Tone Deaf AU: Live Review of Chelsea Wolfe in Melbourne


”..Starting her set with the ghostly “Movie Screen”, Chelsea Wolfe’s sound quickly had the room encompassed in gentle but uneasy layers of sonics. Her band, consisting of two guitars, drums and keys, continue and build upon this sound and energy over the next few tracks; as they progress, one is continually struck by the range of Wolfe’s voice, as she seamlessly weaves octave upon octave of harmonies through her songs.

Soon, the keyboard is dropped in favour of bass guitar, and the group pound through the faster and more aggressive tracks from 2011’s Apokalypsis, a few yet-to-be-recorded songs, and some choice numbers from the group’s debut The Grime and The Glow.

These quicker songs are performed with a hefty punch not present on the band’s recordings, and the heightened dynamics both suit the songs and provide a welcome change of pace to the rest of the tunes.

A great strength of Chelsea Wolfe’s set of songs is that whilst each has its own charm and distinguishing features, they all fit within the same aesthetic; the tracks bleed into each other and there is no break in the dark mood cultivated by the group.

Highlights of the set include the gentle, slowly building “Halfsleeper”, “Tracks (Tall Bodies)”, while “Pale On Pale” had the whole audience in a hypnotic, rhythmic sway.

Returning to the stage to perform crowd favourite “Mer” as an encore, it is clear that the group made a serious impression on the Northcote crowd. When so many artists are unable to create the same aura of their recorded material in this era of relentless multi-tracking, Chelsea Wolfe are one band who do nothing but enforce their presence with a faultless live show. ” Reviewed by A.P. Morton