Review: Wolfmother and Lionize Rock the 9:30 Club

by Sam Cronin

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Friday June 14, 2019

Andrew Stockdale of Wolfmother performs at a packed show at 9:30
Andrew Stockdale of Wolfmother performs at a packed show at 9:30  (Source:Sam Cronin)

It was 10:30 at the 9:30 Club and the house was playing exclusively Tenacious D. The crowd was waiting for Australian rockers Wolfmother to take the stage.

After a final thank you from openers Lionize, a brief intermission and sound check, Wolfmother came out to raucous applause. Their set took us through a good portion of their back catalog, up to the most recent "Slipstream" from singer Andrew Stockdale's solo LP.

During the set, several people crowd surfed while nervous venue staff looked on. A fan offered Andrew a fireball from the front row, which he politely declined. "Coming here for the show" was enough to get him excited.

"Who's up for a drum solo?" he asked an eager audience as he stepped aside for Hamish Rosser, wild-eyed and burning with intensity, to take the spotlight.

For this, their last American show on the tour, the band gave it their all before heading to their next show in Budapest. One of the songs that got the biggest audience reaction was their first song from their first album, "Dimension."

"Are you ready to go...?" Stockdale asked, hand to his ear.

"INTO ANOTHER DIMENSION!" the crowd shouted back in unison, as Stockdale kicked off the song with a primal scream.

After their solid crunch of a hard rock set, fans demanded an encore of "One more song!" And they obliged, returning for a rendition of "Joker and the Thief," also from their first album.

"Here we go DC... Let's blow the roof off this joint!" Stockdale said as the band played out their encore. All left happy, except people wanting to pick up Wolfmother merch on the way out the door. They were already sold out.

Opening for Wolfmother were Maryland natives Lionize. After thanking Wolfmother for inviting them on tour, they busted into a boozy, bluesy rock set that felt very Clutch inspired, and fittingly so as Tim Sult, fellow Marylander and guitarist of Clutch, is a frequent collaborator.

In between songs the band members raised their beers to the audience and thanked us all for showing up. In response, some hardcore fans of bassist Henry Upton cheered him on with shouts of "We love you, Hank!"

Singer Nathan Bergman took us through the story of how they left their old label because they didn't love rock 'n roll and how they went on to form their own label Electric Reckoning Music.

It was a great night of music, with two bands featuring rare rock 'n roll keyboardists that proved Elton John right when he called piano "the most ungainly rock' n' roll instrument of all time."

Wolfmother's European tour will continue through July before they return to their native Australia for more summer dates. Andrew Stockdale's new album, "Slipstream" is available now. Lionize is playing their final summer show in Canada in August, and their most recent album, "Loneliest Whale," released earlier this month.