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Them Crooked Vultures – Concert Review – The Wiltern – Los Angeles, CA – 11/17/09

18 November 2009 16 Comments

By: Darius

Them Crooked Vultures (l-r) Jones, Homme, Grohl

Them Crooked Vultures (l-r) Jones, Homme, Grohl

Them Crooked Vultures is a new rock band featuring Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age), Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters), and John Paul Jones (the greatest band of all time: Led Zeppelin). The debut album was released yesterday and I attended their show at LA’s Wiltern Theatre.

Them Crooked Vultures Live at The Wiltern

I won’t mince words here, seeing John Paul Jones in the flesh, rocking out, probably made my year. And to see him on stage getting sweaty and playing loud rock music with two of my favorite musicians was an absolute sight to see. Them Crooked Vultures is a rock band. Notice how I didn’t use the term “super group”, the tired phrase that has officially worn out its welcome. I’m with Duff McKagen on this one: it cheapens the music and the artist’s efforts in creating it. It’s like quality musicians can’t come together for various projects and play music without conjuring images of some piece of sh*t VH1 reality show. You can read Duff’s article here.

Them Crooked Vultures

I have the album and I really like it. Honestly, it sounds like a Queens of the Stone Age record, and that’s fine by me because I love that band. Seeing Them Crooked Vultures live is what really did it for me though. Dave Grohl strode out on stage first in athletic shorts and a cut-off sleeve t-shirt and the audience went nuts. Than Josh Homme with his consummate sidekick Alain Johannes came out, followed by John Paul Jones, who was dressed neatly in a button-up shirt, jeans, and brown shoes. He was the classy rock star of the group. After a short introduction, the band launched into album opener “No One Loves Me & Neither Do I”. Dave Grohl is a beast of a drummer and has incredible chemistry with John Paul Jones, whose versatility was on full display. JPJ played bass, piano, mandolin, keytar, to name a few. His musicianship is extraordinary. Homme lead the group effortlessly and played multiple guitar solos. Johannes, who helped in the recording of the album, rounded out the group on guitar and vocals.

I thought it was a fantastic performance with rarely a dull moment. It’s tough to be bored watching this superb collection of talent on stage together. The set closed with John Paul Jones playing a solo piano piece while the rest of the band stood to the side and watched, a surprising yet nonetheless fantastic conclusion. The audience went nuts as Them Crooked Vultures returned for an encore with the bluesy “Warsaw Or The First Breath You Take After You Give Up”. Homme really showed his guitar playing chops on this one.

The fact of the matter is that you won’t like this band if you are not into Queens. Homme’s signature sound is all over the record. But watching them live is a different story. If you are a fan of music, this band offers an astonishing blend of talent and musicianship that is tough to beat.

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16 Comments »

  • smasherdevourer said:

    Dave Grohl = Midas

    WISHED I COULD A BEEN THERE

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  • Andrew Bilach (author) said:

    Duff makes a lot of good points and you make good points as well.

    I don’t understand why you dislike when I openly say I hate the term METAL – as in “I’m metal” or some other crap like that. It cheapens everything.

    Great review, though. I will be getting you a JOSH HOMME doll for Christmas.

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  • Carla said:

    I’m buying the CD based on the optimism in this article. Thanx Darius.

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  • Dropbows said:

    you sonafabitch!! Must’ve been an amazing show. Did Homme threaten to jump into the crowd to beat somebody’s ass? If not, I’d ask for my money back…Nice review.

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  • Andrew Bilach (author) said:

    Please do not antagonize this man beyond this point, Dropbows. He loves Josh Homme, and an act of bravado might just put him on the edge.

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  • 1942 said:

    A PHENOMENAL RELEASE AND GLAD TO HEAR THEY’RE KILLING IT LIVE!

    YES I WROTE IT IN ALL CAPS!

    \M/

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  • Oscar said:

    The album cover rules.

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  • zebo said:

    Album of the year candidate! Glad to hear the show rocked!

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  • Vinny said:

    I agree with the Grohl comment from post 1.

    Duff’s last name is spelled wrong – should be MCKAGAN, with an A.

    Happy Thanksgiving Darius.

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  • Dropbows said:

    Is it just me or does the opening riff on ‘Elephants’ remind you of Living Colour, “Cult of Personality”? Just a thought…This album rules.

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  • Carla said:

    Does anyone remember the video for Glamour Boys? Hahahah!

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  • 1942 said:

    A 10 OUT OF 10 ALBUM! I’M WRITING IT IN CAPS JUST LIKE I DID MY FIRST REPLY HERE. BUY IT NOW!

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  • Brood said:

    Duff’s name is spelled wrong.

    I had a friend at the same show and received almost the same report. This band is brilliant and to echo the writer this is not a super group. I forsee several more CD’s and then a Velvet Revolver/Audioslave like split. I don’t see JH working with Timbaland on a pop record.

    JPJ shines here.

    DISCLAIMER: Just like in the review – if you’re not into QOTSA, you will not like TCV!

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  • 5150 said:

    Homme is almost like the Devin Townsend of rock, where it seems it’s cool to revere or love him. All his projects are sub-par but this one takes it to another level. This is a candidate for rock album of the year. This is well worth everyone’s money as I’m sure the Overkill will be when it comes out. I have a sweet spot for Overkill and would love to hear Darius’ take on their CD being that I don’t believe he’s written about any thrash bands.

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  • krio said:

    Take the entire band and Josh Homme had the most influence on this disc. Or shall I say his prior work seems to the what this disc is being compared to. Compare it to nothing. Darios is right. Not a supergroup. This is the real deal. ALBUM OF THE YEAR!

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