Them Crooked Vultures Feast Big On Great Music
Thursday, 20 August 2009
It seems to be the year of supergroups. After Chickenfoot here is Them Crooked Vultures with members of some of my favourite bands: Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters), Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age), John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin). I'm not sure if fourth member Alain Johannes is an official band member but he's playing with them live. Maybe not as famous but he played with many big artists and can be considered a top guitarist. So when they announced a suprise gig in Amsterdam I didn't hesitate and joined the huge queue straight after work.
And I had to wait for 2.5 hours to get my personal ticket and wrist band that would give me access to the highly anticipated gig. Later it turned out there were still tickets left minutes before the gig started but who could have expected it? They rocked the house in Chicago a few weeks ago but besides that not much can be found or heard from the band. But with these great musicians surely this could only be good right?
Even better it turned out to be magical. They showed up on stage at 21.00 and the eager crowd gave them a huge welcome. There was this special vibe as if people knew something big was going to happen but no one was sure what. But when the four started to play it was clear right away: a big fat rock show like it is meant to be. Dave Grohl had a huge smile and while chewing gum gave it all. The guys seemed very cheerful and relaxed and were enjoying the hell out of it. And so did we!
While temperatures were rising fast they played some memorable rock tunes. Big grooves, heavy blues, killer riffs, tempo changes, creative bridges, psychedelic repeating riffs together with pumping drums, pounding bass lines, screaming guitars and a sweaty atmosphere. All the ingredients for a rock heavy night never to forget. It leaned most on the Queens of the Stone Age sound and sometimes it reminded me of their album "Songs for the Deaf" on which Dave Grohl was also sitting behind the drum kit. And it was clear that he belongs there more than anywhere else. His relaxed powerful style and sound are great. Big fat grooves and swinging patterns with rolling fills like his example John Bonham.
John Paul Jones is of course a great bass player and perfect for this rytm section. He entered the stage with a futuristic slide guitar but after that continues on bass. His pumping bass lines go perfectly with Grohl's grooves. Alain Johannes is a great addition to complete this brilliant rhythm section. Josh Homme is definitely enjoying himself in this dream group. He seems very relaxed and his vocals and guitar solos and riffs combine perfectly with the rest. His unique sound gives it that Queens of the Stone Age feel but that's inevitable. Halfway the set they play a weird kind of jam on which Homme puts away his guitar and uncomfortable is doing a silly dance. I guess he lost some kind of bet. But for the rest the keep knocking out song after song in this 80 minute set that seems similar to the one in Chicago. The Melkweg roars when they walk off the stage leaving us begging for more. And probably I'll get more on the Lowlands festival on Saturday.
A day after my head's still spinning from what I've experienced. Was it all real? And maybe I get to see them again within a few days! I'm some lucky bastard!
Them Crooked Vultures - Livingup to expextations?
For a couple of months there has been a huge buzz around these guys. Are they going to play Lowlands festival? Are they the surprise act of many other festivals? Is there an album coming out? What will it sound like?? With only 14 seconds of official music online, the mystery continued....Then finally Melkweg Amsterdam announced a cryptic code, which was easily cracked, saying the moment had finally come. Them Crooked Vultures, the supersuperSUPERgroup with Josh Homme, Dave Grohl, John Paul Jones and Alain Johannes was coming. Would they live up to all expectations??
Tickets went on sale on Tuesday, show was Wednesday. The line on Tuesday was huge! Luckily I got there around 2 o'clock and got my ticket pretty damn fast. Somehow it didn't sell out on Tuesday. Apparently people gave up waiting in line, figuring it was sold out (due to dutch media that said the show was already sold out). Wednesday evening 19:30; 1 meter in front of the stage in anticipation....
At nine sharp the band got on stage and the crowd went nuts for about two minutes! Grohl behind his drum kit and the rest comfortably in front of him. Then it happened, something we all hoped for...It was even better than the bands the guys play in! It was Queens Of The Stone Age on steroids! Dave Grohl is at home behind a drum kit and should never stop being a drummer. Foo Fighters are nice, but this man was born to rock his ass off behind a drum kit! The band played on for roughly 80 minutes and it was goooooooooood!!!! An intermezzo with Josh just singing and JPJ playing a keyboard gave them a little breather, bur then the violence commenced once again!
During the songs improvisation was the keyword, with some inprovs lasting up to 10 to 15 minutes. Especially Dave and JPJ looked like they've been playing together since childhood, Josh can play songs with anyone and Alain showed he was a good addition to these rock 'n' roll gods besides him, his role in the band is far from super flues. Looking at the bands these guys play in or have played in, the sound is more or less going into the QOTSA direction, good old grooving stoner rock topped of with some blues. Especially songs like "Elephants" and "Nobody Loves me And Neither Do I" keep on grooving like an train and you can't do anything but groove with it!!!!!
40 Euros and a total of 5,5 hours of waiting....worth every cent and every minute!!! Great songs? Yes!! Grohl should be drumming? Yes!!!! Superband like Chickenfoot?? Who the fuck is chickenfoot??!!!!