Review: Wolf Alice Brings Grunge to the Fillmore in Minneapolis

Celebrating their third studio album, “Blue Weekend,” the London-based band held nothing back
Wolf Alice
Wolf Alice

Jordan Hemingway

Wolf Alice stopped by the Fillmore in Minneapolis for a show promoting their album “Blue Weekend,” released in 2021. It had been four years since the last album, and a similarly long time since a tour. The crowd’s excitement was palpable.

I had a surface-level knowledge of Wolf Alice going into this show (stemming from their single “Bros” that came out in 2015), and suffice it to say, the band blew what I thought I knew to bits. The band got a Grammy nomination for 2016’s “Moaning Lisa Smile” and has had support slots for acts like Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stone Age, and Harry Styles. The songs I had heard before the show were all on the slower, floatier side, but they proved to be much more than that.

Singer and guitarist Ellie Rowsell, guitarist Joff Oddie, drummer Joel Amey, and bassist Theo Ellis entered to an amusing yodel track before diving headfirst into one of the singles off “Blue Weekend,” the gritty guitar track “Smile.” My spot near the middle afforded full views of the crowd, and I could see that fans were dancing all the way back to the merch table.

Songs from the latest album had messages of disillusionment and raw honesty that were incredibly refreshing and emphasized by singer Ellie Roswell’s amazing vocal control. She made the transition from grunge-yell songs like “Formidable Cool” to slow songs like “Safe From Heartbreak (If You Never fall in Love)” look completely effortless, making me think of other genre powerhouses like Shirley Manson and Courtney Love. Take her voice and add the energy and talent of the rest of the band and it was an unforgettable show.

The entire band seemed happy to be on tour again and playing live. In response, the crowd didn’t sit still for a single song. Though the fanbase has been satiated with some “lullaby” versions of a few “Blue Weekend” tracks on the recently released “Blue Lullaby” EP, hopefully it isn’t another four years before we get a new album and tour.