Them Crooked Vultures
Wed Oct 14 2009
Photograph: Dustin Rabin
Roseland Ballroom; Thu 15
Several of the many so-called supergroups to have emerged in 2009 (e.g., Tinted Windows, Chickenfoot) seem more like unions of desperation than genuine summit meetings. That’s simply not the case with Them Crooked Vultures, whose formation is very likely the rock & roll event of the year. The most auspicious thing about the project is that its three principal members are doing just fine on their own: Josh Homme with his enlightened boogie-rock outfit Queens of the Stone Age, Dave Grohl with the perennial fan-favorite Foo Fighters, and John Paul Jones with the never-quite-defunct Led Zeppelin and any number of other eccentric endeavors.
Despite Homme and Grohl’s prior collaboration on QOTSA’s outstanding 2002 album, Songs for the Deaf, not to mention the formidable number of ballsy hits in the three members’ respective pasts, the Vultures have taken a purist approach to their handful of live shows to date, performing exclusively new songs from an in-the-works debut album.
Offstage, the band has done its best to cultivate an aura of mystery, issuing only a few brief teaser clips. But as any postmillennial music fan knows, you can’t play live and also keep your material under wraps. YouTube is teeming with Vultures footage, and it’s mighty enticing, hinting at a harmonious marriage of muscle and melody that’s unlikely to disappoint fans of Homme, Grohl and Jones’s justly revered histories. Furthermore, it’s great to see Grohl back behind the drum kit, reminding the world what an inspired basher he is.—Hank Shteamer