Them Crooked Vultures
“It’s not often you get to hear a bunch of music you don’t even know,” smirked Vultures “frontman” Josh Homme midway through his band’s set at Roseland Ballroom in New York on Thursday, Oct. 15. The gross understatement hung in the air. Not only did the sold-out crowd not know the songs, they didn’t really know the style of the songs to be played by the Queens of the Stone Age frontman, who was backed by Foo Fighters/Nirvana legend Dave Grohl (drums) and even bigger legend John Paul Jones (bass, piano, keytar) of Led Zeppelin fame.
Of course it would be loud and arena-ready (it was), but the wild card was JPJ. Would he lead the band to noodly blues-rock territory? Would he play an epic piano arrangement (“Rain Song” part two)? Would he crack out the mandolins? All true, for the most part. “Scumbag Blues” was the show’s big set piece, allowing the three guys upfront to flex a bit. (Guitarist Alain Johannes contributed some mighty fine rhythm throughout). Jones played a bass solo, which we could have done without. “Mind Eraser” was crunchy pop—more in the style of Foo Fighters. Someday the band is going to record an album—with studio gloss, certainly. We’ll reserve final judgment until that record drops.—Matt Rodbard, Metromix