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Them Crooked Vultures Said Swear Words on ‘Saturday Night Live’

Monday night a line wrapped around the corner of the former disco club Roseland. Scalpers circled the block asking, “Anybody selling tickets?” “How about, ‘Is anybody selling six-packs on this damn line?’” a man walking to the back of the line said. Neesless to say, New Yorkers were really anxious to see their favorite rock stars — Josh Homme, Dave Grohl, John Paul Jones and Alain Johannes of Them Crooked Vultures — on stage again.

On Feb. 6, the supergroup performed two songs on ‘Saturday Night Live.’ Compared to the Crisis of Conformity skit (spoofing a group of middle-aged men rediscovering their hardcore punk roots — at a wedding), Them Crooked Vultures’ performance was underwhelming. For a couple minutes, I even forgot which band hadn’t played since 1983. But on Feb. 8, when the four-piece got on the tall Roseland stage, I was abruptly reminded that live TV is nothing like live and in person.

“We’ve been here all week long. It feels really good to play again. Really, it does.” Holmes wasn’t lying. The band played so effortlessly and in sync that had I not known their histories (as in had I lived under a rock for the last 20 years), I would’ve thought that they had been a band for at least a decade.

Half a song in, and the band was in full form. Homme sang with the most soul I’ve ever heard, Grohl worked the skins with ruthless force and Jones made it all make sense.

After introducing every band member, frontman Homme directed everyone’s attention to the man most noted for his dedication to Led Zeppelin. “And on any instrument ever made, John Paul Jones!” At 64 years old, Jones is on top of the game and the most vibrant musician on stage.

“Alright N.Y., it’s alright to clap, it’s just not alright to get the clap,” Homme said mid-song. I didn’t see one person laugh at this joke, which disappointed me.

Before closing up their set of over an hour, Homme told us something about the band’s performance on ‘Saturday Night Live’ that no one probably noticed. He was able to get some soap-in-the-mouth-worthy words got past the restrictive networks sensors. He admitted, “I said d—, piss and s—.”

Them Crooked Vultures will play Coachella and Download Festival. They also just announced new show dates in Las Vegas and Denver, as well. Their self-titled debut release is available now in stores and online.

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