Joensuu Finland 15th–17th Jul 2016

Wolf Alice mesmerises and invigorates

British band Wolf Alice served just the right kind of music for their audience in Metelli Tent on Saturday evening. Though there were some hickups during the trip to Joensuu, the festival crowd as well as the artists themselves enjoyed the gig.

Metelli Tent is filled up with people coming to see Wolf Alice. The crowd is kept waiting for a moment because some of the band’s equipment is stuck at the airport, but the drum starts beating at the very moment the backup gear is on set. Bassist Theo Ellis assures that everything is fine and that the band is having fun. The audience responses with an uproar of screams – both are obviously enjoying themselves.

The guitar-vocalist Ellie mesmerises. Photo: Kalle Kervinen

The youthful music of Wolf Alice fits the summer evening like a glove. Even the sun peeks behind the clouds while the voice of Ellie Rowsell mesmerises the audience. The echoes added to the singing resonate with slight hints of utopia in which all the listeners are as one. People sway their hands in the air and dance warily. The rock feels hazy, peaceful and just right for this evening. The crowd is immediately enthralled when the sounds reach them and the dancing increases.

This new listener is surprised by the unpredictability of the songs. The performance of the band is relatively serene, professional and unsurprising, yet all the variation one needs is incorporated to the songs. As the gig proceeds, the atmosphere changes gradually and the band plays mostly heavier songs at the end part of the performance. The music is picturesque yet overbearing at the same time. Many different kinds of musical elements and styles are combined. Albeit the feeling is quite transcendent, the screams of Rowsell gives it a boost. The songs are colorful and volatile, uncontrollable yet coherent. Someone in the audience throws their shirt away. Metelli Tent is completely controlled by Wolf Alice.

Moshing during the gig. Photo: Kalle Kervinen

Some audience members confess that they have came to the gig without any information about the music of Wolf Alice in advance.

– Great music to chill. The band knows how to perform, they take the audience on a ride with them.

– For some bands the most important part of the song is its story and its narrative. This band made me feel that the atmosphere was created mostly with tones and melodies. The rhythm is the essence of these songs.

Finally, only the voice of a guitar remains and the band exits the stage without an encore. There is wistfulness and happiness in the air. Wolf Alice brought ambiance like none other to Ilosaarirock.

Text: Anne Tuovinen
Photos: Kalle Kervinen
Translation: Tuuli Ahonen

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