Published on May 5th, 2016 | by Stacey McLaughlin0
Concert Review: Eagles of Death Metal (Saskatoon)
The Eagles of Death Metal roared through town this week, and we sent our intrepid reviewer Stacey to suss out the concert. She’s still smiling.
The fans were already hysterical before Eagles of Death Metal even hit the stage. Could they see them on the wings? This crowd was louder and more passionate than the crowds I have seen at venues fifteen times the size of O’Brian’s Event Centre, and the band more than returned that enthusiasm in kind. When they walked on the stage a few minutes early, singer and co-founder Jesse Hughes was blowing kisses and winking, and guitarist Dave Catching was filming the crowd with the camera on his phone. The entire band were so engaging, and very charming: bassist Matt McJunkins had an almost constant smile, and drummer Jorma Vik wore a t-shirt that said “Support Good Times,” which the band most definitely did.
Starting with the jump to your feet, dance-tastic anthem ‘I Only Want You’ the entire show oozed heaps of love and warmth from both the band and the crowd. As Hughes observed, body surfers were not only stopped by the security guards, but were also given great big hugs after they were hauled down “so that they didn’t crack open their skulls”. Not only was the band very high energy, but they were extremely positive, and had great attitudes. Someone in the crowd gave Hughes a trucker hat with the word “BUTT” emblazoned across the front of it. The fan explained that it was a snorkeling company, which Jesse Hughes used as a segue into the song ‘Save a Prayer,’ stating that he’d pray that he’d get some snorkeling equipment as a gift, and this sort on the spot riffing really demonstrated his brilliant ability to think on his feet. He also made promises to hug each and every person in the bunch, and make them hot cocoa after the show (how’s that for endearing?).
The band also acknowledged that they have had an interesting year to say the least, in light of the attack on Le Bataclan in Paris last November. Rather than dwell on it, which they were more than entitled to do, they chose to focus on being happy, and on spreading their message of love and having a good time. It was the ultimate triumph over sadness and adversity, to rise up over what was a tragedy and still be able to smile and say, “We won’t let them take this away from us.” That’s an important lesson.
The show ended with ‘Speaking in Tongues,’ featuring a guitar solo battle between Hughes and Catching that had Darlin’ Dave at one point affixing a towel in front of his face with the ‘Butt hat’ and playing his solo without the benefit of vision. It was quite the spectacle for both the eyes and the ears, as both of these men are as much show-offs as they are talented musicians. It was awe-inspiring and silly, but mostly just great. They put on a show that uplifted as much as it entertained. We need more bands like the Eagles of Death Metal in this world — I’m sure we would be in a better place if we did.
Photo Credit: Adrien Begrand