The TLA is an old movie house in downtown Philadelphia with a slanted floor and plasticine chandeliers, but on a hot August night the intimacy turned to ecstasy. There were many spastic mini-rocker girls in attendance—overanxious, giggling, levitating on Razzles and Red Bull—who had no idea that they were about to get their pretty little slates wiped clean by the infectious and sexy high-desert parking-lot rock of Jesse Hughes and Eagles of Death Metal.
It’s impossible to not shake something loose while listening to EODM. Hughes chicken-strutted through songs like “I Got a Feeling (Just 19)” and “Shasta Beast,” adjusting his mustache and looking like the lost member of Foghat, and you could just feel Camaro windows fogging up through the neighborhood.
It must be said that the Eagles have been unfairly labeled as just a side project of Queens of the Stone Age’s Josh Homme. Not true. Although this touring unit does contain Queens drummer Joey Castillo and Desert Sessions stalwart Dave Catching looking like a mohawked Larry “Bud” Melman on lead guitar, this is Jesse’s deal through and through. His message is clear: If you come to the show, you’re gonna get to love yourself and you’re gonna groove until those skinny jeans slide off.
Hughes treats every EODM show as ladies night. He towels off between songs and tosses them a la Elvis in Hawaii to any Farrah-haired goddess within reach. It’s a thrill ride that may leave the best tail-feather shaker with a key to the green room or the afterparty. But the shindig gives way to a chill-out and dry-off with a real range of highlights from their latest album Heart On, including the melodic meloncholy of “Now I’m a Fool” and the riveting raunch of “Anything ‘cept the Truth.”
To those who are usually shocked into submission of cerebral stagnation at the typical rock show: It can’t happen if Eagles of Death Metal are under the lights in front of you. Ladies ground down their stiletto heels an inch or two, men popped stitches on their Levi’s hems. The motivation to dance was never quelled, and by the end of the night there was plenty of energy surging through the venue to keep those plasticine chandeliers lit for another year.