Them Crooked Vultures reunite for the first time in over a decade at Taylor Hawkins tribute show

Them Crooked Vultures live
(Image credit: Gigs (KrisLW)/YouTube)

During Saturday’s Taylor Hawkins tribute concert, Foo Fighter frontman Dave Grohl unexpectedly reunited with his Them Crooked Vultures bandmates Josh Homme and John Paul Jones, as the supergroup performed together for the first time in 12 years.

Homme, who had joined Nile Rodgers earlier that evening to cover David Bowie, returned to the stage with the support of Grohl and Led Zeppelin legend Jones, with the three making their first public live appearance as Them Crooked Vultures since 2010’s Fuji Rock Festival in Japan.

It was only a short set – three songs in total – but it was enough to satisfy those in the crowd who were familiar with the three-piece, who first formed back in 2009 and released only one studio album.

Up first was a surprising cover of Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, for which Homme left his strapped-on Motor Ave BelAire electric guitar untouched as he focused his attentions on the microphone.

The BelAire was plenty busy during the next track, though, which was an energetic rendition of Them Crooked Vultures original, Gunman. With the help of additional guitarist Alain Johannes, the trio showed no signs of their 12-year hiatus, seamlessly launching into a polished performance filled with punchy riffs and gnarly noodles.

It proved to be the only Them Crooked Vultures song on the setlist, with Homme, Grohl and Jones then bringing things to a close with a cover of Queens of the Stone Age’s Long Slow Goodbye.

It remains to be seen whether this cameo will be the catalyst for more Them Crooked Vultures activity in the near future. In February last year, Grohl voiced his desire to record a follow-up to the supergroup’s self-titled debut record.

“It was incredibly inspiring – it was a really incredible time,” he said of the whirlwind experience. “I hope that someday we do it again.”

Them Crooked Vultures’ set came just before the halfway mark in the tribute gig’s 50-strong setlist, and had followed performances from Liam Gallagher, Nile Rodgers, Chevy Metal, Justin Hawkins, Violet Grohl, Chris Chaney and Wolfgang Van Halen, who nailed two classic Van Halen tracks.

Their set was followed by appearances from James Gang, Brian Johnson, Lars Ulrich, Brian May, Paul McCartney, Chrissie Hynde and Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee, who reunited to perform three Rush songs.

To find out more about the second Taylor Hawkins tribute show – which will take place September 27 at the Kia Forum in Los Angeles – head over to Foo Fighters’ website.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.