May 11, 2014
House of Blues - Dallas
Dallas, TX USA
Review by Michael Insuaste
Photos by Michael Insuaste
Wolfmother Returns With A Bite
Not often do I get to experience two high energy rock shows back to back from the same group, but when I do, they better kick ass! I can openly and honestly say that today there are not many rock bands that will knock your socks off from the sound of the first guitar note to the time they walk off stage. Australia's three piece Wolfmother fits that breed.
The Wolves rolled into town for one ‘Mother' of a rock show at the Dallas House of Blues and another one in Houston the following night that left everyone in both houses salivating for more. With minimal gear on tour and really no stage frills, this band put on one hell of a performance with enough moxie to put most bands to shame!
Fronted by founding member Andrew Stockdale on lead guitar and vocals, the flamboyant persona of Ian Peres on bass and keyboard and the persistent timing of Vin Steele on drums, the power-house trio began their show with such a charge from the get go that it set the tone for their two hour concert. With only one commercial success under their belt, "Women," from their 2005 debut LP and accolades from their 2006 Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance, the faithful Wolfmother fan base came out and showed their support holding nothing back and expecting a balls out performance from the 3pc band. The HOB was truly a madhouse!
On tour in support of their newest release, New Crown, Wolfmother hopes to gain new fan success as they recently began their 2014 US tour literally 5 shows ago. Speaking backstage with bassist, Ian Peres, he explains how the band enjoys performing live whether it's in a small venue or a big outdoor festival, the band's energy never lacks and the fans make it happen. Some of their biggest support comes from Mexico where Wolfmother has a huge following. Go figure. Drummer Vinny Steele, the newest member of the Wolf Pack and a Belgium native, digs being on the road, especially getting to perform some of the new material live, a break from his laid back home life where he lives on a farm with his wife. Main man, Andrew Stockdale, cannot help but ride high while on tour, especially with the tight rhythm section he engages with every night. Performing is his life as he explained how the spark from the fans brings out the best in him night after night. This is apparent as he joins the crowd for an intimate moment during each show, jumping in the barricade, getting close to the fans face to face... and during the Houston gig, toking it up with a few fans that showed a camaraderie not seen in todays musicians.
Both performances were incredible! Getting to watch most of the Dallas show from the HOB balcony, I was able to see the fans reaction around the room. It was quite a scene, especially from the top view to the floor where a mosh pit sparked up from time to time that left the HOB security crew at a loss with no stopping it. The band's musicianship was clearly outstanding for a 3 piece unit especially Ian Peres who literally does double duty throughout the show playing bass to keyboard, or sometimes both, without missing a note. WOW!
Because of the band's grace, I was able to get full access which allowed me to shoot the entire Houston show. Having this permission is a photographer's ultimate adrenaline rush. From the front of the stage to exclusive side stage access and shooting from the balcony, I was able to capture this explosive band from every angle. Quite a treat! If I had to compare or choose which show was the best, I would have to say the Houston performance and crowd reaction wins hands down! The band would agree.
This was my first time to see Wolfmother live. The experience of seeing back to back performances, Dallas, then Houston, allowed me to embrace this band at their best. Getting to hang out with them after both shows, with their crew and some invited fans is something I will keep with me for some time. Big thanks to Tony for the full photo access hook up, and Ian for taking the time to be a regular bro. If there is one thing I can say to any straight up lover of rock and roll, go see Wolfmother. They are the epitome of a rock group, from their music to their stage presence, Wolfmother delivers a killer show every time, every show!