Photos by Neil Van
If you had stepped into the Danforth Music Hall for Wolf Alice’s recent tour stop in Toronto, you would have been excused for thinking that it was some time in the 1990’s.
Both London, UK band and openers Fade Awaays were definitely heavily influenced by indie rock and alt-rock from the era.
Toronto band Fade Awaays kicked off the night with their catchy and loud Weezer-influenced songs. They also brought a fast punk feel to a couple of songs, keeping up a good banter between songs. Frontman Reid MacMaster has definite star power to him.
Wolf Alice definitely brought the volume and an at times overwhelming light show to their set. My Bloody Valentine was a rather obvious influenced and they seemed to be trying to match them in terms of volume and intensity throughout their set.
They ripped through three intense songs before taking things down a bit for a more subdued number. Singer/guitarist Ellie Rowsell noted that it was good to be back in Canada with bassist Theo Ellis commented that the first time they had played in Toronto, it had been in the Drake Hotel’s underground in front of a few people so the DMH was a definite upgrade, as was the sizable crowd who cheered at the opening of many songs, including their hit ‘Bros’.
The band did rely a little too heavily on the whole “Quiet/Loud” song structure that defined alt-rock in the 90’s but Rowsell’s powerhouse vocals and how tight her band was more than made up for it. Guitarist Joff Oddie soldiered on through technical difficulties, giving the appearance that the was going to smash his guitar several times.
During the short encore, Rowsell came right down into the audience and screamed the last song with scary intensity. She even included a spoken work interlude in one of the songs.