Friday, March 04, 2022


A chilly evening on the cusp of a new moon is the perfect way for Pale Waves to round up their most extensive UK tour to date and seems almost intentional. Since February, the four-piece band has been on tour after a brief pause due to the pandemic and the release of their sophomore album, ‘Who Am I?’, and did not disappoint. 

From the very start, the atmosphere in O2 Victoria Warehouse had a buzz in the air, a high level of anticipation for the night ahead. The two supporting bands performed incredibly and did their job of warming up the crowd beautifully. Bitters, relatively new to the scene and despite only having released two singles, delivered a good set. Playing covers of ‘Stacy’s Mom’ and Gwen Stefani’s ‘Cool’, they were able to engage the crowd and had them singing along, striking their interest and wanting more.


Whereas Hot Milk exploded onto the stage, bringing high energy, and received a euphoric reception, with mosh pits opening up and fists were thrown into the air. This tour cultivated strong female leads that were nothing short of empowering.

It was only a matter of time that Pale Waves took to the stage and accelerated that thrill and propelled it even further. The lights dropped at 9:30pm sharp, the crowd fell silent and a slow buildup of indistinct sounds echoed across the warehouse as Pale Waves teased the audience with their grand entrance.

Launching into ‘Change,’ the opening track of their second album, where, from the very start Heather Baron-Gracie entrances the audience with her stage presence, her live-singing capabilities is just as good as it is in a studio and you could really see her getting lost in the music.

The Manchester band glided through their set, playing a total of sixteen songs perfectly balancing between albums ‘Who Am I?’ and ‘My Mind Makes Noises’ including Television Romance and ‘Tomorrow.’ Pale Waves catered between happy and sad songs, but still allowing the crowd to sing-along and let loose.

‘Odd Ones Out’ was a part of their acoustic set, though short-lived was nothing short of amazing. Dedicated to those who felt like they didn’t fit in, Baron-Gracie had everyone hanging onto her strong and powerful voice that beautifully complimented the lyrical content with emotional exploration.

But it wasn’t just Baron-Gracie who demanded the attention, Ciara Doran delivered toe-tapping and brilliantly compelling drum beats that went hand-in-hand with rhythmic geniuses of Hugo Silvani and Charles Wood, especially during the performance of their new track, ‘Jealousy,’ which acted as an insight to their next album with a heavier sound.

The real standouts of the evening were ‘Red’ and ‘Kiss,’ people were on each other’s shoulders, jumping along frantically and almost shouting the lyrics back to the band. It was moments like this that were a combination of electrifying and emotive.

Closing their set with ‘Easy,’ the venue went dark and silence soon followed suggesting the end of the show, but the audience would not have it. Demanding more through cheers and calls that rippled through the warehouse.

There was another atmospheric build-up similar to the start of their set with a voice-over, ‘I saved her and she saved me,’ with a brief pause and the distinct opening of ‘She’s My Religion’ a love letter from Heather Baron-Gracie to girlfriend Kelsi Luck, emotional and romantic this was a crowd favorite.

Followed by 'There’s A Honey’ brought a bittersweet feeling, though performed incredibly it was sad the show had to come to an end. During this encore Heather Baron-Gracie dawned the Pride Flag passed over from the crowd, wearing it proudly and receiving a roaring cheer of applause, showing inclusivity that is to be expected from a Pale Waves show.

Pale Waves delivered an incredible performance, showing maturity in their sound and it’s truly exciting to see where they will go next. It is without a doubt that Pale Waves should be on everyone’s must-see list.

Ana Joy King


Image: 'Who Am I?' Official Album Cover

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