Before last Friday night Velvet Jones was a foreign place, known to me only as another typical club with a dodgy word-of-mouth reputation. Frankly, I did not believe I could be lured to its location on the lower end of State Street, but a performance by the Eagles of Death Metal, whose amalgam of sex-boogie rock ‘n’ roll was not foreign to me, changed all that. That night Velvet Jones was swathed in low, red lighting and in actuality was not the intimidating club I’d been led to believe it was. The narrowness of its lower level embraced the arena-sized songs of each band, and was inefficacious in hindering the slam-dancers who slam-danced, the alcohol-consumers who consumed, and the lucky few who dared to shimmy their stuff in the Velvet Jones cage. Undeniably then, Velvet Jones sufficed fittingly for the music that ensued.
Since the band’s inception, Eagles of Death Metal has surpassed its status as Josh Homme’s little-side-project-that-could thanks to the band’s charismatic leader, self-proclaimed ladies’ man, Jesse “Devil” Hughes. So it mattered not that they performed sans its original guitarist Timmy VanHamel while Homme (EoDM’s original drummer) stood smiling to the side of the stage save for the last few songs, because the evening belonged to Hughes. The minute he hit the stage he oozed death by sexy; he donned a pair of black Jordache Jeans, broke strings, gyrated and sweated his ass off with unwavering rockstar bravado and debonair. Hughes and EoDM’s temporary replacement players indulged the crowd with a set that included nearly every cut off their latest album Peace Love & Death Metal and threw in covers of The Ramones’ “Beat On The Brat” and The Damned’s “New Rose.”
Eagles of Death Metal made cocksure to rock above all, and the crowd packed into Velvet Jones sounded sated. Was the energy of their performance attributed to songs about hip-wiggling and rump-shaking? Could it have been the fact that the songs managed such a remarkable shake appeal despite the absence of a bass guitar? Could it have been J. Devil’s lethally sexy moustache? Yes. Yes. And absolutely.