Eagles of Death Metal | Creepy Crawl, St. Louis | 05.31.06

“It’s hot as hell in here—I’m doing my best to not pass out. Can I get an amen?”

“It’s hot as hell in here—I’m doing my best to not pass out. Can I get an amen?”

Packed into the cozy confines of the air-conditioner-free Creepy Crawl, the sold-out crowd gladly obliged the request from Eagles of Death Metal’s frontman Jesse Hughes. Indeed, it was so hot that by the time the group played “Flames Go Higher,” they might as well have been talking about the venue. However, the Eagles weren’t helping the problem with their fiery performance—fueled by their heavy yet tuneful sound and Hughes’s hilarious stage presence, the group valiantly fought through the heat to deliver a blistering performance.

After leading off with a good but somewhat shaky rendition of “Bad Dream Mama,” the band locked into a tight groove on “Kiss the Devil.” That song’s start-stop feel (and instrumental hoedown section) rocked hard and showcased the quartet at their best. They stayed in top form for the remainder of the set, confidently charging through rockers like “So Easy” and “Don’t Speak (I Came to Make a Bang).” The Eagles also proved adept at slower tempos with the bluesy, Stones-inspired “I Like to Move in the Night” and the country-tinged “Whorehoppin’ (Shit, Goddam).”

Hughes proved to be an entertaining host throughout, frequently imploring the crowd to cheer for rock ’n’ roll, St. Louis, and above all else, “the ladies.” Feeding off of the other band members’ energetic performances, he always looked happy to be playing, a joy that transferred directly back to the audience.

The middle portion of the show dragged a bit, mostly due to the bunching together of lesser songs like “Already Died,” “English Girl,” and their pleasant but unremarkable cover of Stealers Wheel’s “Stuck in the Middle With You.” But none of this mattered once the group got back to their A-material. Showcasing the power of simplicity, the Eagles blazed through straightforward but fun songs “I Want You So Hard (Boy’s Bad News)” and “I Only Want You” before Hughes introduced “a new song we’re gonna fuck up for you.” Though its chorus lacked its over-the-top falsetto, the band in no way screwed up “Cherry Cola”—in fact, it was one of their best performances. The group rode this hot streak to the set’s close with knockout renditions of the stuttering “I Gotta Feelin’ (Just Nineteen)” and the wickedly rocking “Speaking in Tongues.” As always, there was an encore, with guitarist Dave Catching emerging first to showcase his potent soloing skills before the band reassembled for the roots-flavored “Flames Go Higher.” The group then paid their debt to the Rolling Stones with a rendition of “Brown Sugar.” Though these final performances were fine, they felt like a victory lap after the thrilling end of the main set. Then again, with a show this good, the band had more than earned it.

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