by Rachel Saywitz
I’ll admit that I wasn’t too excited right before seeing four-piece alt-rock band Wolf Alice during the Boston leg of their Visions of a Life tour. It didn’t have to do with the band itself; their most recent album was once of my favorites released in 2017. The problem was that at the time I was suffering an extreme amount of academic stress, as is typical with most college students. The last thing I wanted to do that night was spend two hours going to a show when I could have been using that time to work on homework.
I rushed into Paradise Rock Club as their set was right about to start, having already missed the opener. The last thing on my mind was music, and all I wanted was for the concert to end as quickly as possible. With all of that said, it is pretty amazing that Wolf Alice was able to erase all of those gross thoughts from my mind with just their first song of the night.
Starting off with ‘Heavenward,’ also the first track on their newest record, Wolf Alice quickly established themselves as a band that thrives on a stage, and personally, I found myself caught in their sound the entire night. With each song, the band remained captivating, even when moving from a slower track like ‘Heavenward’ to the rowdy and chaotic “Yuk Foo,’ where lead singer Ellie Rowsell spent the whole song shouting into the microphone.
Part of this captivation had to do with the fact that almost every song seamlessly blended into one another, and the band barely stopped to take breaks or talk to the crowd. Because of that, they were able to fit in a hefty amount of material in an hour, playing music from both Visions of a Life and their first record, My Love is Cool. It was amazing that the band had so much stamina to play almost twenty songs, with each one resonating the same amount of energy.
Rowsell also made excellent use of foot pedals and multiple microphones to layer her voice, automating sound effects in real time. It was mesmerizing to watch her lay down a repeating vocal while playing ‘Sadboy’ right in front of me, and it really made me feel like I was listening to the studio version, but with an added kick. It helped that there was lots of action to watch on stage, from Joel Amey’s powerful and frantic drumming, to Joff Oddie’s violent thrashing on guitar. It was even interesting to look at the crowd every once in a while, where the audience ranged from college kids my age swaying to the music, to middle-aged men head banging in fits of passion.
I came out of the concert with my ears ringing, as they started to adjust to the nighttime sounds of Boston and my brain began to once again fill up with worries about upcoming tests and assignments. On my way home, though, I allowed myself to reminisce back on the concert that was able to wash my problems away for a little bit, and take me into the fiery pit energy that Wolf Alice was kind enough to share with everyone who attended.