Wolf Gang Max McElligott

Wolf Gang Tears Up Orlando at The Social

I’ve seen a slew of concerts over the first half of the year, but none of them stood up to the dynamic show that London’s Wolf Gang delivered at The Social this weekend. This talented and energetic quintet is a band that we’re going to be hearing a lot from in the years to come, and they blew away the Orlando crowd with a blazing sixty minute set.

While most of Orlando was at The Amway Center abusing their ears with thousands of screaming pre-teens at the One Direction show, a sage group of discerning Rock And Roll Animals saw some truly majestic rock ‘n roll in the cozy club on Orange Avenue. If you were one of the many who chose the wrong venue on this evening, you really missed something special.

Max McElligott is the musical vision behind these young alt-rockers, having penned and performed all of the songs on the band’s excellent debut album Suego Faults. He’s also assembled a fantastic line-up of passionate musicians who have been touring extensively for about a year. Their set was predictable, with all but nine cuts off of the album, plus three other new songs. Suego Faults is really quite good, certainly one of the top ten of the year thus far. Surprisingly, the live performance actually exceeded those lofty standards.

They opened the set with a new track, “Into the Fire,” one that featured McElligott on guitar that got the house rocking from the start.  He switched over to keyboards for the next song, “Something Unusual” where we had our first taste of the band’s amazing harmonies. He traded off between guitar and keyboards throughout the show and on quite a few songs, he left the playing to the remainder of the band and took center stage with just the mic.

McElligot voice is powerful and distinctive and his range broad. The uber-talented front man sounded near perfect and the backing harmonies from his band mates were spot on, matching the excellent vocals from the album. On stage, McElligott reeks of charisma and certainly offers a theatrical touch. At times I thought of Freddie, other times Bowie, most times…I thought I was seeing the next legend out of England.

Interacting with the crowd throughout, McElligott was comfortable on stage, from his opening “Welcome to the wonderful people of the Social Bar” to sharing the London lads’ rough initial taste of our searing Florida sun. I was impressed by the energy of the band at the relatively small Social, immediately after wrapping up a huge arena tour with Coldplay, yet they seemed to thrive in the more intimate club.

The band members were tight and cohesive throughout the evening, and they all switched off between instruments, as well. James Woods on bass was a non-stop whirling dervish and powered the band through a rollicking version of Stay & Defend. Lasse Petersen on drums was the band’s backbone all night, and absolutely shined on another new cut, “The Kill.”

We had a chance to witness the group’s softer side on both “Promises” and the spectacular “Suego Faults” which featured three keyboards, highlighted by McElligott and Jamie Jones, and some of the best vocals/harmonies of the night. McElligott had the crowd in the palms of his hands, expertly adjusting the flow and timbre of the show throughout.

The entire band seemed energized during “Dancing With the Devil” which featured a nice solo from Gavin Slater, before slowing things down with a nice love song, “Midnight Dancers.” From there, the band wrapped up the show with their two biggest singles to date, “The King and All His Men” and “Lions in Cages” closing out a great set, raising the energy level to a fever pitch and sending the crowd home convinced they had seen something special.

Random Ramblings:

  • Charlotte’s Flagship offered a nice opening set in their first trip to Orlando, highlighted by their drummer, Mike Finster, who tore it up the entire set, despite playing on a borrowed drum kit! They’ve got a unique sound and are definitely worth a trip to check out next time they are in town.
  • Wolf Gang’s drummer, Lasse Petersen is apparently an excellent cook, with a fondness for duck, and actually cooked at Hard Rock Hotel this week.
  • All five members of Wolf Gang hung around after the show and got to know their fans; they really seemed to care about meeting everyone, asking names, chatting, and listening! It was refreshing to see.
  • Wolf Gang is looking to come back to Orlando this fall, so keep your eyes peeled to RARA’s Farm for the show announcement, and next time, don’t let some teeny-bopper boy band deter you from their excellent show.

If you were there, let us know what you thought in the comments below. If you were trapped into seeing One Direction to please your eight year-old niece and want to rehabilitate your ears, check out the album below.

Rock On! – Cretin

See the setlist below

Wolf Gang with RARA's Farm's Kerri
Wolf Gang with RARA's Farm's Kerri in Orlando


Into the Fire
Something Unusual
Stay & Defend
The Kill
Where are You Now?
Suego Faults
Back to Back
Dancing with the Devil
Midnight Dancers
The King and All His Men
Lions in Cages


9 thoughts on “Wolf Gang Tears Up Orlando at The Social”

  1. hands down the best show ive seen in a long time.

    and their album doesn’t do them justice – its great don’t get me wrong – but this band is absolutely jaw dropping live.

  2. I was waiting for this review as i was the one that requested you to join their mailing list at the show 🙂 I’ve known of them from their UK start since early 2011 and likely am one of the first US fans. They certainly did not disappoint for their US headliner debut in the slightest. One correction (I believe) is that they actually played 3 new songs (“Fire”, “Kill” and “Promises”)–so some new material is coming soon.

    And I agree with you on the title track—as popular as the two ‘encore’ tunes are, with the right airplay that track (which beautifully evokes classic Supertramp) would go over very well on AAA radio. Someone needs get that tune over to Elise Rossi at WMMO…

    Most pleasant surprise of their time over here: If you check out their social networking links (specifically Youtube and Twitter), it is rather apparent they are winning over the Coldplay crowds in spades…good for them!

    Now for Best Coast on the 9th–are you going?

  3. They were tons of fun to watch! How can you see them and not want to dance? Love Lions in Cages and Stay and Defend! Sadly I agree with Kerri that the album doesn’t do them justice. This is a must see band with a very unique sound, and great live charisma! I hope they go places!

  4. Thanks for the comments. Glad to see my opinion was shared by others!

    @Kerri – yup, this was one of the better shows in a long time.

    @Raras Girl – Totally agree, especially on the charisma comment!

  5. @Scott M – It was nice to meet you, and thanks for commenting here!

    Nice prediction on these lads. “Suego Faults” the song is a great track. It might fit at WMMO, but isn’t it too good for their playlist? You are correct, I missed “Promises” when I counted. Never was very good at Math…

    Need to check out Best Coast, I’m not familiar with their stuff…

  6. Best Coast tonight is sold out. The Social apparently gave into the “demands” to make it an all-ages show (although the opener I would NOT deem suitable that demographic). If anyone reading this is going, have a great time!

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