Monday, February 18, 2019

Them Crooked Vultures at ACL – Let’s clone Dave Grohl

Posted by teibs On October - 3 - 2009

davegrohl@ZackTeibloom Can we just clone Dave Grohl already*? After last night’s assault on his kit, he’s effectively ruined all other drummers for me. Last year his raucous, ACL-closing Foo Fighters set ruined all other front-men for me. He better not pick up a bass. Thankfully, his new super group has a hell of a bassist in John Paul Jones.

Grohl surveyed the crowd as Them Crooked Vultures took the stage, rubbed his hands together and flashed a maniacal grin. “Welcome to the night time. I feel tipsy and loose,” Homme said addressing the crowd. Luckily, the tightest rhythm section in rock plays behind him, so he could be looser than xxxxx**.

The thing that struck me about Jones’ playing was for a guy who is known for doubling the guitar sounds and basically inventing metal with Led Zeppelin, he spent most of his time talking walking bass lines that had a mind of their own. Almost as impressive as his licks were the array of bass’ the man brought out. Seriously, look at this thing. He played it with a slide, making it sound nothing like a bass. When he wasn’t thumping, Jones got behind a keyboard for a couple tracks as Grohl single-handedly held down the rhythm section.

It’s the first chance for my generation to see Grohl behind the kit*** and what a treat it is. He seems like he’s doing a John Bonham impression the whole time and, when you’re playing with JPJ, why not? His whole body is in upheaval. His hair splashes around as his muscular, tattooed arms swing with vigor. He counts out the beat before every song and is clearly the ring leader and he makes the most of it from behind the kit. I don’t think I’ve ever air-drummed at a show, but Grohl evoked it. Even more than air-drumming, he brought back the fist pump. It’s the only appropriate response for his thunder.

Here’s the only thing separating Them Crooked Vultures from being an A performance. It feels like a Queens of the Stone Age show. I like Queens of the Stone Age. They’re solid rock, but they’re nothing compared to LZ, Foo and Nirvana. They just aren’t.  With QotSA’s Alain Johannes, they are 1/2 Queens. A bassist and drummer certainly factor in quite a bit, but I always tend to hang my hat on the vocals and lead guitar. A number of the songs like “Scumbag Blues,” “Mind Eraser, No Chaser” and “Reptile” sound like QotSA with a far better rhythm section. It’s not a bad thing, but it would be nice if Grohl shared songwriting duties.

There’s also something to be said for familiarity. With no album out yet, audience members were in read and react mode. It’s hard to sing along if you’ve never heard the words. That said, this band is just a few weeks old and have supposedly gotten far better as this tour has gone on with more practice time together. If this is them now, I can’t wait to see where they go from here. Now, if we could only get that cloning started…


*If we’re gonna clone Grohl, we might as well clone JW while we’re at it. It’s only fair. If you could clone any rock star so they could simultaneously play multiple instruments, who would you pick? I’m going with those two and Paul Mc.

** I feel like I’ve made a lot of looser than x jokes. Comment with one. I’ll fill it in with the best one.

***other than guest appearances with Tenacious D and a quick sit-in with LZ.

Photo by Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman

6 Responses

  1. Regular John Said,

    Sorry but QOTSA are a better band than Nirvana and the Foo Fighter’s, Dave Grohl said it himself. Josh Homme is a much more talented front man.

    Posted on October 3rd, 2009 at 2:48 pm

  2. Travis Said,

    Grohl also played drums on on a QotSA CD and toured with them. You may have heard of that album Songs for the Def it spawned the singles No One Knows and Go with the Flow it also included one of my favorite drum songs Songs for the Dead you might want to check it out.

    Posted on October 3rd, 2009 at 4:02 pm

  3. ltl Said,

    Well if you don’t like Queens much (and despite what you say, you clearly don’t!), then you probably wouldn’t be overly impressed. Foos are the band that are just “solid rock” though, and that’s being generous, they have nothing on Queens, and it’s qestionable that even Nirvana do.

    Also, you seem to have even forgotten that your generation got to see Grohl drum on Songs For The Deaf?!

    Posted on October 3rd, 2009 at 7:39 pm

  4. Festival Crashers » Blog Archive » Festival Crashers Do ACL Said,

    […] ACLtv taping the night before, which turned into meeting K’Naan and several tall boys during Them Crooked Vultures. After that onslaught of rock, Kings of Leon and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs weren’t doing it for […]

    Posted on October 5th, 2009 at 2:50 pm

  5. angel Said,

    nobody loves QOTSA more than i do, and i loved your review. thank you for a kick ass look into a festival i had to miss while my friends got to go. this is excellent, love hearing about my boy Dave on drums, good shit, thanks dude.

    Posted on October 7th, 2009 at 8:45 am

  6. Blake Said,

    This has nothing to do with Nirvana, btw. It was over in 1994, try getting over it yourselves.

    Posted on October 7th, 2009 at 5:37 pm

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