When I see a band live that I really love, there’s always a teeny bit of worried in me that they may have lost their mojo or having a bad day and it’ll ruin something in my memories; quite irrational really, never fear. Wolfmother literally caned the living shit out of Auckland’s Powerstation like I have NEVER seen before.
The crowd at the sold-out show were amped to see the headliners too, the sound there is great, plus its size is perfect to see the stage & band no worries.
After a very down played, melodic, doomy yet aurally pleasant set from Auckland’s own GreenFrog a three-piece band, quite insular in presence, big instrumentals, not a band to grab you by the jumper and thrash you to pieces and certainly not what I was expecting, but really nice listening actually; a band perfect for the main band to swoop in a melt your face off. Great stuff GreenFrog, groovy set!
So, when Wolfmother came on-stage like a bomb fell in the room. A quick hi from lead singer / guitarist Andrew Stockdale, Ian Peres (bass/keyboards) who tore onstage like a caged animal set free and surprise behind the kit Hamish Rosser (Alex Carapetis has been touring drummer and expected) the room went abso-freaking-lutely mad for the shows entiret … It’s what I like to call rock n roll proper!
I’m a big fan but trust me, I’m reviewing this as objectively as one can. You’d be pretty mean spirited in all honesty to not be impressed by Wolfmother's stage presence, their energy, their songs or their sheer talent as musicians. Andrew Stockdale’s vocals are stunning, with some strong pipes he delivers lyrics with force on the money. Ian Peres is crazy to behold, yet the bass is sounding solid & groovy, the pizzazz, the playing the of the keys with his feet, the jumps… holy hell it was all there! Big thumping drums in your chest that nearly wind you, with the only downtime being when the guitars needed a quick tune (barely noticeable) You would have to be pretty dam miserable to not appreciate the level of happiness and excitement the band brought forth from that crowd on Friday night. From inception, the band belted out favourites beginning the set with Victorious, all the noise, and the songs we love just kept coming!
Although Wolfmother have recently visited our shores supporting Guns N' Roses, the last time I caught Wolfmother’s full set live was in Dunedin a few years ago when the band was supporting Aerosmith. They blew my freaking mind then too, they melted our faces off and completely stole the show (for me). I walked away not only a ridiculous fangirl but a believer... a believer that proper rock n roll was not dying with all my heroes as the years passed, that there were still great heavy ROCK bands out there dripping in glorious monolithic fuzzed out riffs. With musicians that strut around a stage like the rock gods of the 70’s, bands who actually played their instruments themselves without machines or vocal auto tuners (aaack!). Bands that played Heavy rock n roll music with guitar solos (not quite as indulgent as the 80’s but there still) music with big fucking balls, melodies and real songs you could sing, dance head-bang along to… whatever …. Real rock n roll wasn’t dying …. Wolfmother live for me are in this category and they didn’t disappoint on Friday.
Although not many words were spoken the connection and audience participation was glorious with singing & dancing; there was no fear of looking like a dick, this was rock n roll like I’ve not seen in what seems like an age, there were stage divers with ninja styled rolls onto the stage, a quick arm around Andrew (who didn’t flinch a bit by the way…. unlike security) and then huge crowd dives & surfs. I guess what I saw was a bloody happy audience, so taken up by the music, laughing, talking to anybody… Wolfmother have that thing that good old-fashioned rock n roll is made of. RAD mad and totally brilliant!
“Dancing and headbanging are truly individualistic expressions of losing oneself fully in appreciation of music - who better to combine these things into a singular vision than someone who’s directed Madonna and Lady Gaga videos - and also happens to have been a member of Bathory?” — Joshua Homme
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