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Monday, November 23, 2009

Them Crooked Vultures Sell Out

Posted by Mark Lore on Mon, Nov 23, 2009 at 2:17 PM

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I haven't been to any big rock shows in years. Yet over the course of a week, I found myself in the photo pit for both KISS and Them Crooked Vultures. I rarely get star-struck these days, but I'm not going to lie—it was kind of intense seeing Gene and Paul and John Paul up close.

Them Crooked Vultures are a machine. I want to know if Dave Grohl went on some sort of a regimen before embarking on this tour... because that guy went absolutely ape-shit on the drums for two hours. There were no encores, just 120 minutes of chugging stoner blues, which pulled directly from the members' own bands. There were the hooks from Grohl's Foo Fighters, the drop-D riffs of Queens of the Stone Age, and the psychedelic blues (dirty word alert) jams that embodied those Zeppelin performances.

Now this kind of music is difficult to get excited about... it's been done to death. But most of the songs were surprisingly memorable. Josh Homme has one of the great rock voices, his falsetto sounding eerily like Cream's Jack Bruce on "Scumbag Blues." Jones pulled out an arsenal of instruments—bass, mandolin, keytar, some slide bass thingy. And it was nice to see Grohl's mop of hair whipping behind the drums again.

I guess I was taken mostly by how powerful and relentless the whole thing was—made even more intense by the sweaty, sold-out crowd. In the end Dave Grohl stole the show—I would have had a heart-attack by the second song.

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