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Them Crooked Vultures, Coachella Music Festival, Indio, CA,

16 April 2010 3,294 views 2 Comments

PhotoCredit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

No wonder the post-sundown sets are so in demand at the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival. Those seeing the main stage from afar Friday night might have thought a fire was rising out of the desert, as Them Crooked Vultures was flanked by dozens of perfectly arranged golden lights,

As the dinner hour approached, Coachella got a little aggressive with its top-billed acts. The rock super group Them Crooked Vultures, featuring Josh Homme, drummer Dave Grohl and bassist John Paul Jones, brought a moment of groove-inducing rock ‘n’ roll fury to the fest, while electro duo Pretty Lights shook the biggest dance tent with a mix of techno force and live drumming. Performing against a spacey backdrop that would have wowed the kids at JPL, Pretty Lights cut and chopped vocals, using them only to serve the beat.

For Them Crooked Vultures, one needn’t have heard more than 45 seconds of “Elephants” to hear the band’s prowess. Over an extended intro, Homme etched haunted house-screeches out of his guitar, but the effect was more attention-demanding than frightening. Grohl and Jones were caught in a rhythmic give-and-take, taunting and letting their instruments bite each other, with late-night-attic clanks and just hints of a beat emerging out of the murkiness.

Yet when the song finally cut loose, it wasn’t an explosion, but more a trance-like feel. Homme’s vocals don’t overpower; instead they drift into the churn of guitars. The band showed off hints of a blues muscle, especially on “Mind Eraser (No Chaser),” Grohl and Jones alternated between a stutter and a strut. It was hard rock at its most hypnotic — no wonder why Homme said during the set that LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy was one of his favorite artists.

Review by  Todd Martens Los Angeles Times 

Them Crooked Vultures attack

A couple years ago, following their by-all-accounts incendiary performance in London, Led Zeppelin was rumored to headline Coachella.

Unfortunately, it never panned out, but on Friday night, at least one-third of the prediction came true, when the intense hard-rock super group Them Crooked Vultures assaulted the main stage.

Bassist/slide guitarist John Paul Jones barely resembles the scrawny hairball of his early years in Zep, but his groove still stands up: abetted by frontman/guitarist Josh Homme, best known for his work in Queens of the Stone Age, and former Nirvana drummer/Foo Fighter Dave Grohl manning the skins, Zep’s least-famous surviving member carries the band through monsters like “Mind Eraser, No Chaser,” often leading them into 10-minute meanders and hard-hitting deep-pocket roars.

The best moment, though, came when he sat down at his keyboard and quieted down, taking an unusually mellow piano solo at the end of another roaring cut. It almost sounded like something out of a Phish song — quiet, forlorn, jammy, and bluesy all at the same time — making you wonder whether organizer Paul Tollett wasn’t the only one inspired by the Vermont foursome, during the last festival to take place on the massive field.

Review by Jeff Miller from the Orange County Register

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2 Comments »

  • Ian Andrews said:

    The Vultures is the best post-Zep project by far. Robert ‘Dolly Parton’ Plant and Jimmy ‘Olympics’ Page have just been mucking about for the last 35 years – more if you include In Through the Out Door.

    The Vultures album is just so huge in all respects.

    JP and RP may have got the gongs (why did they accept them?!) but it’s JPJ who takes the honours. Hats off to the quiet one!

  • Shayne Smith said:

    Its so great to see John Paul Jones jamming with a new band out in public. He is one of the greatest rock bass/keyboard players of all time. Its also good to know that he is in a band with a Zep fanatic like Dave Grohl. Grohl must be so stoked!
    One must wonder how many of the people (kids) really know about Jones. Hopefully now Jonesy will have a whole new generation of fans.

    Robert Plant why don’t you get together with your old Zeppelin bandmates and create some new music? You wouldn’t have to do a big tour. Just a few select shows of your choice.

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