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Eagles of Death Metal and The Living Things @ Henry Fonda Theater, 2/4/09

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A caped avenger with a Queens of the Stone Age T-shirt were among the fans who raced to the front of the stage as soon as the doors of the Henry Fonda Theater opened on Wednesday. The lady in question wore her cape with a grace that even Dracula would have envied. Among the other die hard Eagles of Death Metal fans included several men who greased their hair like the lead singer, Jesse Hughes. As the crowd began to trickle in, it became abundantly apparent that the fans had come dressed to kill. Leather jackets with chains, black jeans, and leather boots were in abundance. And why not? The bands that they had come to see had made their mark not just with their music, but by embodying what it was to be a rock star.

The Living Things opened the show with their fuzzed out, big, angry guitars that bit and clawed through your eardrums...in a good way. Dressed all in black with leather jackets, these boys from St. Louis looked the part of a rock band. Lead singer, Lillian Berlin, at one point jumped off the stage and climbed up onto the side speaker making him look like a politician on a soapbox or a prophet of doom. But something was bothering me, during the performance. Something was not quite right about it, that rubbed like a pebble in your shoe. And then Lillian gave a speech two songs that revealed why this performance was so off. He said, "Fuck this recession shit! How many of you have jobs?" about half the crowd raised their hands. Berlin continued, "Well if you don't have a job, fuck your boss! How about we all just not pay our rent? What would they do then?" and started giggling. And I thought, "Holy shit. He thinks this recession is funny." That's what is so off. The Living Things are out of touch.