Review: Wolf Alice at Forum, Melbourne, April 28th, 2022
It’s been a long time between drinks, but Wolf Alice have finally returned down under to remind Aussie’s that they can bring down the stage at your local, and then promptly break your heart.
Having just played at Canberra’s Groovin The Moo and at Big Top in Sydney, Wolf Alice graced Melbourne’s Forum last night to show off their 2021 album Blue Weekend.
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Speaking with Paste Magazine back in June 2021, guitarist Joff Oddie spoke about creating such a feat under the numerous setbacks that lockdowns brought on the entertainment industry and their personal lives.
“Adversity will only bring us closer together,” he explains. “It will only make us laugh harder, which is strange. I think we’re good, faced with a challenge, an obstacle. When things are going good, that’s when you’ve gotta watch out!”
Vocalist Ellie Rowsell shared this energy over the award winning album and confidently asserted that they’re “not embarrassed to do these kinds of choral things, these theatrical, epic kinds of things.”
And last night’s gig was epic indeed…
With a roaring opening act from CLAMM, the audience were hyped up and ready for more. The chatter and excitement around the venue grew more as the ability to move became less. And with a sudden dim of the house lights: silence.
The stage was barely visible, masked in an immense blue fog. Perfect for the band to sneak their way into position for an extraordinary start.
Wolf Alice knows there’s no need for introductions here. Straight out the gate, we are hit with a light that strikes every person in the Forum, as the band rips into the iconic riff of one of Blue Weekend’s biggest numbers.
Check Out ‘Smile’
“SHALL WE HAVE A GOOD TIME TONIGHT!!?” yells bassist Theo Ellis (and surprisingly effective hype man).
Now visible, the stage is a simple but appropriate nod to old fashioned pub rock. With slick instruments and big amps to match, there was no need for any of the BS.
The proceeding two numbers ‘You’re A Germ’ and ‘Formidable Cool’ follow suit. Oddie and Ellis work up the audience, looking like they might jump in and join them at any given moment.
Even if its placement in the set was just to give a moment for the band to catch their breath, ‘Delicious Things’ is a prime example of the band’s versatility.
Check out ‘Delicious Things’
The following numbers ‘Lipstick On The Glass’ and ‘Planet Hunter’ take us on a more somber journey before leading up to the perfect sad song.
The staging for ‘Safe From Heartbreak’ was really something special. Stripped back even further, the rest of the band are sidelined and a spotlight from downstage projects Rowsell’s shadow onto the back curtain.
As the song progresses, the group all begin to harmonise before momentarily going acapella and demanding quiet from the audience.
It would also be remiss of me not to acknowledge the incredible keyboard work that is on display in the piece from Ryan Malcom.
Check out ‘Safe From Heartbreak (If You Never Fall In Love)
Launching out of the reassuring shadow of ‘How Can I Make It OK?,’ the band breaks the mold once again and this time they are getting unapologetically LOUD. With strobes igniting Forum, the ever growing mosh pit at the front embrasses the chaos.
Here, drummer Joel Amey is truly given permission to let loose and his whole body goes into attack mode as he makes his way through the unforgiving number.
If I was ever to be in a pub brawl (touch wood), ‘Play The Greatest Hits’ is what I want playing.
Check out ‘Play The Greatest Hits’
An unusually quiet frontwoman for an alt-rock band, Rowsell breaks to tell her fans that they’re not allowed to cry. Because if they cry, she’ll cry.
I’ll have to second that. With ‘Silk’ being my No. 1 on my Spotify Wrapped a few years back, hearing it live for the first time was spine-tingling.
Not that there was ever any doubt, but ‘Silk’ allowed the audience to look past the showmanship of an ambitious gig like this, and appreciate the raw talent they’re seeing on the stage.
Check out ‘Silk’
In ‘No Hard Feelings’, Rowsell tells the story of running into a past lover at a bus stop in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of the night.
Much like that, she sits alone on the stage with the band plunged into darkness. With nowhere to hide, she sings about finding peace with this person and then being able to say goodbye and move forward.
Check out ‘No Hard Feelings’
Many fans would’ve gone home disappointed if Wolf Alice hadn’t returned to the stage to bust out two of Blue Weekend’s greatest tracks ‘Don’t Delete The Kisses’ and ‘The Last Man On Earth’.
Hype man Theo pulls out one last antic and grabs his phone torch out. Above his head, he sways his phone, encouraging the audience to do the same (It worked). We’re gonna ride this out together.
Oddie highlighted in Paste Magazine that “everyone knew when they heard the demo, [for ‘The Last Man On Earth’] that it was gonna be a special one. But it was already a special one, to be honest.”
Check out ‘The Last Man On Earth’
“We didn’t really know what to expect coming to Australia but you guys have been fucking great,” says Rowsell before throwing a rose into the audience, finishing the show.
Being the band’s first trip down under in quite a while, this show was every Wolf Alice fan’s dream. Going through all the big hits from their new album and not forgetting all the award winners they had along the way.
Other than a few brief words from Rowsell and Ellis, the evening was all music. This was Wolf Alice’s sizzle reel and oh boy, did they get the job.
The staging, lighting, outfits and set list all worked so perfectly in conjunction to create the live atmosphere that we’ve all longed for so much over the last couple years. And considering the detailed effort put into the evening, I’d confidently suggest so have the band.
Had you gone into Forum last night not having even known who Wolf Alice were, you came out being a fan.
Wolf Alice have one more Aussie show in Brisbane this Sunday 1st May, at The Tivoli. But I hope you already have your tickets, because they’ve SOLD OUT.
Later this year, Wolf Alice will be going on to play at their SOLD OUT UK tour and joining Harry Styles on Love On Tour in Sweden and Germany.
Be sure to check out the other great pics we got at the Sydney gig HERE!
Wolf Alice @ Forum, Melbourne, Australia
‘You’re A Germ’
‘Lipstick On The Glass’
‘Safe From Heartbreak (If You Never Fall In Love)’
‘How Can I Make It OK?’
‘Play The Greatest Hits’
‘Visions Of A Life’
‘Moaning Lisa Smile’
‘No Hard Feelings’
‘The Last Man On Earth/
‘Don’t Delete The Kisses’
Wolf Alice Australian Tour 2022
Sunday, May 1st (Sold Out)
The Tivoli, Brisbane, QLD