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.
Here are some more of my Treo photos: