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LIVE: EAGLES OF DEATH METAL, Fremantle – 29 March, 2016

| 31 March 2016 | Reply

LIVE: EAGLES OF DEATH METAL, Fremantle – 29 March, 2016
With All The Colours
Metropolis Fremantle, Western Australia – Tuesday, 29 March, 2016
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
Photography by Stuart McKay

Eagles of Death Metal Fremantle 29 March 2016 by Stuart McKay (22)

Rarely do we see a gig which evokes such mixed emotions, and such a contrast of highs and lows, as Eagles Of Death Metal’s triumphant return to our fine shores.

To start, long queues awaited ticket-holders as security was even tighter than normal entering Metropolis Fremantle – not that anyone could blame the band for being a little paranoid after their 13 November, 2015 gig at Paris’s Bataclan Theatre was attached by ISIL terrorists, leaving 89 dead and many more injured. In sunny Perth we think, ‘that could never happen here,’ but the strict bag checks, rubber gloved frisk-downs and security scan at the entrance is a stark reminder that anything is possible.

“We’re All The Colours,” announces bassist Josh Moriaty of the a-little-too-ironically-clad-head-to-toe-entirely-in-black opening trio from Melbourne, before surprising the crowd – which was swelling painfully slowly due to the security procedures outside – with a truly interesting and mostly engaging set of forward-thinking retro-rock. With their heavy riffs, catchy tunes, quirky high-pitched vocals and take-no-prisoners presence it’s hard not to think of these guys as EODM and QOTSA’s biggest fans, but with some technically exciting and enjoyably brash attitude they kept a groove sustained for most of their set. Playing a mix of songs from both their albums plus a raucous cover of classic Baby Please Don’t Go, a fifty-minute set strained attention spans, but the beefed up ‘60s pop feel of Angel ended things on a high note.

Eagles of Death Metal Fremantle 29 March 2016 by Stuart McKay (20)

Any hope of a quick turn-around – this being a Tuesday night after all – were wasted, possibly due to that interminable queue progressing at a snail’s pace, so it was a full hours wait of muffled tunes through the PA later that Jesse ‘The Devil’ Hughes and his cohorts literally danced onstage to the disco funk of Kool & the Gang’s Ladies Night, the frontman standing still only long enough to curl his moustache with flair and affix his mirrored shades.

Launching their rock n’ roll dance party night was crowd favourite I Only Want You, complete with two false finishes, Hughes revving the crowd up with his loose-hipped sex-god act. It’s a tough ask to drag your eyes away from the uber-charismatic Hughes, bouncing around like a turbo-charged, tattooed pinball with all the moves of the Studio 54 dancefloor, but hip guitarist and bass player Eden Galindo and Matt McJunkins and the straight-from-a-hillbilly-mountain-cabin, flying V guitar-wielding Dave Catching throw their instruments back and forth around their necks, exhort and cajole the crowd to scream and yell and clap, and play second bananas to their frontman’s rock comedy routine.

The real highlight of the night’s entertainment was Hughes calling keyboard player girlfriend Tuesday Cross to centre stage, dropping to one knee and proposing to her. After an excitedly squealed ‘YES!’ and the crowd roared its approval while Hughes continued to camp it up to the max, accepting hugs from band members and gloating well-deservedly, “she did NOT see that shit coming!” before launching into a, “which makes this next song total appropriate,” Whorehoppin’ (Shit, Goddam). *

By this stage it was obvious that the sound upstairs was not going to get any better, with a bass hum that alternated between a buzz and a physical shaking of the furniture, and leaving lyrics and banter barely distinguishable. Thankfully downstairs fared considerably better, but for such a venerated and long-standing venue, that’s inexcusable.

The rest of the night was a blur as great songs came and went, the band danced and played up to their self-aggrandised reputation, whilst delivering song after song in blistering form from their four albums including Silverlake, Wanna Be In L.A., I Want You So Hard (Boy’s Bad News), I Got A Feelin’ (Just Nineteen) and Speaking in Tongues.

Eagles of Death Metal Fremantle 29 March 2016 by Stuart McKay (5)

What wasn’t so great was Hughes’ rant against Axl Rose joining AC/DC as singer for a handful of shows. Sure, no-one who likes the band is likely to be pleased with that appalling prospect, but to suggest – jokingly or otherwise – that someone should shoot or throw bricks at the Guns n’ Roses singer whilst onstage with the Aussie band was irresponsible in the extreme, even without taking into account the shootings at his own show just a few short months ago.

So, a night of highs and lows, then, but one undoubtedly worth experiencing.
* We were later told that a post on Hughes’ official Instagram page dated 15 March first mentioned him proposing and her accepting. Boots Electric is nothing if not a showman.

Set List:
I Only Want You
Make A Bang
Secret Plans
Just 19
Whorehoppin’ (Shit, Goddamn)
Oh Girl
Got A Woman
Now I’m A Fool
Stuck In The Metal
Wanna Be in L.A.
Love You All The Time
Boots Electric
Save A Prayer
Boy’s Bad News
Speaking In Tongues

Category: Live Reviews, Photo Galleries

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