The foundations of Kool Haus shook Wednesday night with two bands that know exactly what a rock and roll band should sound like. Australia’s Wolfmother, famous for their hair and incredibly loud guitar-driven rock, headlined the evening with the support of Cincinnati’s Heartless Bastards, who opened with a stellar performance of their own and are sure to be headlining in the not too distant future. Guitarist and singer Erika Wennerstrom sounded especially solid during the Bastard’s performance of “The Mountain,” conjuring Siouxsie Sioux with her vocals. The audience reacted positively to the Bastards’ set and I’m sure most would have been happy to hear a few more songs from the band, despite their obvious anticipation for Wolfmother.
Excitement surged when Andrew Stockdale and the rest of the Wolfmother stepped onto the stage. With a style that is reminiscent of legends like Led Zeppelin, Wolfmother brings both the classic hard rock sound and the accompanying live energy of decades past. Often compared to Robert Plant, and clearly meant as a compliment, Stockdale’s vocals are arguably superior in range, power, and clarity. Fans were indulged with songs off the self-titled debut album (which Stockdale recorded with different members than he now performs with) including “Apple Tree,” “White Unicorn,” and a brilliant version of their hit “Woman.” New material from the recently released Cosmic Egg was also featured. The professionalism, unity, and experience of the four-piece was evident as they battled, and overcame, amplifier and guitar malfunctions without so much as a hiccup. The extended versions of some songs had fans taking full advantage of the mishaps, waving their hands in the air and cheering wildly. An already magnificent performance was capped off with a hard-rocking three-song encore.
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