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Them Crooked Vultures, The Roxy, Los Angeles, Ca

16 November 2009 2,126 views No Comment

November 16th 2009:


Dead End Friends
Scumbag Blues
Highway one
New Fang
Mind Eraser
Interlude with Ludes
Nobody Loves Me


Live Review: Them Crooked Vultures at The Roxy in L.A.


by Johnny Firecloud
Nov 17, 2009

Monday night’s surprise warm-up show at the Roxy by Them Crooked Vultures was a deafening barrage of pure rock ecstasy that lives up to the archives of praise they’ve quickly amassed in these tubes. Only a few hundred crammed inside the tiny club for a smaller rendition of what’s to come Tuesday night at the band’s Wiltern show, which coincides with the release of their phenomenal eponymous debut album.

My hearing is a constant state of distant, impossibly high-pitched whirring, my senses are jarred and surging adrenaline has given way to the onset of a bitch of a musical hangover. Well worth the setbacks, however, especially for the fact that I was directly in front of Josh for the entire show.

The performance was fantastic. Here’s what you need to know, at least for now:

Non-album track “Highway 1” was played – an eerie, echoing psychedelia whirlwind countering Grohl’s immense pounding and skittering backbeats. If you’d like some lyrics, I got what I think is the first verse shoved in my hand on my way out the door:


The sun sets on Highway 1

Saturn will devour his son

Ghosts on the run forever

There’s no Hell, there’s no Heaven

We must go home, home my brother

Wrong once before

Now wrong another

Saturn will devour his son

As the sun sets on Highway 1


There was a marked growth in confidence among the entire band, having road-tested the songs. The first two times I saw them, back during our trip to Austin City Limits in October, the band was still trying to keep up with the spazzing robot riffs, the tempo changes, the succession of sudden back doors that are precisely what make them so hauntingly badass.

There were differences in solo designs on a few of the songs, particularly Jones’ finer moments in “Scumbag Blues”. By the merry way, John Paul Jones plays the hell out of instruments most of us have never heard of.





Approaching the mic to sing the first lines to “Interlude w/Ludes,” Josh dropped his Corona bottle between his boots and balanced it as he sang. Interesting? Maybe. Cool? Definitely, especially in the spirit of the song. But he greeted the audience like hometown friends, and the crowd – anything but the standard listless mopers that make up most Los Angeles club crowds  – responded with roaring enthusiasm.

Dave Grohl is a chin-jutting maniac on the kit. Absolutely devastating beats with surprising fills and polyrhythms that far exceed anything he’s worked on previously.

And last but not least, Alain Johannes is one of the best color men in the business, and the man’s a multi-instrumental wizard. 


For more pics from the show head over to Antiquiet.


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