Tuesday, July 21, 2009

"Hell yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" | Eagles of Death Metal @ Commodore -- 07/20/09

I have to admit, I think I like Josh Homme, as a musician, individually more than I like any one of his actual bands or projects. Eagles of Death Metal was kind of a spontaneous show, and while I like the band, I haven't delved too much into their works. I knew, however, that with the inclusion of Homme, it would, at the very least, be decent and worth seeing. Of course, seeing as a main reason I was going was to see Homme, it naturally follows that I find out right before the show he's not touring with he band. Ah well.

The opening band was Flash Lightnin', who I had actually seen earlier this year opening for Sebastien Grainger & The Mountains. Here is what I had to say about them then:
The opening band, Flash Lightnin', hit the stage around 9:30 and played a surprisingly long 50 minute set for an opening band. Even though the place was still a little sparse when they went on, they seemed to captivate most of the crowd and get them pumped. Not quite everyone, though. While they were technically proficient, they sounded a little like an AC/DC cover band trying to break out on their own. Each song sounded a little too similar and high, screamy vocals and power chords and guitar solos sprinkled WAY too liberally throughout... I don't dislike guitar solos, but when every song has one -- and especially when one song has TWO of them -- they kind of lose their specialness. They also reminded me quite a bit of Wolfmother and Ladyhawke, so much so that I would have almost expected their name to be Tigerneice.
(note: i am so starting a classic rock ripoff band and calling them Tigerneice.)
They were not necessarily bad, but rather a Perfectly Acceptable Opening Band. Nothing I'm terribly interested in hearing more of, though.

Much of that still applies. They played about 40 minutes this time, and seemed to throw in some ZZ Top with their AC/DC. In fact, while decent musicians, they had absolutely nothing original; just a patchwork of other, better bands. As as for the solo issue, a tally was kept. Ten. (And a half). In a 40 minute set, they had ten guitar solos. Only two songs did not have one, and that was made up by the fact that one of the songs had two. I like guitar solos as much as the next person, but that was a little much.
(Also, the "Hell yeah" count was, I think, four)

Then it was time for Eagles of Death Metal who were, as predicted, without Josh Homme. A slightly disappointing turn of events, but even a few songs in it was forgotten, as regular Queens of the Stone Age drummer, Joey Castillo, did a damn fine job. While the band is by no means a joke, there is equal parts ironic parody and total sincerity of the whole 80's glam-rock & cock-rock scene, at least in their on stage performance. With lead singer & guitarist Jesse ‘The Devil’ Hughes grooming his awesome 'stache on stage, strutting around like he owns the place (and, for at least two nights at the Commodore, he did), coming out for the encore in his best tuxedo.... t-shirt, and going through at least a half dozen pairs of giant cop shades, everything they did was with genuine enthusiasm and energy. And beneath the smirk you can tell he loves being on stage.
They were no slouches musically, either. The entire set was tight and punchy, starting on a high and never let the 'balls to the wall' energy drop. Throughout the show they even threw in some pretty cool covers, too -- which is a practice I think all bands should partake in. Live covers are always fun. There were a couple, with Stuck In The Middle With You (Stealers Wheel) in the main set and Brown Sugar (Rolling Stones) in the encore.

I have to add one thing, though... for the last half of the set, there was a bit of a distraction. Two people, pretty much right in front of us, decided to use the Commodore as their own personal fuck-pit, with sloppy makeouts and dry humping and gratuitous grinding and pretty much the most disturbing thing you can think of... especially cos neither of them were anything remotely resembling attractive. Even worse was when she was dancing on the tables (miraculously, without it breaking) and he pulled up her skirt. Even worse was when the pale scrawny, afro'd white boy took off his shirt. Even worse when they came up and sat at the table right next to us. I saw it, and now I wish I could un-see it.

Despite that unpleasantness and the Homme-less-ness, it was a pretty damn good show, and I don't think I would hesitate to catch them again live.

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