Turning Back Clocks

Last weekend the United States rewound their clocks one hour. Last Monday night I rewound my internal clock to the mid-1990s, while the band Wolfmother rewound Rock and Roll’s clock back the the early 1970’s.

Last Monday night I was given the opportunity by CLEAR to attend, and live-blog, the Wolfmother show at The Tabernacle. When I arrived at The Tabernacle I met with CLEAR’s representative Ben and was told that the show had been moved from The Tabernacle main stage to the basement of the building — the space which was once known as the (new) Cotton Club. I was perfectly fine with the new arrangement as I love shows in smaller spaces, but unfortunately the change in venue also meant that I’d be unable to “live” blog the show because there was no place that I could be positioned to see what was going on without being in view of the bands and in a location where CLEAR’s signal could be received. As a nice gesture I was allowed to attend the show for free in exchange for this post (see, being a Metblogs author does have some benefits!).

The night was actually a triple bill. Unfortunately I never caught the name of the first band to take the stage; they put on a spirited, short set of rock which was well received by the small, but growing audience.

Second on the bill was Ohio’s Heartless Bastards. This band has been getting a lot of indie buzz of late so I was happy to get the opportunity to hear them for the first time. The band, which is a typical four-piece with anything but typical female lead singer, performed an admirable set which the crowd seemed to enjoy. I’ll admit that the band’s sound never quite caught my ear and I was pleased to see them wrap up their set as boredom set in.

With the “Cotton Club” now packed “Wolfmother” took the stage. But first I must inject some math to explain Wolfmother’s lineup…

Wolfmother[2009] = (Wolfmother[2008] – (original_member *2)) + (new_member * 3);

“What the hell does that mean?” you say? The current Wolfmother lineup consists of Andrew Stockdale (lead singer and original member), and Ian Peres, Aidan Nemeth, Dave Atkins who all joined the band after the departure of original members Chris Ross and Myles Heskett in 2008. Wolfmother formed in Australia in the early 2000’s and wound up changing band members after their first cd when Ross and Heskett left the band citing “artistic differences.” The new band lineup was responsible for Wolfmother’s latest cd “Cosmic Egg” which was released earlier this year.

How does one describe Wolfmother’s sound? Easy! Wolfmother’s sound can best be described as the love child of early Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath! Stockdale has brought back the 1970’s Rock and Roll sound with a vengeance, wailing into the microphone and pulling off guitar riffs that have must have Jimmy Page nodding with approval. All that’s missing from a Wolfmother show to make it authentic are acid-dropping teens, psychedelic lighting, and sequined bell-bottom jumpsuits.

Don’t take my description as an indication that I didn’t enjoy Wolfmother’s set. Just the opposite in fact. And, if the full house’s reaction was any indication I was not the only one “into” the show. Youngsters and old farts alike, yours truly is 44, were head bobbing and fist pumping throughout the entire set. Wolfmother obliged with a nearly two-hour set filled with great musicianship and showmanship. My only regret was that I didn’t sneak a camera into the show so that I could include some photos into this posting.

“Next time we play Atlanta we’ll be playing upstairs!” stated Stockdale at one point in the show. And you know, I believe him.

If you ever get the opportunity to see a show in the space formerly known as the Cotton Club I recommend you go. The only thing you need to take into account for this space is that the line-of-sight in the room is weird for such a small, rectangular space. Many locations are visually obscured by signage, poles, or air-conditioning duct work, so get there early and secure a good place to stand.

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