To say that Alexandra Sholler, the Aussie DJ and producer, better known as Alison Wonderland, has seen her stock rise in 2018 would be quite an understatement.
Through the first two-thirds of 2018, she has already performed at some of the world’s largest festivals, including Belgium’s Tomorrowland, made history as the highest billed female DJ in the history of Coachella, and dropped her second studio album to widespread acclaim.
Wonderland’s sophomore effort Awake was released in April and cemented her presence in the industry with its experimental soundscapes draped in self-reflection. It’s also helped attract a wider overall audience thanks to its popular singles, including the smash hit Church,
The sheer scale of her sellout performance at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, with its 8,500-person capacity, in San Francisco on Saturday night proved that both Wonderland and her legion of fans are more than ready for the upper echelon of bass music.
Part of her U.S. tour in support of the project, which included a number of different major acts for opening performances at stops in Denver, Seattle, Dallas, Los Angeles, and Chicago, such as Elohim, Bleep Bloop, and Chet Porter among others, this particular night featured incredible support from Lunice and Baauer.
The 29-year-old best known for his 2012 viral hit Harlem Shake, Baauer was especially impressive. With minimal visuals and overall stage production, he pushed the crowd energy to just below its pinnacle using only his infectious mix of future bass, trap, and hip-hop.
Wonderland says Awake was an extremely introspective album, spending much of her time in the process of gathering and interpreting her own emotional state. Using a new perspective gained through those efforts, she began including more of her own musical talents in her work.
Opening with the orchestral lead track Good Enough, she gave the San Francisco crowd a first-hand look at her now signature cello skills. She would show her string skills once again with the album’s closing title track and offered her own vocals on a couple of occasions.
Though the energy never wavered throughout her hour-plus performance, at times, Wonderland was overtaken by the grandeur of it all. After dropping one of her back-breaking sequences, she would often climb atop her lofted platform to take in the scene, headbang, and scream along with the crowd, driving fans into an even greater degree of excitement.
Alison Wonderland stands on top of her performance table at the Bill Graham Auditorium in San Francisco on August 25, 2018 (Aaron Nelson).
Taking full advantage of her extended set time, Wonderland pushed her performance all the way to the venue’s cut-off limit. With over 90 minutes of music played, she included nearly every track from Awake, along with a number of singles from her debut full-length Run, and many of her most beloved remixes, including Dua Lipa‘s New Rules, Disclosure‘s When A Fire Starts To Burn, and Rage Against the Machine‘s Killing In The Name Of.
Near the end of the set, she even decided it was time to blast her favorite Bay Area rap music to celebrate.
Wonderland thanked fans for their endless support, clearly in awe of the spectacle. She has continued to express her thanks on social media since, claiming the show as the largest ticketed headlining event (non-festival) of her career.
Few stars appear to shine quite as brightly as that of Alison Wonderland in dance music today. As big of a step as this show represents, there is so much more to come from this unique talent.
The Awake tour will conclude in Washington, D.C., this weekend with two performances at Echostage featuring support from Good Enough collaborator Party Favor and Baauer on August 31, and September 1, respectively.