Come on….“Them Crooked Vultures” …even with the name they are off to a good start . The short videos on YouTube had me interested and well being a concertaholic I knew reputation was enough for me to get a ticket and experience these guys live. I’ve listened to more Zeppelin than Foo’s or Queens of The Stone Age… so I will not be detailing the guys careers here or have a big say in who they sound like most. Just the show as I saw it.
…..I take my hobby serious and jumped into the rainy line-up around 4pm. Only 20 people in line so far…so the front row was going to happen for me and it did. After a few hours of swapping concert stories with various music lovers including two fathers with their teenage kids… we headed in and I locked myself onto the rail directly in front of where one of the world’s most talented bassist’s would stand for 90 minutes.
With no CD out yet and very little information about the band… the rumours were no opening band and no encore. Fine I’ll take what I can get. Only moments away we are about to witness…Josh Homme on guitar and lead vocals, Dave Grohl on drums and John Paul Jones teaching bass. Plus, there was a fourth Crooked Vulture Alain Johannes on rhythm guitar.
The house music stops, the vultures walk out…say hello and explode into “Elephants”. The groove was on, the roll was heavy and goosbumps happened at 30 seconds into a song I’ve only heard twice on YouTube. Grohl gang banged his drum kit and I learned quickly that Homme knew what to do with a guitar… and John Paul Jones…. well it hadn’t really hit me that it was him 12 feet in front of me.
After the first song the crowd erupted and moved in closer as Josh started to introduce his Crooked band mates. He saved Jones for last and rather than say his name, he simply pointed over to him….and the entire crowd started chanting “JOHN PAUL JONES, JOHN PAUL JONES, JOHN PAUL JONES” a slight smile from the man himself and that was just one of those moments you talk about for the next 10 years a parties!
The following 80+ minutes was a thunderous music demonstration from multiple genres along with creating one in the middle of it all. The direction changed too many times to remember with layer upon layer it seemed like a tennis match at times… for myself trying to decide who to zero in on as the boomerang of rock, blues and psychedelica bounced around in between flashes of light. For chemistry I noticed Josh really connecting with JPJ a few times…along with numerous vocal fills from each of the guys including John Paul Jones.
Here is Scumbag Blues to give you a feel…
As far as musicians from different bands hooking up… I saw Chickenfoot and for the money in a small venue it was fun although the music didn’t make much sense to me. This evening’s performance and this band made sensek. There is thought behind all Them Crooked Vultures… from the Bonham pounding Grohl to John Paul Jones playing that piano outro on Daffodils…straight on over to Homme who stood tall, proud and confident of what he and bandmate Alain Johannes were delivering.
In short…Elephants as a first song took me to a place many encores never have and the pace throughout was amazing right up to the last couple of songs…… here is “Nobody Love Me” just deadly…..
….and then… the closing tune “Warsaw” . This was so killer I couldn’t lift my arm to video and the insane jam for the final few minutes..was paralyzing….. they drew us in… playing harder and harder and then it ENDED. Done Right there. No Encore.
I got it…they had me… I wanted more. 90 minutes of songs I’ve never heard and I wanted another “set”
If you are following this band, were at this show or any shows this tour please leave us a comment or quick review of what you are digging about Them Crooked Vultures.