At their best, live performances can have a transformative effect on an artist’s songs. The mix of visual accompaniment and the excitement of the in-person setting bring even the slowest and saddest songs to life in ways that studio versions just can’t. There’s a certain lighting in a bottle aspect to the best live performers that’s hard to explain, but easy to see when it’s happening.
You can feel that intangible energy radiate off of Wolf Alice as they burn through the mournful song ‘The Last Man On Earth’ in a new live video. Normally more at home in the indie-rock setting, ‘The Last Man On Earth’ sees singer Ellie Roswell embrace a sort-of singer-songwriter image as she plonks out the opening chords on the piano. As her bandmates start to accompany her one by one, a sudden burst of drums brings in the song’s secret weapon: a string quartet. As the song crescendos and climaxes, Roswell’s voice jumps an octave and the track’s emotional intensity races its zenith. The performance is a masterclass in how to keep building and building until the tension is at a fever pitch.
The intimacy and closeness that comes off on ‘The Last Man On Earth’ makes you feel like the band is in the same room, almost as if they’re singing the song to you. If ever there was a perfect example to showcase what we have all been missing from the live performance setting, this video articulates it better than I ever could. I want to feel those same goosebumps again, but I want to be around a bunch of other people who are feeling the exact same way, almost like a rock and roll communion. Here’s hoping we’ll be back in the music halls soon enough.
Check out the live performance of ‘The Last Man On Earth’ down, below.