story by Christen Thomas photos by Dorothy Hong
The first time I saw Wolfmother was at The FADER space at last year’s CMJ. Since that initial NY invasion, it seems like the Aussie trio swings through town every month or so, and I’ve yet to miss any of their performances. From Tonic to Mercury Lounge to Bowery Ballroom to Saturday’s show at Webster Hall – I am seriously fucking into this band. With every venue upgrade, the audience has slightly shifted. Saturday at Webster reminded me of seeing the Shins at Webster after Garden State and the White Stripes at Coney Island after “7 Nation Army” – the shows when you realize that your band is now everyone’s band, and that’s definitely not a bad thing.
In fact, what made this Wolfmother show stand out was the amazing guy who ended up standing behind us. My buddy and I were talking about seeing Wolfmother at Tonic back in the day, and even though that show was fucking mind-blowing, every time we’ve seen them they’ve gotten better and he chimed in being all excited that this was his first time seeing the band. Then, when the lights dimmed and the black-light effect started on their backdrop of a moon and craggy hill, he started chanting/hollering “Wolf Mother Fucker! Wolf Mother Fucker!” He jumped up and down and sang along with the crazed party I was rolling with. He got appropriately jazzed when the band pulled out “Love Train” live. After the band finished Round One of slaying Webster Hall, as we all waited and cheered for the band to return for a couple more tunes, he magically started chanting, “We Believe! We Believe!” interspersed with the “Wolf Mother Fucker!”
And the excitement and mania was deserved. Andrew Stockdale is an undeniable front man, strutting his fro and guitar riffs across the stage. It’s hard to imagine anyone being able to distract full attention from a front man that commanding, but Chris Ross’ jumping, spinning, keyboard humping and collapsing is mesmerizing. Stepping away from his kit after every song, challenging it to stand up to his manic drum fills, Myles Heskett is a man to be reckoned with. The fellas will be performing “Woman” at the MTV Movie Awards post-show on Thursday at 11 and will be playing to the sedate crowds on Letterman on Friday. Set your Tivos.