Bad weather is the last thing a musician wants at their concert. When navy blue clouds opened their bellies above the Stellenbosch Van der Stel Sports Grounds on the evening of 12 October, they threatened to ruin the evening and disappoint the audience.

Yet, the local Afrikaans rock band Spoegwolf could turn what could have been a chilly, wet evening into a heartwarming, fiery experience with an electrifying performance at the 2023 Toyota SU Woordfees.

The moment Danie du Toit, lead singer and guitarist of the band, stepped onto the stage, he halted the existence of everything else in the vicinity. For just over sixty minutes, all eyes were locked on him, his band and their enthusiastic dance moves. Each member had enough musical talent to command the stage and the audience’s attention for hours.

Rain that could have made for an unpleasant evening was transformed into ambient glitter by the lights and smoke surrounding the well-loved band, Spoegwolf on stage as they delivered a performance that made the audience forget about the chilly weather. VIDEO: Jess Holing

 A team effort 

It’s a simple equation, really. Take an audience hanging on every note to the well-known guitar introduction of Lenie Blou, add the energy exuding from the four animated musicians on stage, and the only answer was a crowd singing along so loudly that it almost put Danie out of his job.

Without a doubt, Danie performs with passion. However, much of the magic Spoegwolf creates lies in the camaraderie and teamwork they display on stage.

The versatile, dynamic and talented Chris von Wielligh wowed the audience with his ability to switch from guitar to the keyboard and back again with seamless perfection. Albert van der Merwe, rap and bass guitar master, didn’t miss a note and showed off his lyrical skills in multiple songs. And Moskou du Toit could be trusted for a lively, consuming beat line at any given moment.

Danie and Albert’s friendship from grade three is telling of the bond the band shows both on and off stage, making them a unique and delightful group to watch. Their movements seem to spur each other on, with arms and legs flying around the stage as lights fade from yellow to blue to purple.

The Spoegwolf concert at the Stellenbosch Van der Stel Sports Grounds was a family affair – people of all ages gathered to watch the dynamic band play until their guitar strings almost snapped. Straining for a better view of the band, the crowd went to all lengths to get the perfect shot of Spoegwolf in action. PHOTOS: Jess Holing

‘Jy is Spoegwolf’

As the set came to a close, the drizzle of rain transformed into showers of glitter fluttering from the sky and landing softly on hands raised high in the air.

“We want more, we want more,” the crowd pleaded, with phone lights switched on like stars in the sky. But they left the audience with a strong Spoegwolf message instead, that sums up this well-loved band’s approach to their music and to the fans: “Ons is nie – jy is Spoegwolf!” [You are Spoegwolf, not us].

Although local Afrikaans rock band Spoegwolf knows how to keep the energy high, they also created space for heartwarming moments to connect with the audience. With phone torches held high in the sky, the here and now was the only place the crowd wanted to be as they were included into the performance as much as possible. PHOTOS: Jess Holing