‘Sexy Villain’ syndrome: Remi Wolf at The Roadrunner on Oct. 9
Wearing a baggy Harvard T-shirt and plaid cargo pants, Remi Wolf looks like the coolest girl in Tatte thrown into a psychedelic coloring book. She stands on stage surrounded by huge colorful flowers and trees, an energetic band, an abundance of whimsical visuals and lights, and an eager crowd of teens and 20-somethings hanging on to her every move.
It’s no surprise that Wolf drew a huge crowd of young people, quickly selling out her show at The Roadrunner, Boston’s newest concert venue, on Oct. 9. In fall 2020, Wolf’s song “Photo ID” off her second EP, “I’m Allergic to Dogs!,” blew up as a sound on TikTok. The trippy, upbeat track is undeniably catchy and has collected over 100,000 videos utilizing the sound, from edits to fit-checks. Wolf was made for the internet — both in her music and as a performer, she is bursting with creative, weird-girl energy that is deeply relatable to Gen Z, while staying fresh and unique. She released her first studio album, “Juno,” in 2021. Staying consistent to her maximalist sound, the album is track after track of bubbly melodies, deeply layered production, playful sound effects, and abstract, personal lyrics. Truly of her time, the songs are filled with tongue-in-cheek ‘in’ references — “what’s better than two girls two cups?” — and chronically online swag — “super emo, Aqua girl with the rising leo.”
Jordana, an indie rock/indie pop artist known best for her 2021 collaborative album with TV Girl, “Summer’s Over,” opened the show. While I was not super familiar with Jordana’s music, her performance was enjoyable and set a light tone for Wolf’s set. The band buzzed with a young, slightly nervous energy that seemed to loosen up as they let themselves have fun in the music. Jordana took center stage, singing with a coy, slightly sultry energy and rocking out on her baby blue guitar.
The unique energy and relatability that fills Wolf’s musical catalog translated seamlessly into her live performance. She captivated the audience, bouncing around every corner of the stage and speaking to the crowd familiarly, like we were her best friends at summer camp. More than anything, it seemed like she and her touring band were having loads of fun on stage. The guitarist Conner Malone, who earlier had been twerking, engaged the crowd in a rousing chant of “I am Dua Lipa!,” encouraging the audience to live our very best sexy “Dua Lipa fall.” To a middle-aged parent, this would have absolutely no significance, but the crowd of college students and teenagers clearly understood Malone’s message and ate it up. Remi performed with an energy that felt joyful, safe, and palpably queer. She had control over the vibe of the show and fostered an environment that was fun and liberating.
Wolf’s performance was certainly musically impressive. The band did a great job at replicating the sometimes chaotic instrumentals, and Wolf’s voice live was steady and powerful. She sounded just like her records despite endlessly dancing across the stage and jumping around. She took a moment to slow down and let her impressive range and control shine as she covered Frank Ocean’s “Pink + White,” leaning into a soul sound as she improvised runs. Another highlight was her encore performance of “Disco Man,” a flirty track that got the whole venue dancing.
This was my first show at The Roadrunner, and I had a great experience within the venue. Although the show was sold out, the spacious upper balconies thinned out the pit and provided a clear view to people who didn’t necessarily want to stand in a huge crowd. The floor itself was spacious – unlike my experiences with some other venues in the area, I didn’t feel suffocated and had room to dance in the pit. Staff provided the audience with bottles of water between acts, which is always good to see and much appreciated. Towards the end of the show, Wolf remarked that “the venue has become sacred to me” and referred to the crowd and her band mates as “a little family.” I had such a fun night at a phenomenal show with my bestie and esteemed Features Editor Natalie Kahn, and we both look forward to checking out more shows at The Roadrunner in the future!
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