Email This Post Email This Post
Home » John Paul Jones, Tour Watch

Them Crooked Vultures – Air Canada Centre, Toronto, ON

15 May 2010 3,149 views 2 Comments

Photo by Jeff Parsons

‘Them Crooked Vultures’ feast off ACC crowd

No One Loves Me & Neither Do I
Scumbag Blues 
Dead End Friends 
Highway One
New Fang
Interlude with Ludes 
Mind Eraser, No Chaser
You Can’t Possibly Begin to Imagine
Spinning in Daffodils
Warsaw or the First Breath You Take After You Give Up

The three big names which make up newly concocted “super group” Them Crooked Vultures were playing to their largest crowd ever Saturday night at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre.

“This is the biggest show we’ve ever played and it means a lot to us,” singer and guitarist Josh Homme said prior to capping off roughly two-hour show. “It means a lot to us. We’re just four guys who wanted to play together.”

Well, in this instance “just four guys” happens to be Queens Of The Stone Age architect Homme, Foo Fighters main man Dave Grohl on drums, touring guitarist Alain Johannes and Led Zeppelin bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones.

And for most of the 15-song set, Them Crooked Vultures rampaged through a brand of ‘70s era-influenced hard rock that truly has to be seen to be appreciated. Whether watching Grohl punish himself physically as much as his battened-down drum kit numerous times or Jones shuffling around while keeping the groove, the band does not take any short cuts in achieving such an impressive sound.

After playing a sold-out show last October at Sound Academy, Them Crooked Vultures returned with a similar set list, opening with the swampy hook of No One Loves Me & Neither Do I which had most on the floor bobbing along. Relying on the performance aspect to atone for no video screens for fans on the floor, in the near-capacity lower bowl and partially filled upper tier, the group dished out Gunman before the “little dance number” Scumbag Blues reared its catchy head.

Part of the attraction of the band, though, is seeing both Homme and Grohl playing off of Jones, the elder statesman at 66. As Jones doled out a few quick bass lines during Scumbag Blues, Homme and Grohl both resembled kids in awe of meeting their rock hero for the first time.

Dead End Friends and especially the gear-shifting Elephants fared fine, but Highway 1 — the first of two non-album tracks performed – didn’t quite match the intensity or bombast of the single New Fang or the tight Mind Eraser, No Chaser. But an ensuing effort with the title You Can’t Possibly Begin To Imagine was a surprise highlight. Here, the slow, seedy bluesy arrangement had Jones initially on fiddle while Homme fed off the crowd clapping along.

If there’s one number which seemed to be the proverbial black sheep, it was easily Interlude With Ludes, a Doors-ish attempt that featured Homme (who later lit up a cigarette) prancing around the stage while Jones tried to hold things together on his key-tar. Mission not quite accomplished.

Regardless, Them Crooked Vultures held some of the best for last beginning with the lengthy Spinning In Daffodils that had Grohl looking like Animal from the Muppets with his rapid fills and rolls. Following the Zeppelin circa Physical Graffiti nugget Reptiles, the band closed things out with no encore but a fabulous, fatiguing Warsaw, a marathon-ish tune driven by some terrific playing.

Review Jason Macneil from The Toronto Sun

THEM CROOKED VULTURES at the Air Canada Centre

Too many John Paul Jones bass solos mires performance by supergroup Them Crooked Vultures

There aren’t many bands that can play a two-hour concert with just one album to their name.

Then again, there aren’t many bands that boast members of Led Zeppelin, Queens of the Stone Age and Nirvana. In their biggest concert to date, John Paul Jones, Josh Homme, Dave Grohl and touring guitarist Alain Johannes delivered a marathon set that matched the grandeur of the arena setting.

As with many supergroup concerts, the performance showcased each member’s accomplished musicianship more than the songs themselves. Drum solos, piano sections and instrumental workouts stretched Them Crooked Vultures’ already lengthy songs into epic, drawn-out jams. 

Much of the appeal of seeing rock stars play live is actually seeing them play, which was impossible for much of the far-flung audience. And though the instrumental chops impressed, by the fifth John Paul Jones bass solo, we couldn’t help but check our watches.

Review by Richard Trapunski  from Now Toronto.Com

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)


  • Cam said:

    It would have been amiss without the JPJ solos.

    Contrary to the Sun review, the Toronto show was absolutely perfect in every way.

  • Michael Brazee said:

    Too many John Paul Jones bass solos mires performance by supergroup Them Crooked Vultures!!!

    Heresy I say!

Leave your response!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.