Live Review: Wolf Alice / Just Mustard – 3Olympia, Dublin 30,08,2022

Words & Photos: Kate Lawlor.

Indie-rock band ‘Wolf Alice’ brought their usual charm to Dublin’s 3Olympia for yet another sold out gig on Tuesday August 30th, supported by Dundalk natives ‘Just mustard.’ 

Irish shoegaze masters, ‘Just Mustard,’ opened the show with their heavily instrumental setlist, accompanied by their usual dark, yet ethereal, visuals and lighting. Cacophonous guitar, harsh percussion and vocals that are somehow simultaneously ragged yet soft, encompassed their beautifully textured songs throughout their performance. Their stage presence, as always, was dark and mysterious, contributing to the almost ‘otherworldly’ effect they so regularly impose on their audiences. This energy was a perfect precursor for Wolf Alice’s set. 

Opening their performance with popular song ‘Smile’ from their 2021 album ‘Blue Weekend,’ Wolf Alice’s energy was immediately palpable. Bassist Theo Ellis brought instant enthusiasm to the stage with a collection of jumps, spins and air punches, ushering towards the crowd to match his excitement. Lead singer Ellie Rowsell looked excited and at ease as she spoke directly to the crowd, maintaining that the 3Olympia was her all-time favourite venue and reminding the audience of her Irish roots. 

Though their setlist was decorated heavily with their newer tracks from ‘Blue Weekend,’ it also revisited their older albums ‘Visions of A life’ and ‘My Love is Cool.’ Songs like ‘Silk’ and ‘You’re a Germ’ contributed to the more grunge and punk influenced elements of the performance, while tracks such as ‘Planet Hunter’ and ‘Don’t Delete the Kisses’ provided a celestially shoegaze aura throughout the set.  The incredible stage presence of the band guided the audience through these changes in tone and tempo with ease, and the crowd were seemingly captivated and overcome with emotion regardless of what areas of their work the band decided to revisit onstage. 

The end of the set featured a beautiful performance of one of their quieter more tranquil songs, ‘No Hard Feelings.’ Ellie sat on the edge of the stage singing directly into the crowd and it was clear this was a special and poignant moment for many in the audience. They then performed their most popular songs during their encore (‘Last Man on Earth’ and ‘Don’t Delete The Kisses’) to a now, emotional, yet still just as energised crowd who truly seemed blown away by their entire performance. It was apparent that the show as a whole was an incredibly invigorating experience for the majority of the audience members and Wolf Alice left the stage listening to chants of ‘Ole ole ole,’ hopefully fulfilling Ellie’s desire for the authentic Irish performing experience! 

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