Party-Heavy Rock and Roll at Webster HallAugust 7th, 2009
Eagles of Death Metal/Rival Schools – Webster Hall – August 6, 2009
Last night’s Webster Hall lineup of Eagles of Death Metal and Rival Schools was definitely an odd—albeit amazingly awesome—pairing of post-hardcore and party-heavy rock and roll. The NYC-based Rival Schools is composed of former members of noteworthy hardcore bands, yet because the group has released just two albums (United by Fate and Rival Schools United by Onelinedrawing) and has played few shows since forming in 1999, Rival Schools is still shrouded in mystique. “Eyes Wide Open,” the only song that singer Walter Schreifels introduced as a new one—the band is working on a new album—pits strained, almost screaming vocals by Schreifels against soaring, distorted guitars. “Undercover On,” which culminated with some sweet, melodic backing vocals from Ian Love, and “Good Things” were definitely the highlights.
Although the room was full for Rival Schools, between sets it became packed and the crowd grew rowdy. The headliner’s fans are far wilder than the opener’s—and they can’t be blamed. EODM’s sexually charged, party-fueling, garage-y rock and roll songs have titles like “I Want You So Hard (Boy’s Bad News)” and “Whorehoppin’ (Shit Goddamn) I’m a Man.” So, what else could be expected? The show was a hometown affair that brought out a somewhat softer side of frontman Jesse Hughes’s rock and roll persona. Not only did he shout out to his mother, who was watching from the balcony dressing room, but also to his first-born son, an adorable blonde boy who spent most of the set running around the back of the stage, dodging drum sticks. Hughes even brought out a good friend of his for an wedding proposal. Although the mood lightened every so often for these shout-outs, the vibe was never lost, as pretty much everything Hughes said was followed by an obligatory “Can you dig it?” I dug it all. —Kirsten Housel
Photos courtesy of Gregg Greenwood | www.gregggreenwood.com