Image by: SomeBizarreMonkey
Concert Reviews

Concert Review: Is There More To Wolf Alice?

Where: Powerstation, Auckland NZ
When: 30 Sep 2018
Don't Delete The Kisses (Hyundai Mercury Prize 2018)

After a triumphant performance at Laneway Festival earlier this year, Wolf Alice showed what they can do on their own at Auckland’s Powerstation.

With a Mercury Prize freshly awarded to the quartet for their second album, Visions Of A Life, the band was in a mood to celebrate, and The Powerstation was the perfect place to rock out.

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So, with the band in a jubilant mood and the crowd (almost) filling the venue, how could this be anything but an unmitigated success?

I’m no exactly sure, but somehow Wolf Alice did manage to miss the mark and turn in a performance that was workmanlike, but not transcendent.

The most notable problem, for me, was the sound.

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Front woman Ellie Rowsell was virtually inaudible for most of the first half of the band’s 70 minute set.

Sure, she’s got a great stage presence and she looked great, but her singing was buried under a muddy mix that favoured the bottom end.  

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Eventually, by the time they got to Sadboy and Space & Time, Rowsell’s wail could be heard, but before that, one had to imagine what the recorded versions sounded like to fill in the gaps.

Since I wasn’t transfixed by Ellie’s vocals, I began to notice a few things about the band and their music.

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For the most part, their songs were a collection of basic rock riffs with few memorable moments. Songs like Don’t Delete The Kisses and Beautifully Unconventional seemed to barely register, although things got a bit better with Silk and Lisbon.

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The band also seemed to sign up for every rock cliché in the book, with bass player Theo Ellis in particular, playing up to the crowd, mugging and posing. I found him to be a distraction.

I realize my opinion will most likely be with the minority… I’ve spoken to friends who were there and absolutely raved about the show, but, unfortunately, they did not connect with me.

That doesn’t mean it was a wasted night.

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I had the good sense to show up early and catch Miss June’s opening set and what a ripper that was!

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Annabel Liddell is a magnetic presence on stage and guitarist Jun Park’s pure joy in playing his instrument is infectious. This is a band that is getting better by leaps and bounds and I can’t waiting until the time when Miss June are the ones who are headlining The Powerstation.

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Radio 13 credits and thanks Reuben Raj from SomeBizarreMonkey for all the images featured in this article.

More highlights from the show can be found in the photograph gallery further below. 

Wolf Alice set list:

  1. Your Loves Whore
  2. Yuk Foo
  3. You’re A Germ
  4. Don’t Delete The Kisses
  5. St. Purple & Green
  6. Beautifully Unconventional
  7. Formidable Cool
  8. Planet Hunter
  9. Lisbon
  10. Silk
  11. Bros
  12. Sadboy
  13. Space & Time
  14. Visions Of A Life
  15. Fluffy
  16. Moaning Lisa Smile
  17. Blush
  18. Giant Peach


Written By: Radio13