As I mentioned on Wednesday, I was lucky enough to see Them Crooked Vultures in concert at the Electric Factory in down town Philly on Columbus Day. For those of you who are unfamiliar, the band consists of Dave Grohl (of the Foo Fighters, formerly of Nirvana) on drums, John Paul Jones (formerly of Led Zeppelin) on bass and Josh Hommes (of Queens of the Stone Age) on guitar and lead vocals. They don’t have an album out yet or a single to promote, even their MySpace page is devoid of music. In fact, the only thing they have officially released are 3 short instrumental clips on their YouTube page. I went into this concert not even knowing what the vocals would sound like.
I won’t bore you with the cluster fuck of shittacity that we experienced while Chooglin’ to the show or how we were the only ones pre-gaming in a random ass parking lot which included not one, but two bums (who both seemed well acquainted with proper concert etiquette). Or the fact that the ticket didn’t mention an opening act and we ended up wasting an hour in the venue while our miller high life’s stayed locked in our trunk.
The crowd for this show was an amalgam of every rock show I’ve ever been to. It was a small venue filled with more testosterone than Kimbo Slice’s beard. Anyway, I was ecstatic to see John Paul Jones (who is one half of one of the most solid rhythm sections of all time) play fucking bass. The 63 year old man that he is, looked and played bass like he wasn’t a day over 39. He seemed unbelievably happy to (1) be relevant again and (2) to be playing bad ass mother fucking music. He even played keytar for a song…for real.
Seeing Dave Grohl drum was also a personal highlight for me. He hasn’t drummed much since he started the Foo Fighters over a decade ago, so I knew this was as close to Nirvana as I was ever going to get. He drums like a man possessed, with an intensity matched only by Animal of the Muppets.
Observe! (I suggest playing these videos at the same time for optimum effect)
The show started off with the song Elephants* and the hinges blew off the proverbial door. Angular rock and roll with laser precision tempo changes and deep muscular rhythms. At that moment the crowd would have committed murder if possible. The band was augmented by 2nd guitarist and Matt Pinfield lookalike Alain Johannes.
The true highlight for me came with the song Scumbag Blues*. Picture the Cream song, Sunshine of Your Love filtered through the White Stripes 21st century blues/sleaze. The whole show was a little over an hour. No frills, no cover songs, limited chatter and a heavy dose of heavy rock and roll, but not “angry” music as is often characterized by this type of music. Few bands I’ve seen in my day would be able to match their intensity, which was second only to Rage Against The Machine’s 1st reunion show, which I was literally scared for my life to be at.
*These videos are actually from the show at Philly