By: Derek Jung
Back when I was a teenager, Eagles of Death Metal was one of my first concerts...third to be exact, and I was so young that I wasn't even allowed to go by myself (Thanks Aunt Sharon and Uncle Nick for taking me!). I credit that concert for really spring-boarding my love for live music, and when I heard that they'd be returning to the same small theater where I saw them the first time, I couldn't resist.
Eagles of Death Metal are known for their high energy shows, and frontman Jesse "Boots Electric" Hughes is the spitting image of the classic rock 'n roll sex symbol. He's suave, sexy, and has a charisma that really makes him the most likable person in the room. While he's not the best guitar player, he makes up for it with funky dance moves, hilarious jokes, and constantly swooning at the ladies. It takes a certain kind of person for the frequent comments to pretty women in the crowd to not feel really creepy , and maybe it's because I'm not a woman, but Jesse has never given my the vibe of a creeper (but he is a Midnight Creeper). Instead, the atmosphere is a fun-loving, booty-shaking good time.
Eagles of Death Metal's second half, QOTSA frontman Josh Homme, almost never tours with the band, which creates a situation where Jesse needs touring musicians. Luckily for them, Homme and company always have a cast of characters from their ever-expanding group of collaborators to choose from. On this tour, Dave Catching of The Rancho De La Luna recording studio took his usual post playing guitar, Matt McJunkins of A Perfect Circle assumed bass duties from Brian O'Connor, who has been battling cancer in recent years, and Jeff Friedl took drums from Homme and Joey Castillo. While I missed seeing Castillo and O'Connor up there, Matt and Jeff really performed well in their own right.
I've been a little skeptical of the new material from the new album Zipper Down, being released October 2nd, especially since a few of them are repeats from Hughes' solo album Honky Kong. Despite what some may call lazy, I really enjoyed the live version of "Complexity" compared to the solo album version. Silverlake was a real rocker and nearly brought down the house along with Hughes' guitar playing (he warned us beforehand that he may "fuck up" the strumming). Save A Prayer was also a welcome surprise from the new album, and even though it's a Duran Duran cover, they put their own spin on it that I enjoyed more than the original (low bar to meet).
Hughes played a good selection of songs by himself prior to the encore, including a rousing rendition of "I'll Blow You A Kiss In The Wind", before reintroducing the rest of the band back on stage. I was a little disappointed that he played my favorite cover, Brown Sugar, without the rest of the band. I was also a little tired by the end of the extensive guitar duel between Hughes and Catching, which lasted far too long and was not helped by McJunkins' finale of the Mario Theme song on bass (Seriously, how many musicians use that as their go-to solo?).
All in all they put on a thriller of a show, mixing in new songs and old, lasting around two hours and well past what I thought was a hard 11pm sound curfew in the area. Hughes tossed a half dozen sweaty towels to the crowd during the course of the show and finished with his sweaty shirt at the end of the show. This is after they flung a few packs of custom guitar picks into the audience, admiring how far they went. If you didn't go away with a souvenir from this show you either weren't trying hard enough or were out of their pick-throwing range.
The new Eagles of Death Metal album Zipper Down is in stores October 2nd.
Bad Dream Mama
Don't Speak (I Came to Make A Bang!)
I Got a Feelin (Just Nineteen)
Whorehoppin' (Shit, Goddamn)
Stuck In The Metal
I Want You So Hard (Boy's Bad News)
--Boots Solo Encore--
Kiss The Devil
I'll Blow You A Kiss In The Wind (Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart cover)
Brown Sugar (The Rollings Stones cover)
--Full Band Encore--
Save A Prayer (Duran Duran Cover)
Wanna Be In LA
I Only Want You
Speaking In Tongues
(As far as I remember)
Who are we?
Derek Jung and Joseph Kathmann -- Just two ordinary (debatable) guys that love talking about music. You can read more about us here: