One word - Euphoric. It has been a long time in the waiting, but music fans around the UK, including myself, were excited to see Wolf Alice back on the road. As a band that has pretty much been a part of my life for a good 9 years, I could not wait to see Ellie, Joff, Theo and Joel back in Newcastle.
In previous visits to the region they have played in a number of different venues from the Think Tank where I first saw them back in 2013, to other locations such as the O2 Academy and Riverside. However for a long anticipated return such as this, it was only right that the band needed somewhere super special to perform, so it felt only right that the newly renovated Newcastle O2 City Hall would be the ideal location.
Having released their latest album, Blue Weekend last year, unless you were fortunate enough to go to the likes of Leeds or Reading Festival during the summer, for the majority of Wolf Alice fans, this tour was finally their first opportunity to hear the tracks live, with ofcourse those well known classic and fan favorites thrown in for extra measure. For me personally I have lost count of how many times I have seen this exceptional band perform, but I tell you this each time brings its own memories of its own, so if I was to describe this recent encounter, I would say it is certainly one of my absolute favorite live shows of 2022.
Taking to the stage at 9pm on the dot, one by one band members took to the stage, with cheers, claps and a few woos from the crowd, closely followed by their opening song, Smile, taken from the latest record. Pardon the pun, but from all those around, I could tell their was a lot of smiling faces for sure. With it being evident to Wolf Alice that the crowd were just living in the moment and embracing every single element, it was clear that the band wanted to ensure that everyone had a night to remember. Playing tracks such as Delicious Things, Feeling Myself and my personal favorite from the new record, Play The Greatest Hits, a nice punchy tracky to get the crowd moving and dancing.
As a side note, if you have been to any of the Wolf Alice shows on this tour, you may of also noticed an extra member joining their live set, which is none other than Ryan Malcolm from Superfood, signed to the same iconic Dirty Hit label and also coincidentally toured with Wolf Alice back in 2014. Back to this latest Wolf Alice headline tour however, Ryan joins by bringing a little bit of extra magic on the keys.
As the night continues and having shared their latest material with this Newcastle audience which has received much praise, the band feeding off the energy of the crowd take the atmosphere to another level as they also spoil us all with their much loved classic tunes including Moaning Lisa Smile and Giant Peach. Having played a phenomenal set, it was almost getting time for this party to come to a close, but not without a much demanded encore. With total admiration and gratitude to this North East crowd, the band were not shy of showing how much they appreciated the fans love and support as they thanked the crowd before ending the night in style with Don’t Delete The Kisses taken from their album, Visions of Life.
As I said at the very beginning I have had the pleasure of knowing Wolf Alice since 2013, when at that point they were playing to a small crowd of no more than 20 people, and when I compare that to 2022, where they are practically one of the biggest bands to come out of the UK music scene, drawing in fans across all backgrounds and generations, I cannot help feel emotional. So as I bring this article to a close and embrace all the tears of happiness, I end by simply saying a special thank you to Ellie, Joff, Theo and Joel for all the precious moments and positive impact that your music has brought to my life over these past 9 years. I look forward to seeing you and seeing where the adventures and sensational growth of Wolf Alice goes next!
Article By Thushara Chandrasiri
Photography By Storm Walker