Cleveland, Ohio (April 3, 2018) – The Beachland Ballroom and Tavern in Cleveland, OH played host to Wolf Alice and special guest, The Big Pink, on the Beachland Ballroom stage, while Halo Circus was on the Beachland Tavern stage hosting a pre- and post-party.
Halo Circus – In support of their latest release, Robots and Wranglers, the synth-pop duo Halo Circus was ready to perform on the Beachland Tavern stage. Halo Circus features Allison Iraheta on vocals and Matthew Hager on guitar, bass, and keys. Based in Los Angeles, CA, they made a stop in Cleveland on their 2018 nation-wide tour. Tonight, they were performing two shows, one for the pre-party, one for the post-party.
As the duo kicked the pre-party off with “Oh, Money!”, it was immediately apparent the beauty in Allison’s vocals. They continued on with “Contact”, “Desire (Lo Que Vale La Pena)” and “Got it Made”, mixing in some previously released songs with the new ones. Allison’s vocals stayed superb even when performed through a megaphone like she did for their latest single “Narcissist”. A highlight was the Spanish language “Y Para Que?” where Allison hinted toward her Salvadoran heritage. They finished the set with “Off the World” completing the task of performing all of the tracks from the critically acclaimed Robots and Wranglers album, with a few previously released songs added into the fold.
After their first set, Splice Magazine caught up with Halo Circus for a quick chat. Allison let us know that their single “Narcissist” is being picked up by a number of alternative radio stations around the United States and that they are extremely happy at the reception they are receiving from the crowds on their current tour. Allison and Matthew are a great down-to-earth couple and are just out enjoying this great land, meeting as many fans as they can along the way.
After both of their sets, it was apparent the crowd wanted more of Halo Circus. The intimate setting gave those in attendance an up close and personal experience. The connection with the crowd was shown as their merchandise table was surrounded by many new fans eager to chat with these rising superstars.
The new direction they have taken sure has paid off, and it was apparent by the crowd’s reaction during both parties. Do yourself a favor, and check out Halo Circus next time they are in your area. It may be the last time you can see them in an intimate setting before they are playing larger stages.
Be sure to check out Allen’s review of Robots and Wranglers!
The Big Pink –A good-sized crowd had assembled in the ballroom as it was time for The Big Pink to take the stage. The stage was filled with fog while pink and purple lights lit things up. As Robbie Furze (vocals and guitar), Nicole Emery (bass and vocals), and Bradford Lee Conroy (drums) made their way onto the stage, the crowd let out a sizable roar for these three from London, England. Originally billed as electronic rock, the three-piece version seemed more alternative rock.
The crowd was into The Big Pink from the start. As the fog continued to fill the stage, The Big Pink struck up their third song, “Dominos”, and the energy increased quite a bit for this well-known track.
Throughout the set, the lack of some electronic sounds gave the band a heavier vibe and the crowd was digging it. The slowest song of the set was the duet vocal song, “Hightimes”, with Robbie and Nicole sharing vocalist duties. They ended their set with “Velvet” making it the highlight in their thirty-minute set.
After their set, Robbie let Splice Magazine know they have been having a blast touring with Wolf Alice, and the U.S. crowds are very welcoming to them, stating “we’re becoming more American”.
Wolf Alice – Following a quick switch over and mic check, the alternative rock band Wolf Alice, also from London, England, was ready to take stage. With material from their latest release, Visions of a Life, along with the earlier, My Love Is Cool, and include the EP’s, Creature Songs, and Blush, and they had plenty of ammunition to work with.
Starting their set off with “Heavenward”, the melodic song eased the crowd into a blistering nineteen- song set. It didn’t take long to get the crowd worked into a frenzy as they kicked it into high gear with “Yuk Foo”. Not letting up, Wolf Alice broke into “You’re a Germ” and had everyone’s hands in the air as the chorus of “one, two, three, four, five, six, seven… you ain’t going Heaven!” blasted from the ballroom stage.
The energy displayed on stage by these four was incredible. As Ellie Rowsell went to work on the guitar, she switched from a clean-sounding mic to a slightly distorted mic while varying from whispers to high-octane vocals. Bassist Theo Ellis was all over his side of the stage, bouncing from his microphone to the drum kit and back again, multiple times during songs. Joff Oddie delivered the alternative rock licks and needed to switch out his guitar many times due to the force with which he played. At one point he was practically doing a handstand on his guitar while playing, as well as banging it one the amps and laying it on the ground and stomping on it. Drummer Joel Amey kept everything in the pocket as he smashed his way through a very lengthy set with minimal pauses.
They worked in their latest single “Don’t Delete the Kisses” by song six. “Sadboy” and “Fluffy” were also highlights in their main set of 17 songs. A quick “thank you” to the crowd and Wolf Alice exited the stage. It wasn’t too long of a break and they took their place back on stage for a two-song encore. Starting it off with the melodic “Blush”, the crowd was once again enthralled. Finishing the night off with the raucous “Giant Peach” Wolf Alice left the crowd, and themselves, worn out.
Photojournalist: Allen Heimberger