Review: Wolfmother at Stubb’s
As the cooler air swept into Austin last Halloween weekend, it brought with it the Australian rock, Grammy-winning powerhouse that is Wolfmother–the somewhat polarizing band who manages to split critics’ opinions with their psychedelic rock style, drawing stylistic comparisons to Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Steppenwolf and early Queens of the Stone Age. Regardless of what people compare them to, however, the 4-piece group rolled into Austin touring on their newest album, Cosmic Egg–a sophomore album (and first with the group’s new members) that showcases a gritty, classic guitar rock sound, greatly echoing that of their 2005 self-titled debut. Even with the internal riffs and band break-up that plagued and ultimately purged them during these past 4 years, the “new” Wolfmother managed to put on an extremely crowd-pleasing and original showcase at Stubb’s BBQ this past Friday.
Having been to my fair share of Stubb’s shows, I think it’s safe to say that in order for any act to have a successful night at this venue, they need to pack some solid confidence, wicked tunes, and be able to assemble the masses. Thankfully, Wolfmother delivered. As temperatures slipped into the high 40’s/low 50’s–which as we know, constitutes “freaking cold” in Texas–the massive throng of Wolfmother fans quickly became a rippling block of bodies, as hands and arms flailed in the air, pumping fists, keeping up with the rhythm in what little space they had. To move across the crowd was nearly impossible, as the masses gravitated toward the front, mesmerized by the thrilling throws of guitar and the raspy yet soaring voice of lead singer Andrew Stockdale. It was everything I imagined a true rock-and-roll concert to be… loud, hard, raw, and highly entertaining. Although stage theatrics were virtually non-existent (save some throbbing colored strobes), the stunning electrical guitar riffs, heaving basslines, and crowd energy were optimal substitutes and ultimately gave the perfect chance for the rawness of the music to be successfully mirrored in the rawness of the performance.
With an enthralling stage presence (no doubt furthered by Stockdale’s signature afro locks and vibrant energy), Wolfmother rocked out on a mix of new and old songs, beginning with a debut album choice “Dimension”, closing out the first set with Cosmic Egg song “In the Castle”, and ending the encore set with fan favorite (and most renowned) “Joker & The Thief.” From the moment they stepped on the stage until (an impressive 18 songs later) the band left Stubb’s, Wolfmother put on one hell of a rock-and-roll show. Hopefully, they’ll be back soon!
[To check out set list and to hear some of the songs, click here!]
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