Wolfmother, Soft White Sixties prove rock still alive on Sunset Strip

Wednesday night at The Roxy, Aussie rocker Wolfmother made the third stop of a brief tour of California. The venue was sold-out, jam packed, and very sweaty. They do have air conditioning at the Roxy but it’s all in the entryway, FYI.

Running through their mountain of psych/hard/bluesy rock material singer/guitarist Andrew Stockdale and gang burned up the stage with the musical heat of 1000 suns. Blasting off with “Victorious”, the title track from their 2016 album, the band tore through 14 songs spanning their career with highlights including “California Queen”, “Chase The Feeling” with Chris Cester from Jet adding vocals, and, of course, one of the greatest songs ever, “Woman” (4th in the set).

Funniest part of the night was banter several songs into the show when Stockdale stood back and took in the view of the sold out venue and stepped forward to say there’s still rock and roll on the Sunset Strip. “They haven’t turned this place into a disco yet? EDM? Shove this up your EDM”. The crowd ate it up. Then Wolfmother ripped into another massive riff on his Gibson SG and we were all off on another heavy adventure.

Openers The Soft White Sixties have a classic sound that complemented Wolfmother perfectly, but with clearly different influences. The formerly San Francisco now Los Angeles based band tends more roots/soul/60’s sounding than Wolfmother’s stoner/psych/70’s steez.

With a tighter than tight rhythm section and classic soul/rock guitar layers the band lays a bedrock for singer Octavio Genera to go wild, vocally and physically within the space on stage. He’s a whirlwind of energy for the entire set jumping around, swinging the microphone, dancing with the mic stand, and the whole time he’s also singing with a rich, smooth, and soulful tone that can go from a soft and poetic murmur to a fiery roar, sometimes within just one song. The whole set is highlights, but “Miss Beverly” feels like their staple song and always goes over huge.

Words and photos by Tim Aarons