Live review: Wolf Alice with Matthew Maltese at O2 Academy Bristol – 23/02/2022

I don’t think it’s an understatement to say that Wolf Alice are one, if not the, biggest bands in the UK right now. Another band that has just gone from strength to strength recently, they played a sold out show at the O2 Academy Bristol this week, and we were lucky enough to catch them and take some photos.

The show was opened by Matthew Maltese, who played with his two friends as part of an electro-indie-pop trio, showcasing 7 songs from his discography. It wasn’t long ago that Matthew was on his own headline tour, stopping at The Fleece as part of it. Since joining Wolf Alice on this run of shows, he has gained a massive following (not that he didn’t already have one), and is surely one to watch out for in the album charts whenever his next one drops.

I really enjoyed his and the bands style, and although it was a bit softer than what I was expecting as support for Wolf Alice, it still felt like it warmed up the crowd well. As with most support acts, there was a mixed crowd reaction, with the front being very interested, and the people at the back chatting away. This goes for the main band as well, but why can’t people be quiet during a show. The audience has paid to see the band, not hear you nattering away.

I really enjoyed how well their songs blended into one another, an almost seamless set list. Overall, a really good opener to the show.

Always one to be punctual, Wolf Alice hit that stage at exactly 9pm, to a roar of cheers from the crowd. This is certainly the biggest band I’ve seen at the O2 Academy Bristol so far, and the audience made themselves known. Right from the off the band had them in the palm of their hand. Every song was sung back just as loudly as the speakers projecting it.

Although not much for talking, they still did their dues and said hi to the crowd and made sure everyone was OK. But you can certainly tell these guys gel together as a band perfectly, with their rhythm and sounds always perfectly in sync with each other. If you know anyone (or in fact are anyone) who managed to catch Wolf Alice before they started to get massive, you’ll know they were destined for greatness, and they have achieved that and much more. Wolf Alice, can, and will, sell out full arena tours.

Throughout the rest of the set, they kept that performance and energy up and going, and, as always, the crowd were throwing back just as much. The heavier songs had mosh pits and even a crowd surfer, and then the more mellow songs brought everyone back down and in a moment of togetherness. Last Man On Earth was one of these that felt particularly special. Although it wasn’t the big finish, it was still a good moment.

But sadly the big finish had to come at some point. Don’t Delete The Kisses was another special moment, with every word sung back by everyone in the venue, there was signs of good times, togetherness and even a tear or two. It was truly a wonderful show, one where the crowd and audience were one, one that was truly amazing.

You don’t need me to tell you to go and see Wolf Alice live. Next tour, go and get your tickets.

As always, a massive thank you to the staff and security at the venue, as well as Inside Out PR sorting out this review.

Words and photos by Ted Stargatt for TrueStyleMusic

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