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Review: Eagles of Death Metal at 20th Century Theatre

Review: Eagles of Death Metal at 20th Century Theatre

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Witnessing Eagles of Death Metal's performance at this year’s Riot Fest in Chicago was not enough to turn down another opportunity to see the band again. Instead of a Creedance Clearwater Revival entrance, the band walked onstage to the theme from the popular 70s/80s show, "Cincinnati WKRP”, conveniently at Cincinnati's 20th Century Theatre (a theatre that I described to friends as cute as fuck). But, I admit, that "Cincinnati WKRP" was not on television when I was even conceived, so that was lost on me.

Jesse Hughes walked onstage wearing a black “Zipper Down” (the name of the latest album from the band) t-shirt and suspenders, sadly sans cigarette and red cape. The crowd was rowdy way before the band took the stage. They were ready, and I was too. I only wanted a repeat of what I witnessed at Riot Fest, but it of course didn't happen.  The longer set time presented lulls in entertainment and unfortunately opened gaps where the timing for restroom and refill whiskey breaks were obvious. But, still like a backwoods preacher from Louisiana, Hughes, aka the Devil, carried on, by shooting new one-liners such as, "My arm is going numb because I'm a regular sex defender", and this gem: "I came here to shake my dick and have a good time".

During a few songs, a man, who suspiciously looked exactly like the band's bass player, Matt McJunkins, played guitar and sang back up. Who is this person, I most likely said aloud due to said whiskey consumption? We'll revisit this person later.

Surrounded by less Orange brand amps, and repping Cincinnati's own El Ray pedals, the band powered through jams from their latest album, Zipper Down, as well revisited songs from their three prior releases. They even performed a few covers, including Rolling Stones' "Brown Sugar"; a track that is burned in my head from my past day as a smoker and an avid fan of George Elliott Underground, a now defunct Columbus band, who successfully covered the song. Hughes failed to sing the correct lyric of, "just like a black girl should", multiple times, but I'll let it slide.

This round, my eyes followed David Catching and his glorious white beard. His beard stayed in place while easily performing guitar and not flinching during Hughes’ mention of Catching’s Tinder membership. But the man in black, the man who I have yet to identify, surly slided into the pit of the crowd asking ladies if they wanted to join him backstage. It's a practice that happens sometimes at shows...I guess, but I wondered why it was necessary when the band, without Tinder and the aid of a roadie/sometime guitar player, seemingly lives that “free love”/ rock and roll lifestyle. The man in black eyed and carefully selected women who met his unknown seedy criteria to join the band on stage. Included were two women, who stood beside me, who declined his invitation once, and then again, obviously making the two uncomfortable (also myself). The “chosen ones” danced and took pictures of themselves having a good time on stage, but what I witnessed was nothing short of creepy, disgusting, and not in "the name of rock and roll". Zipper Down is available to stream if one is so inclined. Tour rolls on for Eagles of Death Metal, but for me, it's zipper up.