Live Review: Pale Waves - Manchester Academy, Manchester 27/09/2019
Pale Waves played to a packed out Manchester Academy on Friday night. Rainbow flags galore, the atmosphere in a few words: inclusive, energetic and full of gothic-pop.
Sports Team were in the support slot, accompanied by their front man Alex Rice’s rather flamboyant dancing and a selection of their most popular tracks like ‘Here It Comes Again’ and ‘Margate’. The best part of the whole performance was the keyboardist’s comical persona on stage, wearing sunglasses and hitting a tambourine with an expressionless complexion.
Appearing onstage surrounded by their classic red lighting, Pale Waves began with ‘Eighteen’, and from the first note it appeared that every person in the venue knew the lyrics. For ‘Red’, the visual effects continued as Heather Baron Gracie put down her guitar to bounce around the stage, interacting with her audience. In classic Heather fashion, she flipped her hair around as she danced to the songs and rolled her eyes. Pale Waves were so appreciative of their audience, throwing it back to their first gigs in the city ‘where we played to about 30 people’, and noting how surreal it was to play the Academy due to it being a previous haunt for a night out.
The hits never stopped, with ‘Television Romance’ and ‘The Tide’ coming next, as well as a brand new, unreleased track titled ‘Tomorrow’. An incredible new song, which has us already in anticipation for the next era of Pale Waves, as Baron Gracie noted it to be ‘the last tour of ‘My Mind Makes Noises’’. The rarely played ‘Drive’ also featured on the set list to the delight of many fans, before everyone had a dance to ‘Came in Close’ because, as they shouted into the mic, ‘It’s Friday night!’. The energy radiated by both the crowd and the band was unfaltering throughout the entire show.
The audience were asked to join in for ‘One More Time’, before the entire venue was captured by an emotional solo rendition of ‘Karl (I Wonder What It’s Like to Die)’. However, by finishing on the iconic ‘There’s a Honey’, the gig finished with the audience chanting the chorus and bouncing up and down to the rhythm. As Pale Waves united in a line on the stage in awe of the cheers and whoops they received from their well-deserved audience, it seems that this indie band is destined for huge success.
Words and Photography by Jess Foster