If one were to flip to the word “anachronism” in Webster’s, one might very well discover a picture of Wolfmother in concert; the band demonstrated their bold 70s/80s flair with a tremendous performance Wednesday night at the 9:30 Club. Featuring songs from their new album Victorious, they spared no bit of energy on that stage. I thought that the band’s drummer, Alex Carapetis, was going to keel over and die at several points during the show. He hammered his setup with colossal fervor throughout the entire night, and appeared to be possessed as his ludicrously long hair took dominion over his face. This brings up a crucial side note: the members of Wolfmother have quite possibly the wickedest hair in the modern day game—scraggly enough to match the likes of Creedence Clearwater Revival and Bachman Turner Overdrive. With a howling performance, Wolfmother demonstrated that they were indeed molded with the swagger of genuine rock and roll.
One of my favorite things to undertake at concerts is a thorough observance of the crowd demographic. While I have seen heavy extremes throughout my tenure as a concert-goer, Wolfmother introduced me to a following that I had not quite seen in any previous venue. I had burly bald Caucasian dudes head banging to my right, and I had a man old enough to be my grandfather too drunk to function on my left. I was engulfed in a sea of flannel complemented with strange accents of punk rock. To add to this newness, at the beginning of the show, five children—most definitely under the age of twelve—wandered through the crowd to the very front. Luckily for their parents, they retreated back from whence they came before the closer crowd really started to get into the music.
Now, focusing on the actual musical content of the event, the band played to the crowd instead of honing in on their new material. They featured merely four of the ten songs from Victorious, in contrast to eight songs off of their more well-known self-titled album. Each of their new songs was chased with a swig of the old. The leading song “Victorious” was quickly tailed by “New Moon Rising” and “Woman,” and was subsequently overshadowed. “The Love That You Give” received a similar treatment, as it was sandwiched between Wolfmother’s chaotic “Apple Tree” and mind-expanding “White Unicorn.” The only new song that truly held its own during the show was “Gypsy Caravan.” This independent success should largely be attributed to the fact that the songs around “Gypsy Caravan” were not really crowd rockers. Moreover, the song’s composition is much smoother than their prototypical piece, and is slightly gentler on the ears. Even before the concert, though, this track was a personal favorite of mine—its infectious chorus matches the ingenious composition of the band’s greater hits.
Regardless of their presentation of new music, Wolfmother performed with vigor and passion. Andrew Stockdale, the band’s lead singer and guitarist, rightfully switched up his guitar after nearly every song; I truthfully do not believe that merely one guitar could withstand the force of a full Wolfmother show. A testament to that intensity, I took part in my first mosh pit during their encore performance of “Joker and the Thief.” If given the chance, I would most definitely see them again.
photo credit to yours truly