Last Night: The Eagles of Death Metal at the Fillmore

Categories: Last Night
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Eagles of Death Metal
The Fillmore
Thursday, Feb. 5
Review and Photos by Brian Moss

Better Than:
A night of cappuccinos and obscure French literature at the local cafe.

While I tend to prefer a bit of thought provocation in my music, I also appreciate the value of dumbed-down simplicity laced with melodic charm. After all, when you simply want to turn off their brain and party the night into oblivion, it's nice to have a soundtrack to back the debauchery. Overwrought with sass, bad facial hair, and an infectious catalog of garage-branded throwback numbers about fucking, drugs, the Devil, and fucking on drugs, the Eagles of Death Metal fill the role well. They're dirty, gimmicky, and utterly fun.

Although its records and tours often host a variety of collaborators, the band's core consists of guitarist and vocalist Jesse Hughes and drummer Josh Homme (who also fronts Queens of the Stone Age and did time with the now-defunct Kyuss). Their latest, and third release to date, "Heart On" finds them slightly more polished and glammed up, but still sleazy. The album's 12 tracks are rampant with ass-shake appeal, Rolling Stones envy, campy lyrics, and a whole lot of bluesy pop overdrive. Although at times it may be a niche and derivative listen, the record's got its share of irresistible overindulgence. It's rock and roll in pure form --
postured in ego, excess, and sex.

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Apparently I'm not the only one who likes this type of revelry. Tonight's show at the Fillmore sold out well in advance. When I arrived I found myself in the company of 1,000-plus aged out-of-town burnouts, crass groupies, nerdy couples, and in-betweens seeking
kicks and licks. Anticipation built as the opening act trudged their way through 45 minutes of irony-lacking, contrived Hollywood embarrassment.

Finally, with the smell of dirt weed and cheap perfume in the air, the lights dimmed, Kool and the Gang's "Ladies' Night" hit the speakers, and Jesse Hughes pranced his way onto the stage like an old WIld West porn store fantasy come to fruition. The band followed behind, in four-piece form, to the surprise of many, without Josh Homme on drums. Nonetheless, cheers and metal horns abounded. So it began.

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In showmanship and execution, for what it was, EODM was flawless. Hughes strutted, preached, and wanked the crowd into a frenzy.  For well over an hour, he and his cohorts showcased greasy aptitude and welcome amusement.  It was evident that this band truly loves what it does, and least for me, that holds weight. In song selection new
material was emphasized, but the best of the old pleasers and covers were played as well. In between tracks Hughes flirted, dished out compliments, and tossed used combs into the audience. The girls wanted the band and the guys wanted to be 'em. The energy and precision, albeit ridiculous and drawn-out, never let up. When the last distorted chord of the encore rang out to its end, my damaged brain cells and I clumsily weaved our way to the exit feeling fouled, a bit guilty, and oh so satisfied.

By the Way: Dear salon-cut, leather-clad Opening Band: Unless you're drinking straight from the bottle, having wine onstage is never okay.
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