Wolfmother roar at the House of Blues

A review of Wolfmother at the House of Blues on November 7, 2009

, Staff

Going into a Wolfmother show, it’s pretty clear what you’re going to get from the band: the Australian quartet bring hard rock the likes of which we don’t get to hear too often nowadays, a throwback to the classic rock sound of the 60s and 70s, amplified and heavier. It’s no surprise, then, that when the band brought their act to the House of Blues last week, the audience was given a good old-fashioned loud-as-hell rock and roll show.

The show kicked into high gear immediately with “Dimension,” singer/guitarist Andrew Stockdale calling the rest of his new-look band into action with a high-pitched screech that brought the proceedings to order. The song focused on the relentless downbeats dropped by new members bassist Ian Peres and drummer Dave Atkins who replaced original members Chris Ross and Myles Heskett earlier this year. Stockdale’s vocals, which pretty much make Wolfmother, lose none of their power when brought out of the studio, ringing out clearly above the instruments, nailing every single pitch.

From “Dimension,” the band brought out “Cosmic Egg,” the title track of their new album. It’s kind of nice to hear that Wolfmother are doing very little to change their sound in between albums – if anything, the new material is just moreso what the first album was, with its fat, loud guitars, raucous drums and irresistible grooves. And the grooves were irresistible all night. About halfway through the set, Wolfmother dropped “Woman” on the audience, which really got everyone going, being the most well-known song played up to that point. Everyone was headbanging – it was impossible not to.

Unfortunately, it’s hard to really say too much else about the music as the band didn’t really deviate from the studio cuts of their songs. The concert was fun throughout, sure, but this isn’t really a band that you absolutely must see live. It should be said, though, that the band sounds just as tight and together live as they do in the studio, which is a very positive testament to their musicality.

The set closed out with “In the Castle”, another cut from the new album. As an encore, the band slowed things down a bit with “Vagabond”, a nice medium-tempo, light and warm piece. It didn’t last long, though, followed up by “Back Round”, and closing out with the inevitable performance of “Joker And The Thief”, which everyone was waiting for, and ended things on a very high note.

It’s tough to gauge how much longevity a band like Wolfmother has. While their formula might work, it does tend to grow old by the end of an album, let along a ninety-minute concert. For what they are, though, it’s thoroughly enjoyable, and it’s hard to get too into the nitty-gritty of the band’s songwriting abilities when you’re rocking out as hard as you do at one of their shows.

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