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Them Crooked Vultures Download Festival, Donington Park

11 June 2010 5,870 views One Comment

Set List

Elephants, Gunman, Scumbag Blues, Dead End Friends, No One Loves Me And Neither Do I, New Fang, Bandoliers, Spinning In Daffodils, Mind Eraser No Chaser, Warsaw Or The First Breath You Take After You Give Up

When Josh Homme dryly announces that he loves AC/DC to the 100,000 strong crowd on the opening night of this year’s Download festival, it’s hard to tell whether or not he’s being sarcastic. For in the process of making history by headlining the hallowed rock turf for a fourth time, the Aussie rockers have kind of dicked it up for everyone else. AC/DC are not listed in the event programmes or on the back of official t-shirts. They have rigged the whole event so that they aren’t playing Download at all. Testament to this is the fact that their own performance zone, complete with catwalk and inflatable devil horned caps, stands adjacent to the main stage in the festival arena. What’s the problem, you might ask? It makes it very difficult to catch Them Crooked Vultures from an ideal vantage point if you want to see AC/DC as well. Unfortunately, it reflects on their performance. The crowd is in a constant state of flux, many of them anxious about whether or not they’ll get to see the main event that they likely spent 75 quid on. Despite the mass of people in front of them, rock and roll’s latest super group rarely has a captive audience. Unlike their last, triumphant UK festival appearance at Reading 2009, today is not their day…and the band seem to know it. That’s not to say that they play badly. In evidence of their musical pedigree, they are consistently on the ball. John Paul Jones in particular (Led Zep’s “quiet one”) puts on a surprisingly electrifying show. You can’t help but feeling that tracks like Mind Eraser… and Bandoliers would probably match his vigour, were it not for the ever-present festival staple of the muddy sound system. Musical prowess aside however, there’s a sense of resignation that permeates Vultures’ hour long set and the relatively sedate display from the other two members (even Dave “human form of Animal from the Muppets” Grohl seems distant from his usual, insane self) seems to reflect the unease in the crowd. What could have been a Download ’10 highlight is resigned to a merely enjoyable experience. In future, those about to rock should perhaps make sure that the stage they’re on is actually the main one.

Review by Alec Plowman

Above photo – Copyright Jeff L.C. Parsons

This Review from the NME

Them Crooked Vultures draw massive crowd for sunny Download set

Josh Homme, Dave Grohl and John Paul Jones ‘get loose’ for Main Stage set

Them Crooked Vultures drew a huge crowd to Download festival’s Main Stage today (June 11), playing to an audience basking in glorious sunshine.
The band, which features Josh Homme, Dave Grohl and John Paul Jones, tore through their set, which was elongated to 75-minutes by numerous extended jams and individual solos.
“It’s a fucking beautiful day out there,” Josh Homme quipped before the band played ‘Scumbag Blues’, which they turned into an epic nine-minute-long jam.
“We got to get loose today,” Homme told the audience midway through the track.
Before playing ‘No One Loves Me And Neither Do I’, Homme introduced each of his band members, with Led Zeppelin’s Jones getting by far the biggest cheer from the crowd.
The band’s set also saw live guitarist Alain Johannes play solo while the rest of the band watched from the wings, while Jones also played a five-minute keyboard outro at one point.

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One Comment »

  • Michaela said:

    This is a very late response ..but been going through old articles / blogs….it was a great night
    ACDC were great , although reviews said it was an ‘old crowd’ and was aimed at the day vistors to the festival. well guess Im one of them but I thoroughly enjoyed it …but to be honest ‘them crooked vultures’ were fantastic , although as the review said , sound was not great ( to be honest is it ever in a field??)
    Id seen them at Brixton , Hammersmith and Royal Albert Hall so I knew what they were capable of ..but I must admit those hearing them for the first time could have been a little disappointed
    agree too JPJ did get the biggest cheer, he was awesome ..and just so cool!
    but for me , my eyes fixed on a certain Dave Grohl! he is a great drummer and although often the front man , was in his element
    Great night of rock …what more could you want?

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