Ahhhh the good ol’ Fonda Theater, where so many fond memories have been made. A place where thousands of bands have played, from Radiohead to the Red Hot Chili Peppers. However tonight’s stage belongs to both Deap Valley andWolfmother who tore the fucking roof right off! There isn’t anything like catching a fiery hard rock concert with your father in the City of Angels. Both Deap Valley and Wolfmother gave Los Angeles the treat they deserved on the night of March 26,2015.
It was a bit nippy outside as we all stood in line eagerly awaiting for the doors to open. Before you knew it we were all being patted down and allowed to file into the venue at 8:00 PM. Getting into the venue and getting the spot I wanted took little to no effort as we were one of the early birds. I stood there eagerly awaiting to hear Wolfmother’s’ guitars ripple through the air. Soon the lights dimmed and while Wolfmother did not take the stage, we did get out first taste of some distorted, heavy rock n’ roll.
Rock duo Lindsey Troy and Julie Edwards both took the stage as Deap Valley and let me say they were the perfect band to warm up the stage for Wolfmother. They started playing as soon as they took the stage and you could immediately feel the energy in the air. Everything about them was hard, raw, and heavy. They opened with “Bad for My Body” which set the tone for the rest of their set. The fast and solid drum beat was accompanied with heavy guitar riffs and both worked together to bring the house the down. Although the giant Wolfmother banner was up behind them you could still tell the focus was still very much on Deap Valley themselves as they ripped through song after song to make sure that they were not overshadowed by Wolfmother. While this might seem difficult to do,they nearly accomplished this due to their distorted White Stripes noise they produced and their energy given off as they played. While their theatrics weren’t anything special, they were definitely alive and kicking. Everything from their outfits to the fact that leader singer Lindsey Troy was barefoot, slithering across the stage in her leopard skin tight one piece ensemble gave off the Rock N’ Roll vibe. As with most opening acts the crowd was not as responsive as one could’ve hoped for, at least until lead singer whispered ” You’ve got bodies, move em baby” which seemed to awaken the crowd from their slumber. As the crowd starting to move more in tune with the rock duo you couldn’t help but notice the chemistry these two performers had with each other. As the lead singer played off the drummer and even went so far as to stand on the bass drum as both vivaciously played their new single “Royal Jelly”. While they definitely did not steal the show from Wolfmother, Deap Valley did make sure that we did not forget them and they surely accomplished this.
After about 20-30 minutes of waiting the Fonda Theater went completely dark. With no warning Link Ray’s track “Rumble” from cult classic Pulp Fiction filled the air and set a sort of ominous tone. Roaring consumed the entire venue as the crowd knew what was about to happen. The lights flipped back on slowly to reveal Andrew Stockdale, Ian Peres, and Alex Carapetis also known as Wolfmother. Quickly the haunting tone was wiped away as they opened up with their fast new track “Victorious”.
Wolfmother makes their presence known immediately by giving out the vitality of a 16-year-old punk rock degenerate. Every song simply got harder and stronger as they went through their setlist. Much to my surprise they played an even amount of songs off of each album. In addition they not only recreated how they sounded off the album but they made themselves sound much rawer and complex than they do in the studio. With their ferocious energy and simple addition of reverbs and a little more distortion, they brought the crowd to an intense moment of excitement and ecstasy. We were even treated with a bass and drum solo. The energy of all three band members was striking but the one band member that definitely stood out was bassist/ keyboardist Ian Peres who bounced around the stage and riled up the crowd to its maximum vivacity. What was even more impressive was Stockdale’s power to command the crowd as a veteran performer, using brief moments to gaze at the crowd in a demonic fashion,
Regardless of the fact that more than half of the crowd was populated by older people, everyone was as alive as the band members themselves. I often found my eyes observing the audience for long periods simply because they were so active. With both the band members and the mob of people’s energy all in one little area, one might’ve thought they could bring the house down as everyone was having a good time and jamming out. There was a older gentleman who looked like Weird Al with white hair who was easily caught up in matching the energy of the crowd and the performance as he unabashedly did the freak out dance. Wolfmother ended their performance with crowd favorite “Joker and the Thief” which amped everyone to their maximum capacity sending the crowd into a frenzy. As not only a massive mosh pit formed but Andrew Stockdale even cracked the neck off his Gibson SG with 3 humbucker pickups. Eventually when Wolfmother’s performance came to end, they had left me and the LA crowd wanting more.
Overall both Wolfmother and Deap Valley brought the house down and showed Los Angeles that Rock N’ Roll is still very much alive and thriving.