Wolfmother debuted their new line-up for hundreds of eager fans at the Los Angeles Natural History Museum last Friday night. Surrounded by stuffed bobcats, moose and, yes, wolves, the recently reconstituted band previewed several hard-rocking tracks from their forthcoming album, Cosmic Egg, at the sold-out show.
Curly-haired frontman Andrew Stockdale – the only remaining member since two-thirds of the trio left in 2008 due to “irreconcilable personal and musical differences” – put his new group through the paces as they ironed out the kinks of their embryonic incarnation.
“It’s good to be here in Los Angeles, our home away from home,” Stockdale told the crowd at their only scheduled U.S. show to date, adding, “It’s been too long.” Fists in the air, the audience roared, ecstatic to see the Australians – now a quartet – back onstage. The group debuted a handful of new songs during their hour-long set, including the explosive album title track, which incited a frenzied mosh pit, and “California Queen”, which Stockdale dedicated to the Golden State.
“I never thought I’d be back here doing this again,” the singer said after the show, admitting he had doubts about whether Wolfmother would carry on after the departure of his former band-mates. “I didn’t even know if the songs could be played by other people. Someone told me I should do a solo project, but it seemed too pretentious. I wanted to continue as Wolfmother.”
Stockdale explained that the new line-up developed organically through referrals and chance encounters. “They’re having the time of their lives,” he said of his new band-mates: guitarist Aidan Nemeth, bassist-keyboardist Ian Peres and drummer Dave Atkins. Although they appeared to miss a couple of cues during the show, the new band proved themselves capable and confident, leaving the crowd screaming for more. Wolfmother obliged, returning for a slightly ironic encore, which saw Stockdale re-emerge wearing a flashy 1970s-era jumpsuit, pulling his best rock-god poses on “Joker & The Thief.”