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Them Crooked Vultures, The Roseland Theatre, Portland, Or

22 November 2009 2,226 views No Comment

November 22nd 2009:


No One Loves Me & Neither Do I
Dead End Friends
Scumbag Blues
Highway One
New Fang
Mind Eraser, No Chaser
Interlude with Ludes
Spinning in Daffodils
Warsaw or the First Breath You Take After You Give Up

Them Crooked Vultures rock the Roseland

by Tara Dublin on November 22, 2009 Oregon Music News

The word supergroup has been overused to the point of cliché.  But Sunday night at the Roseland, Them Crooked Vultures–John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin, Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age, and Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters (along with additional guitarist Alain Johannes, aka The Luckiest Bastard in the World) lived up to that title (and more) with a powerful, solid set that showcased each band members’ talents.

After a lackluster opening set from Mini Mansions, Them Crooked Vultures took the stage to thunderous applause, with Jones getting the longest ovation.  The band played songs from their self-titled release and nothing from their other respective ventures.  ”We’re not a cover band,” lead singer and guitarist Homme said when shouts came from the crowd for a QOTSA song.  “We don’t play requests.”

As a longtime fan of all three main members, it was an astonishing thing to watch these musicians playing together, creating a sound that was at once new and also reminiscent of their previous work.  You can hear touches of the heavy Led Zeppelin bass in songs like “Scumbag Blues,” while “Bandoliers” sounds very much like a song off of the Queens’ Songs for the Deaf album. Fans of the Foo Fighters’ more radio-friendly hits won’t hear any traces of “Learn to Fly,” but there are plenty of catchy hooks to be heard (”Elephants,” “Mind Eraser, No Chaser”).

You can’t talk about this band without discussing Dave Grohl’s drumming.  Most of the people present likely never caught him when he was drumming for another trio nearly 20 years ago, though more got the chance when he sat in with QOTSA. To be able to watch the world’s greatest living drummer (go on, argue with me, I have plenty of backup) in such a small venue was just amazing.  Judging from the hoots emanating from all the fanboys with man-crushes (Hello, guy behind me? You yelled “I love you, Dave!” more times in one show than any chick I’ve ever heard), the men on the stage could have played nursery rhymes and the crowd would have eaten it up.


Concert Review – Them Crooked Vultures in Portland

By Isorski from Isorski’s Musings

A Portland Musician’s Observations of the World



I spent my Sunday night like every responsible working stiff parent of three (soon to be four) boys – I was in downtown Portland catching a rock show.
But not just any rock show, peeps. Oh no, this was Them Crooked Vultures, the latest ‘super group’ or just a super group as I heard someone rephrase it (both are correct) featuring John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin), Dave Grohl (Nirvana and the Foo Fighters), and Jose Homme (Queens of the Stone Age). They had a fourth member to help augment instrumentation and vocals —  Alain Johannes. This guy was a jack of all trades who played bass, guitar and keyboards and did some great vocal harmonies.
But the two I was really there to see were Grohl and Jones. I had never seen either live in any incarnation, which is really pathetic because I could have seen Nirvana a bunch when they were in their heyday and for sure The Foo Fighters have been through Portland a ton of times.
So I was really seeing these guys live with a fresh brain. And my poor fresh brain was filled with groovy goo, ripped out of my skull and smooshed around the floor of the Roseland Theater over the course of the hour and a half long show.
People, I didn’t even know who to focus on. Dave Grohl is a monster. I have never seen someone hit the drums with such a sense of purpose and BELIEF. He also hits them incredibly hard. He is a big guy, and he plays the drums very physically. No – he beats the SHIT out of the drums. Like I said in my CD review, I feel like he is auditioning for the next Zeppelin reunion. I seriously think he may have the part…
John Paul Jones on the other hand just makes what he’s doing look amazingly easy. He is an effortless player and after a while I was so stunned by his talent that I kept forgetting I was looking at one of the founding members of Led Zeppelin. He pulled out all the instruments, too. He played four string bass, eight string bass, twelve string bass, some kind of multi-string lap steel oddity I had never seen before, and keyboards, including one of those  keyboard guitars that you wear over your shoulder.
There were a couple of songs (Reptiles was one, and the others I don’t know by name) where Grohl and Jones locked tighter than I have ever seen a drummer and bass player lock together. And they knew it, too. Big, big smiles on their faces all night.
I mean come on. Playing with Zeppelin’s bass player has got to be like some unreal crazy-assed dream for Grohl, and can anyone tell me another post-Zeppelin band Jones has even been in, much less something this heavy and groovy at the same time? I tell you what – you want to see what Jones’ contribution to Zeppelin was? Go see Them Crooked Vultures. It was A LOT.
Homme was also excellent. His vocals were spot on and he added great vocal melody to the insanity of the music. He and Johannes also had some of the coolest guitars I have ever seen, and played with all sorts of interesting techniques, from slide playing to octave effect pedals. He’s a darn good soloist as well.
The band did all of the stuff off the CD plus a couple of other things and didn’t touch the vast catalogue of any of their previous/current bands. They didn’t even do an encore – they ran out of songs! Part way through, some chump in the audience shouted out for a Zeppelin song and Homme told him they weren’t a cover band but if they wanted to hear covers, there was one playing down the street.
I also have to point out that I usually don’t like seeing music at the Roseland because it’s a pretty dark rock venue and there is always a kind of heavy vibe there. But I have to say, the security folks did a GREAT job keeping things under control. I was two back from the barricade on JPJ’s side, and some wasted idiot tried to barrel by me. I stopped him but of course later he made another run. When he got to the front center, a gigantic security guy grabbed him and told him to chill the hell out. They stopped some mosh breakouts too, ensuring that the younger kids in the front didn’t get hurt, as the show was all ages.
Also, the rumor mill had Eddie Vedder and Krist Novoselic in the audience but I didn’t see them in the roped off special balcony section. I did see  Myles Kennedy however, and was tempted to go up to him and scream “Stand up and Shooooooooooooouuuuuuuutttttttt!” but I didn’t want to get punched. Hell, maybe there is truth to the Zeppelin rumor after all – he’d sing the shit out of The Immigrant Song!
Not sure if Them Crooked Vultures plan on continuing indefinitely or if this is kind of a one-off endeavor. So, I’d encourage you to see them while you can. You will not be disappointed and your brains may feel better too. I know mine do.



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