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Them Crooked Vultures, Brisbane, Riverstage

25 January 2010 2,974 views No Comment

Crowd feasts on Them Crooked Vultures

Review by DANIEL NANCARROW from The Brisbane Times


Photo: Michael Clayton-Jones

It’s not often you see a rock god in the flesh, let alone three – each with varying claims to rock divinity – bashing it out on one stage.

But Them Crooked Vultures isn’t your average band. They’re an all-star fusion of baby boomer bassist, gen-X drummer and modern day frontman who combine to form a rumbling, thunderous, timeless whole.

Singer/guitarist Josh Homme greets the crowd with a simple mission statement, which proves an acknowledgment of the powerful rhythm section behind him.

“Ready to get sweaty? We’re Them Crooked Vultures and we came to make you dance,” he exclaims before launching into what seems like the entirety of the supergroup’s debut record, each track extended by a lot of dirty, sweaty, bass-heavy jamming.

Early in the set, Homme introduces the band and its no surprise the screams for John Paul Jones drown out those for himself, stage guitarist Alain Johannes and Dave Grohl. But the sight of a Led Zeppelin member tends to do that. There are enough Zeppelin shirts in the crowd to start another merchandise stand.

Jones doesn’t disappoint his followers, his bass providing the unmistakable driving force of the band. But his moments on mandolin, organ and keytar bring a wide smile to a Zep-fan’s face.

Still, Grohl has an abundance of admirers, a point made by a pair of fans at the front of stage screaming his name between songs.

“They love you Dave,” Homme says to the impossibly affable drummer, “These two love you.” To which Grohl gives a modest shrug of the shoulders before getting back to doing what he does best behind the drum kit.

For all the big name connections, this band provide much more than an opportunity to star spot. They manage to produce a dense and groove-laden form of stoner rock, even more thrilling than their record.

And they keep Brisbane’s Riverstage crowd cheering with wave after wave of beefy jams.

Homme isn’t blind to the fact much of the band’s appeal hangs on the Vultures’ past glories, and delivers a typically self-deprecating summation of the group’s distinguished musical histories.

“Jones was in Zeppelin. Dave was in Nirvana. And me and Al had sex together.”

Nice try, Josh. Tonight, that proves to be selling you all short.

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