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Them Crooked Vultures, The Fillmore Detroit, Detroit, MI

8 October 2009 2,042 views No Comment

8th October 2009 –

 

Set list:

Elephants

Dead End Friends

Scumbag Blues

Gunman

Caligulove

Bandoliers

New Fang

Interlude w/Ludes

Daffodils

Reptiles

Mind Eraser, No Chaser

Nobody Loves Me And Neither Do I

Warsaw

filmore

Rock’s latest supergroup takes a few twists and turns

DOC 12  Josh Daunt

As the line wound around sidewalk beside The Fillmore Detroit in a light drizzle, a buzz was evident. Kristina Guthrie got into town from Windsor with her friends at 3 p.m. and was first in line for the general-admission floor to see Them Crooked Vultures Thursday night.

“It’s John Paul Jones. That’s why we’re here,” she exclaimed, speaking of the former Led Zeppelin bassist. “They’re all amazing musicians. It should be a great show, I’m really excited.”

All walks of life filed through the doors just after 7 p.m. From twentysomethings wearing Led Zeppelin t-shirts to sixtysomethings wearing Nirvana garb, everyone shared the same anticipation and curiosity.

When the lights dimmed and the background music stopped at 8:30 p.m., a brief silence fell over the nearly 2,000 people in attendance, which was quickly interrupted by a raucous as Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters, Nirvana) and Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age) walked onto the stage and began settling in.

Another half minute would pass and Jones entered. The already wild crowd erupted with applause for the 63-year-old Englishman.

Grohl started pounding out a vicious drum beat, and Jones and Homme kicked in a deep, rich riff on bass and guitar respectively. After four bars, they doubled the speed and “Elephants” was off and running.

The simple light setup on the small, cramped looking stage was flashing and swaying along with the beat and the crowd was at a fever pitch. Grohl was a flurry of arms and hair flailing behind the lone Vulture on his bass drum.

Homme stood behind the mic with a stranglehold on his guitar, strumming riffs and squeezing searing leads out as Jones’ thundering bass line sent vibrations through the floor and into the legs of the drowd.

“Detroit, how ya doin?” Homme asked as Grohl looked up from him drum kit, a big grin on his face. “It’s very good to see you tonight.”

Moments later the stage went dark except for a soft blue hue coming from above on the curtain behind the band. They jumped into “Dead End Friends” and kept the energy driving.

The crowd really started moving for “Scumbag Blues,” a funkier song that featured an extended bass solo from Jones, who riled the audience up even more.

“About a month ago I came here to Detroit for a wedding of a friend of mine,” Homme said following the next song, as Jones moved over to his keyboard. “I’ve always liked this place, but I never really got it. But after I spent five days here I’ve fallen in love with Detroit.”

The band then launched into the crunching riff of “Caligulove” while Jones played haunting chords on the keys. “Caligulove” is one of many Vultures songs with several drastic turns and changes of pace. The tune in ended with a flurry, and after a brief “How you doin, sound good so far?” the band was off and running into “Langoliers.”

The first crowd surfer of the night was rolled above the audience, and the band fed off the crowd’s energy.

Both Jones — back on his bass — and Homme wandered toward the drum kit and exchanged grins with each other and Grohl during the instrumental break.

“Langoliers” is a bit less complex than the rest of the set, but at the end of the break, it slowed to a near halt and the crowd cheered the end just as the band charge into the final verse.

Once the song was over, Homme introduced Grohl, guitarist Alain Johannes, and Jones, who earned another round of rousing applause. “I feel the same way,” Homme said.

“New Fang” followed, providing another bit of change of pace to the show. It didn’t boast the same heavy, thick riff behind it as the previous songs, and a wah pedal was put to the test.

But that change of pace had nothing on what came next. Homme put his guitar over his head, handed it to the tech and took the mic off the stand as Jones donned a handheld synthesizer.

“Interlude w/ludes” was easily the most interesting song of the night. Bare-bones and raw, the rhythm was driven by the synth. Grohl toned down the drum beat and Johannes added licks as Homme wandered the stage, swaying his hips and singing his heart out.

The subdued atmosphere didn’t last long, though, as Homme strapped up his guitar and squealed out some feedback. Stacks exploded with a loud, grinding “Daffodils.”

Picking up the pace gave the crowd a massive release. A section of the floor turned into a mosh pit and another crowd surfer rode the waves.

Homme slipped a slide on his finger and made his strings sing as the song wound down to just Homme’s slide and Jones, who snuck back over to the keyboard. The pair then played back and forth off each other.

Jones soon took over and played an extended solo, while Grohl, Homme and everyone else in the building just staring at him, in awe of what they are witnessing.

This would prove to be the last mellow moment of the set. “Reptiles” brought back the deep, heavy riffs and the moshing. “Mind Eraser, No Chaser” started out with another funky lick from Homme, and another migraine-inducing light show fired on all cylinders.

Jones then set his bass aside and strapped on an eight string slide guitar for “Nobody Loves Me And Neither Do I.” The interplay between Homme’s riffs and Jones’ fills on the slide were impeccable, but Grohl stole the show at the close with an absolutely blistering drum breakdown.

Homme bade the crowd goodnight and the band broke into “Warsaw.”

After the last flurry, Homme grabbed a drink from on top of his amp and raised it to the crowd as he put his arm around Jones and walked offstage.

Grohl came to the front, handed out a few drum sticks to some lucky fans and blew kisses as the house lights came up and Roy Orbison’s classic “It’s Over” blared.

Vultures were 82 minutes of music most people had never heard before, and it seemed likely those who showed up were going to engage in some more exploring.

 

 

 

 

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