Live Show Review: Wolf Alice at Bluebird Theater 11/3/21

Wolf Alice at Bluebird Theater 11/3/21, photo by Tom Murphy
The Blossom at Bluebird Theater 11/3/21, photo by Tom Murphy

Opening act The Blossom was reminiscent of one of the better bands that you might have seen performing at a party or the prom in one of the better teen comedies and dramas around the turn of the century. Its pairing of pop hooks and production with indie rock riffing and attitude and expansive energy seemed a good fit for the bill. Singer Lily Lizotte brought a sunny enthusiasm to the performance that included songs like “Shapeshifter” and “Hardcore Happy” from the group’s 2021 debut EP 97 BLOSSOM.

The Blossom at Bluebird Theater 11/3/21, photo by Tom Murphy

From the moment Wolf Alice took stage, bassist Theo Ellis looked out into the crowd of the sold out show with a palpable joy. Both nights at the Bluebird had sold out, as singer Ellie Rowsell remarked upon later in the show, something that doesn’t happen much at the venue before bands end up having to play larger rooms so the next time around expect the group playing at least the Gothic or the Ogden.

Ellie Rowsell of Wolf Alice at Bluebird Theater 11/3/21, photo by Tom Murphy

With the 2021 release of , Wolf Alice revealed that it wasn’t just an able and interesting rock band, it fully demonstrated a knack for eclectic songwriting and masterful dynamics. Live, the songs helped the group’s already powerful and commanding performance style shine brighter. The impressionistic “No Hard Feelings” wherein Ellis left stage and Jeff Oddie played a hypnotically ethereal bass figure and Rowsell sang in what might be described as a soulful folk style going into the more electrifying “Visions Of A Life” is the kind of shift one might expect from someone like PJ Harvey and Wolf Alice this night was reminiscent of that artist had she brought on some shoegaze-esque soundscaping in the guitar work and synths.

Wolf Alice at Bluebird Theater 11/3/21, photo by Tom Murphy

Though Wolf Alice took us on what felt like a journey into intense and dramatic feelings in a kind of collective catharsis, at no point did the show drag. That happens at most shows at some time but the enthusiasm displayed by Ellis at the outset seemed to run through the band and the audience both in a synergistic dynamic. When the main set proper ended with the thoroughly enveloping and warm atmospherics of “The Last Man On Earth” punctuated by the scorching rocker “Moaning Lisa Smile” you’d have to be more than a little dead inside to not think you just got to see one of the greatest live rock bands operating today making music that isn’t beholden to some trendy style, rather, having established one of its own.

Wolf Alice at Bluebird Theater 11/3/21, photo by Tom Murphy
Wolf Alice at Bluebird Theater 11/3/21, photo by Tom Murphy