Crooked Vultures crank out visceral, mind-numbing rock
By Ted Shaw, The Windsor Star
Rock music is littered with the debris of downed supergroups and time will tell whether Them Crooked Vultures suffers a similar fate.
The trio consists of former Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones, Foo Fighters' drummer and vocalist Dave Grohl, and Queens of the Stone Age guitarist and singer Josh Homme.
Onstage, there's even a fourth member with considerable pedigree -- guitarist Alain Johannes, founding member of Eleven.
The Vultures aren't the only supergroup on the scene right now -- Chickenfoot has Joe Satriani teamed with former or current members of Van Halen and Red Hot Chili Peppers. But it's certainly the only one that has been booked into Caesars Windsor's Colosseum, an odd choice of venue, it would seem, for a band with this much volume and hype.
The Colosseum, the house that Billy Joel built, has not seen its like.
Main floor seats were removed for standing room, and the usual casino gambling clientele in their 50s and 60s were tucked in for the night or stationed in front of a one-armed bandit.
Opening with No One Loves Me & Neither Do I, the band unleashed a relentless hard-rock assault, driven by the furious drumming of Grohl, Homme's faceless vocals, and the twin-guitar fury of Homme and Johannes.
Simple staging featured white lights and a background of flickering patterns.
For the most part, the band was in shadow, no spotlights to feature the solos. The wash of sound was drum-heavy, so much so that some of the intricacies of Jones' work on fiddle and keyboards were barely audible.
But the audience roared with approval. TCV is visually and aurally mind-numbing, but visceral nonetheless.
Songs like Mind Eraser, No Chaser, Caligulove, and New Fang, from the debut album, were mostly indistinguishable from one another.
The one exception was Scumbag Blues, which featured stretched-out solos, particularly from Jones and Homme.
The plans for a followup to last year's eponymous debut album are seemingly on the backburner with recent talk of new projects from Foo Fighters and the Queens.
Perhaps Them Crooked Vultures will turn out to be the millennium equivalent of the mercurial and short-lived supergroup of the late-1960s, Blind Faith.
Jones is clearly the star of this amalgam, as proven by the sustained ovation during a band introduction.
At 66, he is old enough to be the others' old man. But his influence and star power may carry TCV to unheard-of heights.