Officially, Lollapalooza ended Sunday night in Chicago’s Grant Park, with dueling sets from [artist id=”1244299″]the Killers[/artist] and [artist id=”702″]Jane’s Addiction[/artist]. Unofficially, it ended very early Monday morning, across town at venerable rock club the Metro, with a surprise show by Them Crooked Vultures.
To the unfamiliar, the Vultures might seem like an odd choice to close out Lolla weekend … until you realize that they’re made up of [artist id=”986″]Foo Fighters[/artist] frontman/ former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl, [artist id=”503135″]Queens of the Stone Age[/artist] mastermind Josh Homme and [artist id=”993″]Led Zeppelin[/artist] legend John Paul Jones. And their gig at the Metro was their world premiere.
According to some reports, the Vultures actually turned down Lollapalooza founder Perry Farrell’s request to replace the Beastie Boys as headliners at the festival, opting to debut in front of some 1,100 super-psyched fans at the Metro, rather than 75,000 in Grant Park (tickets for the gig were announced via Foo Fighter/ QOTSA fan clubs). Meaning that, in a lot of ways, this was the most sought-after ticket in town.
Taking the stage just after midnight, the Vultures — Grohl on drums (of course), Homme on guitar and vocals, Jones on bass and keys and frequent QOTSA contributor Alain Johannes on guitar — ripped through 12 songs in 80 minutes, all taken from their upcoming debut, which may or may not be called Never Deserved the Future, and may or may not be hitting stores on October 23 (early “promo” videos touting both those facts were revealed over the weekend to be hoaxes perpetrated by QOTSA fans).
The songs, with appropriately Homme-ian titles like “Scumbag Blues,” “Mind Eraser (No Chaser),” “Caligulove” and “Interlude w/Ludes,” sounded pretty much how you’d expect, given the band’s pedigree. They rocked, hard — Chicago Tribune critic Greg Kot described them as “fresh, invigorating and just plain nasty” — delving off into psychedelic, reverb-filled excursions and exploring proggy territory, “both of the old-school Yes variety, and the more modern Tool flavor,” according to the Chicago Sun-Times’ Jim DeRogatis.
It’s not known if Monday’s Metro performance was a one-off event for the Vultures — there have been whispers of a full-blown tour, but a spokesperson for Homme had not responded to MTV News’ request for comment at press time. Nor was it clear whether or not they’ll have an album out in October.
Early Monday, a Crooked Vultures Twitter account, which had previously posted links to the band’s official-looking Web site and the Metro’s online ticketing site — posted a link to what appears to be the group’s first bit of official merchandise: a Deserve the Future T-shirt. Cost: $30.