See also our post on Kyuss Lives: Five Reasons To Embrace The Group Without Josh Homme
Better than...16 years of waiting to see members of Kyuss perform these songs live.
John Garcia, Nick Oliveri, and Brant Bjork have been touring for several months under the name Kyuss Lives, with Bruno Fevery of Garcia's "Garcia Plays Kyuss" project filling shoes left behind by Josh Homme's refusal to revisit his early years. The band has become a well-oiled machine, culminating in an exhausting and satisfying set last night.
In the weeks leading up to the show, the band promoted this as a special homecoming set. They promised to dig deep into their catalog and add some rarities to the set list. They also promoted a special surprise guest. Hardcore Kyuss fans knew not to expect an appearance from Josh Homme, and responded enthusiastically when it ended up being bassist Scott Reeder, filling in for Oliveri in the rarities portion of the show.
The two-and a-half hour(!) set covered album favorites such as "Gardenia" and "Green Machine," as well as non-album cuts such as "Fatso Forgetso" and "Un Sandpiper."
Fevery proved that he is worthy of performing these songs live. While his overall guitar sound is slightly blues-ier, the Wiltern crowd did not seem to miss Homme.
Garcia on vocals did not indulge much in stage theatrics. Instead, he played it cool and delivered renditions of the classic catalog that did not indicate to the ear that twenty years had passed since some of these songs had been recorded.
Once again entering a trance-like state with a giant stoner grin on his face the whole night, drummer Brant Bjork's physical presence resembled a cross between a Cheech & Chong character and a Muppet. Luckily unlike Animal, Bjork guided the band to a safe landing on all flights they took throughout the evening.
Nick Oliveri showed some energy on bass, but the wildman antics of yesteryear have dissipated since his offstage issues have occupied him this past year. Perhaps due to performing four-to-five nights per week for the last two months with Nick and becoming a very tight live outfit, the festivities seemed more loose and relaxed during Scott Reeder's portion of the set.
Overall though, it didn't matter whether Nick or Scott was on stage playing bass. The crowd at The Wiltern last night just seemed happy to be seeing a majority of original band members playing these songs live again. Hopefully it won't be another sixteen years.
Personal Bias: Scott Reeder played bass on my favorite Kyuss album, Welcome To Sky Valley.
The Crowd: A healthy mix of older desert-stoners reliving the early 90's, and new fans that worked their way backwards from Queens Of The Stone Age.
Random Notebook Dump: Bummed that "Shine" was not one of the B-sides played by Kyuss Lives.
Set list below.