Headlining one of this years ACL main stages, and firing this years opening volley to start the fest, a new band, Them Crooked Vultures opened the festival with a sold out pre-fest gig at Stubb's BarBQ last night.
Begun as a special project in 2005 by super-musician Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters, the band played a handful of disparate gigs in the United States and Europe back in August, but the Stubb's stop is officially the very first stop on their very first American tour.
It is a wise man that attends one of Dave Grohls' side project bands live gigs with no pre-conceived notions. Much like his experimental Probot project, nothing about the sound of this band bears any relationship to either Foo Fighters or Nirvana. In fact it probably derives more of it's sound from 60's classic "heavy" bands such as Deep Purple and Iron Butterfly than anything produced in the last 20 years.
With the legendary John Paul Jones of Led Zepplelin on the bass and the keyboard, the bands direction was probably inevitable, and yet there was a twinge of frenetic "Jack White" experimentalism which when layered with that deep late 60's blues rock, creates a melange different from anything else you'll hear today. With the off key vocals of Queens of The Stone Age's Josh Homme highlighting and accentuating the esoteric nature of the music, these songs wouldn't sound out of place in 1968 London. I think they need to ask Blue Cheer to open for them. THAT would be a great double bill.
But this is a chimera, a once in a lifetime chance to see these musicians play together, something that after this tour is never likely to happen again. With the tour selling out in record time few people will get the opportunity. Luckily for all of us, they taped a set for the Austin City Limits TV show on PBS Thursday. Look for it to be aired sometime in early 2010. Click here to check out the rest of the pics. photos by Jeff Barringer - Staff Photographer