Words by Hannah Hubbell, photos by Maia
After having seen Wolf Alice once in a tiny theater with an even tinier audience and once as a quick opening act, I had justifiably high expectations this time around. First Avenue is one of Minneapolis residents’ most coveted privileges, and I was ready to dance. Since the last time I saw them, the band had nearly doubled their discography and I had reached the legal age of 21. There were new songs and new adult beverages in my future.
Wolf Alice opened with “Heavenward,” one of their dreamiest tunes yet. The group looked suave and steady, with bassist Theo in his vintage black and white suit and frontwoman Ellie rocking leopard print. Their set featured angelic ballads like “St. Purple and Green,” and loud, sharp numbers like “Fluffy.” In between, there were some real emotional highlights. Remembering long drives and post-breakup nights listening to “Silk.” Cuddling up to Maia during “Bros:” “Oh, I’m so lucky, you are my best friend.” Shouting all the words to “Your Love’s Whore.” The night was a perfect meeting place for nostalgia and euphoria.
Cliché as it may be, the sounds and stories of the first Wolf Alice record comprise much of my soundtrack for all the years leading up to the release of their second album. They make music about simple things: love, friendship, and the heartbreak that comes from both. Somewhere in the mess I believed I was living in, I found poetry and emotion and realness, and it was Wolf Alice.
I’ll remember this show for a few reasons, the first being that it reminded me how genuinely happy it makes me to be in a room full of people with a genuine love for rock and roll. The second reason is that I’m convinced there will never be a more badass closing song than “Giant Peach,” though I wish they would’ve played it all the way to the end. And the third reason is that the whole time I knew both Maia and I were thinking about how much our dads would’ve enjoyed the show, which is just funny.
Wolf Alice at First Avenue was one for the books. If you love a band that can make you cry as quickly as they can have your head banging, be sure to catch them on their next tour (and buy their records!).
The Big Pink