Live Review: Eagles of Death Metal
San Francisco, CA
February 5, 2009
Sometimes you want to close your eyes, listen to live music and soak in the emotion of the song, the poetry of the lyrics and the melodies so they resonate deep in your soul.
Other times you just want to drink beer, throw devil signs in the air and scream sexually provocative lyrics until you're horse.
Thursday night was one of the latter nights as the Eagles of Death Metal played a sold out show at the Fillmore in San Francisco, California. Three straight weeks of dismal news on our nation's economy, a chaotic week at work and some unwelcome news from my doctor earlier in the week had me more than ready for EODM's chemical and musical tonic.
With his aviator shades, greased back long red hair, skin tight jeans and beverage in hand, ringleader/vocalist Jesse "The Devil" Hughes came to preach the good book of rock 'n roll, and for 90 minutes EODM literally made the floor of the Fillmore bounce up and down to the throbbing beat of the band's songs.
Whether it was a song like ""Don't Speak (I Came to Make a Bang) from the band's second album Death By Sexy or opening the show with "I Only Want You" from the Peace Love Death Metal the band raised the energy level in the house 1000% and had bodies moving on the ballroom floor of the Fillmore.
For this tour, the band has been graced to have Queens of the Stone Age drummer Joey Castillo behind the kit and the effect has raised the bar on the EODM live experience. Pounding his kit like Animal from the Muppets, Castillo kept the heavy synchronized stripper beats going all night, giving the rest of the band a solid foundation to lay down their sleazy riffs on.
Part of the appeal of EODM is the between song chatter and charisma of frontman Hughes and tonight he did not disappoint. Hughes worked the whole crowd, duck dancing to the edge of the stage, playing a solo rendition of "Midnight Creeper"at the start of the encore and working the ladies in the crowd to a full lather. As someone once said, the ladies in the crowd want Jesse, and the guys in the crowd want to be Jesse.
The crowd got to meet Jesse's son, who stood side-stage and doubled as a roadie by giving guitarist Dave Catching (AKA Darlin' Dave), bassist Brian O'Connor(AKA Big Hands) and drummer Joey Castillo(AKA The Sexy Mexy) fresh towels. Hughes even shared his collection of sweat-laden combs with some lucky female fans close to the stage.
Although the recent reviews for new album Heart On have been mixed, the new songs performed fit in well with the back catalog and covers. "Secret Plans" boogied with it's Devo-esque backbeat and "Anything 'Cept the Truth" showed flashes of the Rolling Stones with it's Keef Richards licks.
Speaking of the Stones, "Brown Sugar" in the encore got the older folks in the crowd (including yours truly) groovin before the band tore the place down with "So Easy" off their debut album. As we patiently waited on line at the coat check, the overheard chatter was mostly "Dude, that show fucking rocked." or "I didn't know they were that good".
For a band that many still consider a jokey-side project of Queens of the Stone Age, the Eagles of Death Metal continue their crusade to have a stripper pole installed in every house in America, and with shows like Thursday night's at the Fillmore, the impossible is now slightly more possible.