Despite both vocalists having ethereal tones, Luna Li and Wolf Alice provided a soothing and wild performance when the Blue Weekend Tour came to Columbus.
Luna Li walked onto the stage flooded entirely in red lighting. She wore a ball cap concealing most of her face. She stood in front of the mic strumming her guitar, taking some time to warm up to the audience during her first two songs. During the second song, she didn’t need the guitar and moved into formulaic hand gestures, similar to Madonna’s Vogue dance, but much more fluid. By the third song, the ball cap came off and her show really began. She relaxed onto her knees and even crawled around the floor. She sang, danced, strummed the guitar, and played the violin for the remainder of her set.
When you walk into the venue, you might notice her branded butterfly attire at the merch table. Luna also had a butterfly tattoo and guitar that she enjoyed showing off to the audience. It was a special day for Luna. The crowd sang “Happy Birthday” to her and she blew out a single candle on a cupcake from the band.
She had a soft voice and was thrilled to play a birthday show. Her set was soothing like meditative lo-fi. She introduced the band on their way out before one final song — “Cherry Pit.” It was performed a little heavier with some quick riffs to back her gentle voice to end her 30-minute calming set. Still, she got the crowd excited for Wolf Alice.
Wolf Alice came out roaring onto the stage. Frantic shifts of light and darkness filled the stage. The first three songs were intense and riveting. If the silhouettes among flashing lights were too much to enjoy, you may have enjoyed just closing your eyes for the first three songs. If you’re not familiar with them, listen to their opening three songs “Smile,” “You’re a Germ,” and “Formidable Cool.”
Vocalist, Ellie Rowsell was flanked on stage by Theo Ellis and Joff Oddie but all of them flailed, danced, and thrashed around with their guitars. By their fourth song, “Delicious Things,” Oddie switched out to an acoustic guitar and Ellie gave us delicate high notes. The lights turned red as the mood shifted. Between songs, they hardly shared a word with the audience, but showed admiration for each other on stage, with one exception…
Right before they performed “Bros,” Theo announced that they have been here several times before and they wanted to dedicate the next song to someone on the balcony, Randy Malloy, owner of Columbus’ 92.9 alternative station. “Thank you very much for being a good friend to us. This song is for you. Let’s have a f**king good time!”
The audience was a mix of ages. They remained relatively calm without a crowd surfer all evening. They watched, recorded, and cheered along. Although it was a packed venue, the Newport is a smaller campus venue. In the UK, Wolf Alice brings in much larger crowds. It is remarkable that they come to the Newport to perform for their fans.WOLF ALICE
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