A sold-out crowd at the Turf Club was left hollering for more from Northern London quartet Wolf Alice, who packed the venue on the strength of their shoegaze-meets-post-punk singles “Giant Peach” and “Moaning Lisa Smile.” Though their full-length debut album, My Love is Cool, isn’t even due out until June 23, it’s clear that their sound has already endeared them to Twin Cities music fans; a few attendees toward the front of the room managed to pogo up and down throughout the entire set, earning appreciative nods and smiles from lead singer Ellie Rowsell as she surveyed the happy room.
“This is f***ing awesome,” bass player Theo Ellis exclaimed more than once during their tight 50-minute performance, holding up a beer to salute the equally appreciative audience. “We love this place.”
In a live setting the group takes on a louder, more complex sound than on their recorded material, bolstering Rowsell’s elastic melodies with layers of guitar feedback and fuzzed-out bass lines. Wolf Alice played with the precision and assuredness of a band that has been touring extensively (they have been on a promo tour to radio stations and music conferences that brought them to the Current and through SXSW in March), and they dropped no clues that this was their first public performance in the Twin Cities.
The band did look sincerely taken aback in the best possible way during the encore, though. Saving the best for last, the group returned to the stage for an all-too-brief finale performance of “Moaning Lisa Smile,” and the crowd bounced along so eagerly and sang along so giddily that the band had no choice but to look at one another and laugh. The applause from that lovefest lasted well after the final feedback loop cut out on their guitars and the house music came back up, and people were still cheering for more as the band filed out from backstage and started selling their own merch at the back of the room.