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The Wldlfe Live at College

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The Wldlfe makes their debut in North Carolina as they play their first headlining show in the state on their current tour, The Wldlfe; Live at College. Just finished their voyage with the Band Camino on their tour, “Screaming In The Dark,” the Wldlfe embarked on a shorter tour this spring to various college towns across the United States. Before this, the last time the Wldlfe played a show in Raleigh was to accompany Nightly on their tour in early 2020.

The Wldlfe Live at College

By surprise, the Wldlfe not only sold out the original venue, Cat’s Cradle Back Room, but was then upgraded to the Cat’s Cradle Main Stage next door with a 750-person capacity. Jansen Hogan, the lead vocals, mentioned his shock to see almost a full house at Cat’s Cradle. After originally booking their show in the expected 250-capacity Back Room; the actual attendance nearly tripled between the tour announcement and now.

The Wldlfe opens the night with a synth walk-out track paired with a black-out stage that feeds into Lonely, the finale song on their most recent album, ‘Goodbye To All of That,’ and the energy starts out high from the beginning. The ground shook from fans jumping and gripping onto the barricade. After singing Close To You one song later, Jansen removed his sporting leather suit coat from the heat of him moving across the stage.

The Wldlfe Live at College

Back by popular demand and first featured on their set from Screaming in the Dark, The Wldlfe reintroduced their version of the Rick Roll; a medley of their hit “Box”, and “Best of Both Worlds” by Hannah Montana. It wasn’t made clear that the medley was being performed until the second verse; the band shares sneaky eye contact before the energy revs up and the first verse of Best of Both Worlds is sung. The perfect pair of songs provides an equal amount of banter with the crowd and an opportunity to use expressive hand motions in representation of lyrics, like during the first pre chorus,

“Confidence is a chore, am I lazy or bored; just one out of ten?”

To entertain the theme of a college tour, Jansen inquires about the rivalry between the 3 powerhouse universities that are the backbone of the research triangle. Based in and around Raleigh, North Carolina, is home to NC State University, UNC Chapel Hill, and Duke University. There was a clear winner to the shouting battle (Chapel Hill), but the band had to mute a few shouting matches between college fans with the next song.

With a set list featuring every single song from Goodbye To All of That, The Wldlfe’s most recent album, they still pay a tribute to some of their older music and how it raised them to the place they are now. The two older songs they give a specific shoutout to include You Don’t Love Me (Like You Used To). You Don’t Love Me features the first mellow moment of the night, providing time to be vulnerable with the crowd. The next song that follows, the other homage to their older music, The Other Side, amps up the energy instantly. Intentional lighting cues from their row of intimidators behind them sync with the beat drops, and the crowd moves in sync like a crashing wave.

The Wldlfe Live at College

Carson Hogan, the lead guitarist, after the end of the sad ballad Forgive and Forget, begins a monologue sharing intimate moments from a recent writing trip the band went on, and teased new music in the near future. Although there was no date of release that was shared, Carson did perform their unreleased song, “Wreck My Life,” they wrote on the trip. This song has the instrumental speed similar to their song Close to You, but includes themes of a temporary lover they are rather obsessed with. The crowd, although not knowing the lyrics, continued to stay upbeat, jumping and headbanging throughout the song as Carson sang. Jansen’s aura oozed brotherly love in direction to Carson, as this is one of four songs on the set with vocals by Carson exclusively.

Before Somebody’s Gonna Love You, members of the crowd presented Jansen with a UNC Chapel Hill flag littered with signatures of students with kind messages. Jansen proceeded to perform the following song while wearing the flag. The UNC flag had many cameos throughout the Wldlfe’s social media the following day, including an Instagram reel featuring fans signing it during the line queue.

For the second to last song of the evening, “All My Friends,” Jansen presents the question to the crowd, “Who in the crowd hates somebody?” After following cheers and hollers, the band offers one crowd member to come onto the stage and share a person they hate and why. The individual who was brought on stage in Carrboro dedicated the song to a friend’s ex-partner, and got to sing ‘All My Friends’ with Jansen and the rest of the band.

Wldlfe Live at College

The show is closed out by Blood Orange, a powerful rock ballad with a heavy guitar solo to close it out. This song also features the first I personally have seen a mosh pit at a pop concert. Some of the synth-style sound in the opening of the set is brought into the guitar solo wrapping up the song, followed by a bow and proud smiles from each member of the Wldlfe. I want to give a special shout out to the creators of the pre-show and post-show playlist; including songs such as “Kiss Me” by Sixpense None the Richer and “Life is a Highway” by the Rascal Flatts that kept the crowd singing from the moment they entered the venue to when they ventured home.

Abby Holiday North Carolina
By George North Carolina

The Wldlfe was accompanied by two opening sets; Abby Holliday, who will remain on tour with them, and By George, a local college band from North Carolina State University. By George advertises themselves as ‘Frog Pop,’ and has a large following in the Raleigh/Carrboro area.

Catch The Wldlfe for a vivacious and energy-contagious show before Live; at College is over this March. However, if you miss this vivacious and energy-contagious band, they have teased new music in the near future!

Show Date: 03.01.24 // Carrboro, NC @ CAt’s Cradle // The Wldlife Live at College
Photos & words by Alyssa Scinta

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