Disappointing performance from one of the most promising supergroups in existence
On paper, the ingredients for Them Crooked Vultures are a guaranteed recipe for success. Their studio release, their self-titled album, was quite well received, but their live set was simply not good enough for a sub-headlining slot supporting AC/DC on the main stage of Download Festival.
Surely a rock supergroup consisting of frontman Josh Homme (Kyuss/Queens of the Stone Age), bassist and keyboardist John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin) and drummer Dave Grohl (Nirvana/Foo Fighters) would be destined for success in both recorded and live scenarios? Not in this case.
The majority of people in attendance were obviously there to see the famed individuals, not to hear the music created by the band and this was noticeably clear in the passive reception. Them Crooked Vultures appeared little more than a ‘jam band’ and although they seemed to be enjoying performing together, they were not able to bring the festival to life. Dave Grohl’s performance was the main saving grace; seeing the former Nirvana drummer give it his all for the duration of the set was the main aspect of appeal.
To the surprise of many in attendance, the group managed to fill their 75 minute slot with songs from their debut album. Although it is a sad observation to make, many were there holding the hope that they would hear the occasional cover of a Foo Fighters/Led Zeppelin/QOTSA song. As the set went on, it became apparent that they were to have no such luck and would be leaving disappointed.
Homme, Jones and Grohl are three excellent musicians; there is never any doubt about this. Although they may not have spent a huge amount of time working together as an ensemble, they have still developed an impressive co-operative nature. Their performance was technically satisfactory, just not awe-inspiring.
The band had been placed ridiculously high-up on the roster and sadly, in truthfulness, no one really cared for the music of Them Crooked Vultures. Perhaps the band realised this; people were mainly there so that they could tell their friends that they had seen three rock superstars in the flesh.