative rock bands to emerge in recent times. The band continues to go from strength to strength, there is certainly no second album slump here. On the strength of tonight’s performance, the Tyneside faithful would definitely agree.

Wolf Alice
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Event Date: 13-Nov-2017

About The Author

Adam Kennedy is an experienced music photographer based in northeast England. He has been shooting concerts for several years, predominantly with the band Vintage Trouble. In 2013, he was one of their tour photographers, covering the UK and Ireland tour including the headline shows and as opening act for The Who. As an accomplished concert photographer, Adam’s work has been featured in print such as, Classic Rock Blues Magazine, Guitarist Magazine, Blues in Britain magazine, broadcast on the MDA Telethon on ABC Television in the US, used in billboard advertising for Renaissance Hotels in the US, and featured online via music blogs such as Uber Rock and Guitar Planet. He is also the official photographer at Newcastle Rock and Blues Club.

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