There’s nothing quite like a good, old fashioned rock and roll show on a Tuesday night, am I right? Concert goers of all ages turned out on a summer-y weeknight at Upstate Concert Hall in Clifton Park to see Palm Desert natives Eagles of Death Metal slay with their own brand of blues-rock.
Don’t let their name fool you, folks. They are NOT a death metal band. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.) They are a rock and roll band. Unapologetic for their riff-heavy, get ya dancin’, tight jeans and leather jacket brand of rock- they even entered with panache. Frontman, Jesse “Boots Electric” Hughes came out on stage to E.L.O’s “It’s Magic,” proudly waving an American flag for all to see.
Hughes has not been a stranger to the headlines lately, being an avid Trump supporter, and a self proclaimed “gun-totin’ American.” The band themselves gained worldwide notoriety after the terrorist attacks at Bataclan in Paris this past November, where at a sold out show of 1500 people, 89 concert goers were tragically gunned down. Eagles of Death Metal made their return to Paris onstage with U2, giving a powerful performance of Patti Smith’s “People Have The Power.”
Fast forward to now, on their American Tour, their past tragedy not quite behind them, the band has created a new fan base of listeners. Their latest release, “Zipper Down” is filled with catchy, strut-worthy pieces, and they hit on all the best at Upstate Concert Hall.
The band opened with “I Only Want You” from their 2004 release, Peace, Love and Death Metal. The crowd immediately roared with delight, dancing, jumping, and sweating with Hughes. Keeping the momentum, they continued on to “Secret Plans” from 2008’s Heart On. Hughes co-founder and Queens of the Stone Age frontman, Josh Homme was not part of the night’s lineup, though it seemed he was there in spirit. At one point a fan screamed out “BETTER THAN HOMME” to his tour drummer. This delighted Hughes, who said he couldn’t wait to “call him up and tell him that. He’s gonna love that.” EODM then started playing their new material off of Zipper Down, starting with their single, “Complexity.” It was great to see the crowd chanting in unison, “My socks and underwear, I like to keep them clean. It’s so easy without complexity!” After that, the band performed “Skin Tight Boogie Baby,” a personal favorite off of their new album, for the very first time in front of a live crowd. “That means we’re going to f*ck it up,” boasted Hughes, though no mistakes were heard during the performance.
I’d be remiss to not mention the amazing sounds of Nashville female rockers, Thelma and the Sleaze, who are supporting Eagles of Death Metal on this leg of their tour. They really know how captivate an audience. Lead singer and guitarist, LG, looking like Janis Joplin, but sounding like Stevie Nicks mixed with a fire banshee, was all business, with no frills. It was so refreshing to see 4 women rock so hard. I’m sure they are used to taking people by storm, and Tuesday night was no exception.
The entire night was filled with pure, unadulterated rock and roll. The kind of rock and roll that flows through your veins and gets you excited about music again, and makes you feel something. Raw, visceral, sweaty, and fun. It was a fantastic evening, and I’m sure anyone who was there will say the same.