Nadia Elkharadly: The one that started it all

Have you ever loved something so much that all you wanted to do was tell people all about it?  It’s that feeling that made me start writing music reviews.  In the summer of 2010 I’d spent approximately 80% of my salary on concert tickets, and was also going to be heading to my first ever music festival (Lollapalooza).  I was so excited about all the live music I was going to experience that I was bursting.  I wanted to scream about it from the rooftops.  Instead, I started a blog, which is the web equivalent of screaming from the rooftops.

That blog became my outlet for all my musical musings, but today while going through some old files on my computer I discovered something.  I always had it in my head that my blog housed my first music reviews, but I was wrong.  In the fall of 2009, I went to probably one of the most amazing concerts I’ve ever been to:  the first appearance of Them Crooked Vultures in Toronto.  That show blew my mind to the nth degree, so being the aspiring writer that I was even back then I of course came straight home and wrote all about it.  At the time, I’d written a couple of pieces for a friend of a friend’s website, Iheartthemusic, a couple of interviews, and I think a stab at a review.  I’d approached the editor to post my TCV review but it never worked out.  At the time, I was so sad that I wasn’t able to share that incredible experience with the world (even though I got to share it with my good friend Aleks, who came to the show with me).  Months later when I started my own blog, I didn’t even think to post it.  But lucky for all of you DBAWISers out there, I thought about it tonight!  So, here, in its original and heretofore unpublished form, is my first ever, super music geek live show review.  Enjoy!

It may be safe to say that the super group to end all super groups has finally arrived.  Them Crooked Vultures is a veritable rock and roll hall of fame on stage.   Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters, Nirvana) commandeered the drum kit and provided background vocals.  The legendary John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin) picked up his bass and tickled the ivories.  And Queens of the Stone Age Front man Josh Homme covered vocals and guitar.  They were accompanied on Stage by Alain Johannes (Eleven) on guitar and vocals.

Formed earlier this year in Los Angeles, Them Crooked Vultures has taken the music scene by storm.  Fans of the individual members have been whispering among each other for weeks, scouring the internet for teasers and clips, and clandestinely trading bootleg recordings pilfered from previous shows on their tour.  For the most part however, concert goers who rushed to snap up tickets genuinely had no idea what they would get when TCV hit the stage.  Expectations were high.  Playing to a packed house Toronto’s Sound Academy last night (October 9th), Grohl, Jones and Homme did not disappoint.  It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that today many people in Toronto now have a new favourite band.

The show can only be described as seductive, leaving the audience spent, satiated, and still wanting more.  In this day and age, where most music is over manufactured, over produced and overconfident, it was refreshing to hear.   Songs went on for upwards of eight minutes, kicking our current ADD music culture’s 2 minutes or less per son square in the ass.

Somehow, music that was unmistakably Queens, Foos and of course Zeppelin fused together to create a decadent new, but still old sound.  Homme’s smooth and mellow vocals satisfyingly contrasted the guttural guitar riffs and pounding drum and base lines, particularly on the psychedelic “Calligulove”.  During “Daffodils” Grohl attacked his drums with an astounding ferocity that was exhausting to behold.  And watching rock legend Jones play his bass AND THE PIANO AT THE SAME TIME was enough to make one feel both insignificant, and inspired.  All icons in their own rights, Homme, Jones and Grohl shared the stage with a harmony and camaraderie that was contagious.  Strangers in the crowd were sharing their awestruck feelings, high fiving and dancing together.  You could have never heard a note these guys played before that night, and still come away a die hard fan.

It truly was a show that music lovers and fans will be talking about until their dying days.  It was the kind of show that made even the least talented musical neophyte wish that he or she could create music.  It’s music that actually improves your life.  As one feverish young woman in the audience was heard to say “This is better than sex”.   And it really was.

Ever been to a show that was so awesome you couldn’t wait to tell people about it?  Tell me about it now!  Comment below, or email us at the provided address.

Until next time,



Nadia’s column appears every Tuesday

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Nadia Elkharadly is a Toronto based writer with a serious addiction to music. Corporate drone by day, renegade rocker by night, writing is her creative outlet.  Nadia writes for the Examiner (.com) on live music in Toronto and Indie Music in Canada.  She has never been in a band but plays an awesome air guitar and also the tambourine.  Check in every Tuesday for musings about music, love, life and whatever else that comes to mind.

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