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
Last night was truly a celebration of friendship and crushes, so shout out to all the bands, shout out to all the friends, and shout out to all the crushes :’)
The Spook School
Real good for those of us that have been missing some quality indie pop in our lives but have outgrown listening to the The Naked and Famous’ first album and TDCC on repeat. For fans of Radiator Hospital, The Maccabees, and Remember Sports. Songs to listen to: “Still Alive,” “Keep in Touch,” and “Body.”
I’ll say this a million times over, again and again until I’m dead, then I’ll haunt everyone I know in the afterlife and still be saying this, but ladies who scream on stage are SO cool. The coolest. For fans of Charly Bliss, Bully, and Cayetana. Songs to listen to: “Teen Challenge,” “28 J’s L8R,” and “NO.”
Mid-Post Friendship Appreciation
Hi Margie. Hi Syd. I love you both a lot.
They hold a special place in my heart. The first gig review for Got Any Tunes, the first interview for Got Any Tunes, led by a kick-ass lady who loves glitter just as much as I do. Their tunes are empowering and cathartic and perfect for scream-singing and dancing all your feelings away. For fans of friendship and love and crushes and everything good and wholesome and fun in this world. Songs to listen to: Literally all of them, but especially “Pool Boyz,” “Scene Sick,” and “Bite Back.” Diet Cig, Alex and Noah (plus Anna and Karli), you are so loved.
Another late one, woo! Ms. Hannah, Got Any Tunes’s Alvvays expert, shared a notebook dump of observations and below are some photos I shot – Enjoy!
- Alvvays is the type of band you’d bring home to your mom– cordial and collected with a sprinkling of comedy.
- If you can believe it, “Archie, Marry Me” actually sounds better when it’s accompanied by a singing audience.
- With Molly in her jazzy janitor suit and Kerri in her teacher-y plaid trousers, the two ladies tag-teamed the Grade School Faculty™ look. If you know me, you know I ate it right up.
- The lights really corresponded with the mood of every song, especially “Party Police” (a personal fave). Emotion is so raw in color.
- Unfortunately, there were some technical difficulties during their set, but watching how they worked through them and supported each other was extra heartwarming.
- Definitely saw Monica Laplante as I was waiting in line! Always fun to get an idea about what inspires our very own local scene here in Minneapolis.
- What was that cover they closed with?! Such a fun song for them. Tried and failed to find it on the Internet though. Wondering if it came from friends of theirs?
- Jay Som gave us a beautiful introduction to an overall fantastic night. I walked in right as they started “I Think You’re Alright.” Check them out if you haven’t!
A couple weeks have past since this show, and I’m blaming school for the late post. BUT below are a couple shots from when Soccer Mommy (my second favorite band with some form of the word mom in their name – stay tuned for end of the year lists in December) played the Cedar, as well as a **~HoT tAkE~** by non other than Minneapolis’s number one Soccer Mommy fan, one of the greatest people I know, Margie Yetzer :’)
“She [Sophie Allison] is a queen! She’s a go to when I’m sad and even more when I’m just thinking and walking because she makes great comments on relationships that are one-sided or lopsided and she has such a beautiful and unique voice. I love “Blood Honey” when she gets all nasally and for some reason that is so pure and honest to me!!! Also her all brown outfit at the show was A Look™.”
Self-proclaimed “jangle pop” group Alvvays spent the summer traveling the world with an updated lineup of dreamy, nostalgic tunes. The North American leg of the Antisocialites Tour kicked off in early October and will wrap up in their home city of Toronto with five sold-out nights in a row. If that doesn’t say enough about who they are, the new Alvvays record, Antisocialites, has received glowing reviews across the board.
Antisocialites delivers a dose of 60s-inspired, indie pop that could act as the soundtrack for a vintage movie (Ed: see the video for “Dreams Tonight” below!) or afternoon joy ride. Critics call it honest, romantic, and thoughtful, departing from the chiming melodies on their first self-titled record, but earning equally high praises.
Singer-songwriter Molly Rankin grew up around 90s-era, Celtic folk music, but lists bands like The Magnetic Fields, Teenage Fanclub, and The Smiths as her primary influences. She and keyboardist, Kerri MacLellan, formed Alvvays in 2011 and took up roots in Toronto’s quirky scene. The band toured with major indie acts like Peter Bjorn and John and The Decemberists early in their career.
After a few years of exposure in the mainstream alternative world, they signed with Polyvinyl Records, joining a power roster along with American Football, Of Montreal, and White Reaper. Though they are often compared to Best Coast and The Cranberries, Alvvays has established their own uniquely rosy, ethereal sound that combines surf rock with noise pop.
Have a listen to Alvvays’ brilliant, kaleidoscopic new album, Antisocialites, and catch them in the First Ave Mainroom on Nov. 2nd for a show that will surely leave you starry-eyed. (Ed: ALSO check back here afterwards for coverage of the live show!)
Words by Hannah Hubbell