Live Review: Wolf Alice + Waax – Metro Theatre, Sydney (23.09.18)

I vividly remember the first time I heard Wolf Alice on the radio. I was driving back from uni flicking between the presets on my car radio. I was half way through the hour long trip, driving through a main road of Western Sydney. Flicking back onto Triple J, Linda Marigliano was spruiking this new band from London. Playing their track “Bros”, from that point, I was hooked.

Making their fourth trip to the country in the past four years, the London four-piece finally played their first sell out headline show in Australia. Playing the Metro Theatre, ‪the British act crushed their set and left the crowd wanting the band to return for a headline tour much sooner next time.‬

Opening the night were Brisbane legends Waax. I’d seen them play early in the new year at Falls Festival; where they crushed it entirely. Knowing they play a blistering set, their sound and presence was amped up by playing what is a relatively small venue. Playing the best off their two EPs and singles, the definite stand out was the three-minute blistering “Same Same”. If you haven’t got around to seeing the Queensland punks, definitely invest some time and money into doing so.

One thing I never really picked up on in a recorded format from Wolf Alice is how raucous they are as a band. Despite this, the main thing I noticed in their set was their ability to mix brutal garage punk with cruisey and euphoric indie-rock. This was evident from the get-go when they opened with the beautiful “Your Loves Whore” before moving swiftly into the savage “Yuk Foo”. This one-two was matched by the angsty “You’re a Germ” and the elegantly sad “Don’t Delete The Kisses”. The prettiest of recorded tracks, “Don’t Delete The Kisses” did unfortunately lose some of its quality in a live setting.

Arriving in the country on the back of winning the much coveted Mercury Prize, the band, led by Ellie Rowsell, were thankful for the Sydney crowd for coming out on a Sunday night and selling The Metro out. It’s funny seeing international acts come out to Australia and thank the crowd. Generally, they’ll all say something along the lines of ‘it’s great to be here…you guys are the best etc’. Whether it was the jet lag induced delusion or three-day bender the band had been on, but they genuinely seemed stoked and grateful to be playing to the sold out crowd.

While they were definitely thankful for the packed house, the band had next to no interaction with the crowd. Which isn’t a bad thing. In the 75 minute set, Wolf Alice tore through 18 songs spanning their debut LP My Love Is Cool and the world beating Visions of a Life, as well as their Blush and Creature Songs EPs.

With an incredibly well weighted set, the definite and most well received standout moments were “Bros”, “Lisbon”, “Space & Time” and main set closer “Moaning Lisa Smile”.

Closing the night with the super sad “Blush” and the surprisingly aggressive “Giant Peach”, Wolf Alice definitely justified the length of time it took them to play a headline tour. I’m glad they made the trip; here’s hoping next time it doesn’t take so long.

FOUR STARS (OUT OF FIVE)

Wolf Alice complete their Australian tour this week.

Sep 25, 2018: Corner Hotel, Melbourne – 18+
Sep 26, 2018: Corner Hotel, Melbourne – 18+
Sep 28, 2018: Eatons Hill Hotel, Brisbane – All Ages
Sep 30, 2018: Powerstation, Auckland – 18+

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