Eagles of Death Metal left a lasting impression on me after their performance on Saturday at this year’s Riot Fest in Chicago. I don’t know if it was the perfect set list, the bass solo from Matt McJunkins, or Dave Catching, but I walked away feeling good, real good.
Jesse Hughes aka The Devil sauntered on stage wearing a red cape and smoking a cigarette to “Born on the Bayou” by Creedence Clearwater Revival and positioned himself in front of the multiple Orange brand amps. He ran his fingers through his perfectly cut hair, adjusted his glasses, and fixed his mustache before the band started the set. While multiple sites declare the band consists only of Joshua Homme (Queens of the Stone Age, Kyuss) and The Devil himself, the touring band consists of legends in their own rite. Dave Catching, the current guitarist for EODM, is mostly known in my mind as an underrated genius, which was demonstrated during a guitar duel between himself and Hughes. Catching won. Catching’s stylings are heard on tracks from Queens of the Stone Age as well as Mondo Generator. After careful research to find the man responsible for one of the most kickass bass solos, well, ever, I came to the realization that the low notes flowed from the fingers of Matt McJunkins. The name may not sound super familiar, but bands such as A Perfect Circle, Thirty Seconds to Mars, and Puscifer may. They also happen to be artists in which McJunkins took part.
Hughes made a few comments about having numb fingers due to the cold, but his performance was more than solid. I knew I would have a good time during their set, I just did not know I was capable of having that much fun without the aid of whiskey. The band blazed through the crowd’s favorite jams such as “Complexity”, “Cherry Cola”, and my personal favorite, “I Only Want You”. I especially enjoyed that I was able to hear the growl of McJunkins’s bass; the bass was so heavy I could feel it in my stomach. Hughes’s Southern preacher shtick made it feel as if I was in the “partiest” church in existence, and I’m sure he’s kicked it up a notch since his official ordainment as a preacher in 2012. “I made myself to become available to become possessed by the spirits of the night,” Hughes exclaimed before sliding into “Complexity” from their new album, Zipper Down. It was then I understood that even if Eagle of Death Metal’s sound is simple and relatively straight forward, anyone can enjoy themselves at their show even the bearded man wearing a Motörhead hoodie who convinced me to dance.