After a short European run in January, British rockers Wolf Alice opened up their North American tour in the Dirty South on Monday at Atlanta’s Buckhead Theatre. The band has expressed a love for the southern city before — in our interview with drummer Joel Amey last year, he described Atlanta as one of his favorite cities to play and reminisced on their 2017 appearance at Shaky Knees, and they closed out their last leg of touring behind 2021’s fantastic Blue Weekend at Atlanta’s Terminal West. An appearance at the Buckhead Theatre was a sizable step up for the band, and they met it with a stunning ferocity that left concertgoers amazed.
Even down a member (lead guitar Joff Oddie will be joining the band at later date), the trio of Ellie Rowsell, Theo Ellis, and Amey plus touring guitarist Joe Keefe (who supposedly learned the band’s setlist in 48 hours) opened the show with the pulsating “Smile” and kept their foot on the gas pedal for the rest of the set. While a lot of the band’s recorded discography exists within a more ethereal, atmospheric shade of rock music, the live version of Wolf Alice thrives on intensity. Rowsell’s pitch-perfect vocals perfectly complimented Ellis’s intense sneering and bass prowess, and fans went wild as they played a set that hit every point of their discography. Early songs like “Planet Hunter” and “How Can I Make It OK” were highlights, building to a cathartic moment within the nearly eight-minute-long “Visions Of A Life” where an honest-to-god circle pit formed in the upscale Atlanta venue. The band frequently referenced their love for Atlanta and that even though they were here recently, it felt good to kick off the tour in a city they loved. The night concluded with the one-two punch of “The Last Man on Earth” and “Don’t Delete the Kisses”, at which point a massive disco ball illuminated to create a euphoric, joyous experience. If this is what Wolf Alice is bringing to the table, their 2022 is about to be career-altering when they open for artists like Halsey and Harry Styles this fall – these rooms won’t hold them for long. Check out our photos of the night below: