Remi Wolf takes another piece at The Fonda

Remi Wolf commanded the stage with her band at the first of two nights at the Fonda Theatre on Wednesday. The Bay Area pop star played over 75 minutes of tracks from 2021 debut album Juno as well as her previous EPs You’re A Dog!, I’m Allergic to Dogs! and We Love Dogs! Furry, four-legged friends aside (she like really, really loves her dog), Wolf’s inclusive show shined a spotlight on positivity and merriment, contrasting a swath of sad-girl dark-pop taking over the airwaves over the past several years. Remi Wolf’s opener slot on the current tour is New York-based indie-pop artist Grace Ives, whose set picked up midway with trippy, glitchy hip-hop beats following some ambient downtempo tracks. Her vibe was kind of a mysterious, storybook fairytale, but it’s unclear whether Ives was the princess or villain, donning an angelic white gown with either butterfly or bat wings. The quirky set brought to mind vocal similarities to Paula Cole and some other mid-90s singer-songwriters/alt-rockers and a standout was Ives’ 2019 song “Mirror”, fitting in nicely with the “mirror on the wall” imagery on stage.

A multi-colored, spray-painted couch lounged on stage for Remi Wolf’s headlining set and she jumped into her 2021 song “Liquor Store” with immediate energy. Bright colors resembling her whimsical music videos were in a continuous loop of crazy (that we were totally here for!) Wolf wore her “You Like Having Sex Like An Animal” trucker hat (a lyric from the opening song that were also on sale) and a t-shirt that fittingly read “Stop Being Not My Birthday”, while two of her band members sported their very appropriate tie-dye shirts. The tone felt like every day is Remi’s birthday —a spin art kaleidoscope of psychedelic visuals (including childlike refrigerator crayon drawings), as Wolf tore through the lyric “two, four, six, eight, who do we appreciate?” getting the crowd amped up.

Photos by Victoria Smith

The star of the night is not one to shy away from her love of Red Hot Chili Peppers and though the song “Anthony Kiedis” did not make the set list, Wolf sounded inspired by the RHCP frontman on the funked-up “WYD”, with its slight reggae vibes, live trumpet, incredible percussion and bongos added to the mix (played by songwriting partner Jared Solomon).

The crowd was feeling it on the pop jam “Grumpy Old Man”, jumping in unison by the final chorus and generally going nuts. “We started tour two days ago and you know we started in San Francisco”, greeted Wolf. “It’s my hometown but I’ve lived in LA for eight years, and I really hate to compare cities, but you guys are far superior. This is quite fun!”

The funky, tripped out “Monte Carlo” with its reggae groove got the kids jumping for the next one, showcasing Wolf’s wildfire rapping skills. She infused her unapologetic swagger on “Sexy Villain” next with the whole place grooving as the trumpet blasted throughout and a really solid guitar solo impressed as fans sang along with their hands up.

“Yes! Yes! Yes!”, said Wolf three times in a spirited way. “Sexy…you all are sexy, do you know that?” Casually strutting on stage she added, “You know it’s a state of mind, babies”.

Remi Wolf’s teasing continued on the mid-tempo funk jam “Liz”, owning the stage like she just don’t care. Then a surprise cover completely floored the crowd. Remi Wolf demolished an outstanding version of Janis Joplin’s calling card “Piece Of My Heart” with her band, in a way few other artists could. The big notes, the gravelly screams and the energy were all high, Wolf running across the stage during the instrumental, whipping her hair in every possible direction while the crowd sang along. It was a truly brilliant version and she made it her own.

Photos by Victoria Smith

A little jazz improv battle with trumpet player Danny Ferenbach happened, with Remi playfully following the trumpets toots with her own jazzy vocal hoots. Wolf shook her hips on the bop “Hello Hello Hello”, while the audience clapped with intensity during the bridge and the lyrics “she’s starflower and coffee, you can put her in your pocket, and take her across the country”.

The crowd continued to take in the madness of the night with the power-pop love ditty “Buzz Me In” as the trumpet blasted. Wolf performed pop/rock song “Sally” and barely stopped the whole evening other than for a few moments talking to the crowd and she took a moment for a mid-show meditation session. “We’re going to do a big inhale, 1, 2, 3, and exhale. We’re going to do it one more time”.

The rowdy, rap-rock anthem “Quiet On Set” was next, with people jumping like crazy, singing along, as the trumpet, guitar (Jack DeMeo) and bass banged hard as Remi rapped. The crowd was once again riled up from this one, with rapid clapping. “That’s a good one, ay?”, as she laughed, suddenly taking on a British accent. “Maybe it’s a coping mechanism”, pondered Wolf.

Remi Wolf completely embodied the song “Woo!”, contorting herself as the crowd joined in on the lyrics of this popular one, as she belted “oh baby, take me higher and higher” with force. Wolf further let loose with swagger and some vocal improv, as she rapped her way through the reggae-tinged pleaser “Guerrilla”.

Photos by Victoria Smith

Wolf introduced her band and said, “I’m shit on stage if you find a better band”. Drummer Conor Malloy then switched places with Remi because “Remi likes to play the drums”, and she did so as Conor yelled out positive affirmations like, “I am in the right place doing the right thing” and “I know how to do my taxes” as well as “My new glasses are actually cool”. The amusing, perfectly Gen Z bit was fun and reflected the vibe of the entire night.

Wolf introduced the next song being from her first EP and said “It’s gonna slap”. “Shawty” was the song and slap it did, a total crowd pleaser with a continuous bounce. The rap portion was especially catchy and Wolf appropriately mashed up a few moments with the lyric “banging on the bathroom floor” from Shaggy’s “It Wasn’t Me”.

The set ended with Remi Wolf’s biggest smash to date, “Photo ID”, taking The Fonda to a new level of crazy, with funky guitars and bass as psychedelic prisms of color flooded the jumbo screen. Wolf bench-pressed the mic stand, rode it suggestively and danced like it was her last night with a heartbeat. If only “Photo ID” collaborator and Euphoria star of the moment Dominic Fike were there as a surprise guest!

An encore include the pretty ballad “Street You Live On”, a moving song with excellent instrumentation from the trumpet and guitars. The crowd joined in on the last chorus with Wolf while hands and lights were up. The funk track “Disco Man” closed out the show with yet another glorious trumpet, the crowd singing along and gyrating to the groovy track.

Much has been said about Remi Wolf’s showmanship, her charisma, her one-of-a-kind personality and stage antics. That’s all there, but so is the voice. She can literally sing anything —proof being the Janis Joplin cover, but this rising star does weird wonderfully, welcoming unique elements of her voice to her music. She creates noises, snarls, accents, tones, sings, raps, huffs and puffs and certainly blows the house down.

Following her headlining tour in January and February, Remi Wolf will join Lorde in April and May on tour across North America with two dates at the Shrine Auditorium, May 5 and 6 and another at Santa Barbara Bowl on May 7. Her current dates are below:

Remi Wolf Headlining Dates

1.27.2022 Los Angeles, CA at The Fonda Theatre
1.30.2022 Seattle, WA at Showbox SODO
1.31.2022 Portland, OR at Crystal Ballroom
2.3.2022 Minneapolis, MN at First Avenue
2.4.2022 Chicago, IL at Metro
2.6.2022 Columbus, OH at Newport Music Hall
2.8.2022 Toronto, ON at Phoenix
2.10.202 New York, NY at Webster Hall
2.11.2022 New York, NY at Webster Hall
2.13.2022 Boston, MA at Royale
2.14.2022 Washington, DC at 9:30 Club
2.16.2022 Philadelphia, PA at Union Transfer

Opening Dates with Lorde

4.3.2022 Nashville, TN at Opry House
4.5.2022 Detroit, MI at Masonic Temple Theatre
4.7.2022 Montreal, QC at Salle Willfrid Pelletier
4.8.2022 Toronto, ON at Meridian Hall
4.9.2022 Toronto, ON at Meridian Hall
4.12.2022 Boston, MA at Boch Center Wang Theatre
4.13.2022 Boston, MA at Boch Center Wang Theatre
4.15.2022 Uncasville, CT at Mohegan Sun Arena
4.16.2022 Washington, DC at The Anthem
4.18.2022 New York, NY at Radio City Music Hall
4.19.2022 New York, NY at Radio City Music Hall
4.20.2022 Philadelphia, PA at The Met
4.22.2022 Chicago, IL at The Chicago Theatre
4.23.2022 Chicago, IL at The Chicago Theatre
4.25.2022 Minneapolis, MN at The Armory
4.27.2022 Denver, CO at The Mission Ballroom
4.30.2022 Seattle, WA at WaMu Theater
5.1.2022 Portland, OR at Theater of the Clouds
5.3.2022 San Francisco, CA at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium
5.5.2022 Los Angeles, CA at Shrine Auditorium
5.6.2022 Los Angeles, CA at Shrine Auditorium
5.7.2022 Santa Barbara, CA at Santa Barbara Bowl

Main photos and all photos by Victoria Smith.