Are we pumped? I know I’m pumped! Tonight the twenty third edition of the Jay Porks Never Ending Concert Series brings us to Roseland Ballroom (239 W 52nd street- New York City) to see the super-group, although they scoff at the term, THEM CROOKED VULTURES. A side project of legendary proportions, featuring the Josh Homme of fame with Queens of the Stone Age, Eagles of Death Metal, Kyuss(a short stay as guitarist in the Screaming Trees too) on lead guitar and vocals.. handling the bass duties, John Paul Jones- from a little band known as Led Zeppelin.. and on drums we have, after a 16 year absence from making creative and enjoyable music, Dave Grohl is back in his element-behind the kit. Them Crooked Vultures are here in support of their self titled debut record on what they’ve dubbed as the “Deserve the Future Tour”.. they are joined by second guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Alain Johannes.
So about 7:30 I finally make it inside this mammoth beast of a venue..I use the word “finally” because it felt like I was on the line for an hour. When I got off the train at 50th street I looked across the street and saw hundreds and hundreds of people flooding the sidewalk… That would be the line- it stretches maybe three blocks. All I know is that the entrance to Roseland is on West 52nd, and I’m standing at the back of the line around the block on 53rd… And I still have these three extra tickets to give away. I give one to this poor looking guy who I thought was heading inside, but when I saw him still asking for tickets, I figured he was probably working for a scalper. Then there was this girl who asked if the show was sold out. I said, “I’m not sure..but I have two extras at will call, you can have them”. She took me up on the offer, so I’ll be waiting for that Karma train to be making a stop at my house any second now.
Now this inside is standing room only and the room holds about 3000 plus.. This place seems like twice the size Hammerstien… the ceiling looks like it goes up forever and ever. I feel like the stage is half a football field away from me. I got my band tee shirt for 20 bucks when I first stepped in.. That line was insanely long and was more of a free for all than a line… Made my way towards that $6 beer, oh how I’ve earned it.
It’s about 7:47 when I notice that this place is packed almost the capacity.. This is gonna be some long distance video if I manage to get some. Surprised they let me in with my camera, they frisked me at the door as if I was an escaped convict.. While being searched in the oddest of places I start thinking to myself “I’m sure I don’t have anything on me right??”…. In the distance I spot a second drum kit on stage, is this going to be the opening act? I can’t stand when they do this, its one thing that pisses me off. Don’t pretend there’s no opener and then spring some no name band on us…we would’ve prepared accordingly. I would’ve came an hour later. Do us all a favor, I know you probably can’t have the opener figured on and printed on the ticket before it gets mailed..but at least list it on the venues website….bad job by Livenation.. And I don’t want to hear that crap “Well dude, there’s always an opening act” when I’ve seen the Melvins open for themselves and Dinosaur Jr had a half retarded guy stand on stage for a half hour before they went on…
The surprise opener was ‘The Brought Low”… Exactly. I personally have no idea who they are. All I know is they’re three dudes who want to be like Jet. Hate to jump on an opener, but th riffs were unimpressive to say the least. Anybody who works in a Guitar Center can play them.. I kept looking at my vacant wrist awaiting for them to end. They played about 7 or 8 songs, they went off at about 8:27….
So they had the stage set up at about 840, which was good because I started to have this pipe dream that maybe they’d head on at 845. Yea right. I’m starting to notice there is no where fr me to move forward or back, I’m stuck here for the remainder of the night.. And people aren’t exactly standing in siZe order, so my video clips are full of the back of peoples heads and little people playing instruments.
It became evident that my camera was not going to do me much good from all the way back here, but I still recorded what they kicked off the set with: “Nobody Loves me and Neither Do I”, this one has John used a slide thing on his bass as he stands next to a keyboards, synthesizer and two other bass guitars placed vertically. John Paul Jones is really whaling, seems like he’s been doing this a while. You start to wonder why most of these songs are so “Zeppelin-like” powerful.. he’s not like The Who being old at the Super Bowl halftime show-this dude is still fresh.. amazing.. They got into “Scumbag Blues”, like the 10 plus minute version, and Josh Homme is just having his guitar erupt with every strum, pulling out his full proverbial arsenal of tricks, what an amazing guitar player. It’s sounds like an episode of the mighty morphing power rangers with his strokes.. He and John are bouncing sounds off each other- it’s like they’re playing catch, with each one trying to top the latter. Where every song seemed to be the “extended version” as I call them, it’s actually that most of their songs are of lengthy proportions for traditional rock songs that they seemed to be a little longer than typical. “Dead End Friends” was either 4th or 5th in, where I just had an epiphany: I’m in the same room as John Paul fucking Jones! Are you kidding me? He could be up there playing a toothbrush, rock history is happening right now and I’m a part of it. And here’s no slouch-Dave Grohl completes what is probably the greatest possible living rhythm section alive. It’s been so long since I’ve heard Grohl play music that was creative and entertaining, it was really a pleasure to see the best rock drummer of at least my generation. A suddenly buff Grohl too, it was like the frickin’ gun show back there man-dude hits the gym. With one song into the next, “Reptiles” to “Gunman”,using the term ‘beast’ would be the understatement of the century to describe the drumming that’s going on-I can feel the beating that kit is taking from 60 yards away, that’s how epic it is. That is a sound that cannot be manufactured no matter how much you advance technology.. the sound that drum makes when Grohl hits it. It’s definitely something I missed. He also has a mic revolving mic stand that is dipping into the area he needs it when his harmony parts come up, I don’t know if he was controlling it or if it was a roadie but man I always thought it’d be late or smack him in the face every time it came around. And back to Josh as he was talking in between songs, and he said “We were on Saturday Night Live this past weekend”..*crowd roar*.. “And the people over at NBC censorship didn’t catch that I used ‘Piss’, ‘Dick’, and ‘Shit’ all in one song!”..*crowd roars again* “So that’s making the world a better place for people who promote public swearing. Fuck those people!”… this guy can work a room, he was full of colorful things to say all night (like when he said “Dave was up til 5:30AM drinking Jägermeister.. I told him not to do it, but he’s a fucking alcoholic and thats what alcoholics do”), he really knows how to grab center stage. Good thing he knows how to, because he’s offically uped his notch in “Rockstar” status..Josh Homme is now at least equal if not superior to the likes of artists like Jack White weather you like it or not, because he is totally bad ass if there ever was a definition. The dude is smoking a cigarette on stage in an indoor venue that doesn’t allow lighters-I mean I know he’s in the band and everything, but I’ve never seen anyone do this.. and then he flings it behind his shoulder with total disregard of all things to his rear. Take that society! He’s the main songwriter in any “side” project he touches… he looks over at John and he goes “hey Zeppelin”.. Then John Paul Jones comes bust out the ‘Key-tar’, you know, the thing Edgar Winter says he invented(he might’ve), the key board hooked up like a guitar sort of thing and Josh puts his guitar down as they get into “Interlude with Ludes”, a sort of trippy-hindi-ish song where Josh prances around without guitar duties walking up to everyone else in the band doing silly things.. they really looked like they were all having a good time up there, they got into the most recognizable song, thier first single “New Fang” maybe midway through the set and near the end they hit it with my favorite song of thiers “Mind Eraser, No Chaser”.. then before they finish up Josh states that “There is a time where every show must end”.. plus, they only have 13 songs anyway-and they played the shit out of all of them. As they took the little bow as they walked off stage I thought to myself, there wasn’t one thing that could’ve been better in the time they went on til the time they went off. Medolic blues driven hard rock molded with an absolute noise fest was a combination of blissful destruction and insane genius. Killer show.. What a night…..
There it is.. yet another Jay Porks Experience…. special thanks to everyone reading at ConcertConfessions.com, keep on truckin’ over there… as for the Never Ending Concert Series of mine I have goin on over here.. We’re eyeing the Flaming Lips and Local H later this year, along with the however many times the Meat Puppets come to town on their next tour.. For all the latest info you can always check back here at http://www.jayporks.com and in the upper right of the screen in the section that says “Upcoming Jay Porks Events”- we always get our hands on extra tickets and cool stuff like that so stay tuned, and thanks for putting up with my non-sense for a few minutes of your day.. tell your friends to check it out! LATE…..