Eagles of Death Metal frontman Jesse Hughes.. (photo credit:ROY DANIEL)
“L’chaim!” Front man Jesse Hughes cried in salute to the crowd, as the members of Eagles of Death Metal passed around a bottle of Tubi 60, Israel’s one and only murky lemony liqueur. “It’s like drinking gasoline, but gasoline that tastes incredibly good. I’m so happy to see you mother f**kers you have no idea!”
Thus began a night at the Barby Club on Monday in Tel Aviv, a night of pulsating, suspender-wearing, vein-popping classic-rock-meets-rockabilly whose musical precision and energy was matched only by euphoric moments of international Israel love.
“I f**king love you mother f***kers.” Hughes lavished on the crowd between tunes. “You have no idea how happy we are to be back here.”
“I wanna tell ya’ll something because I think it’s important. I feel really happy. I feel really safe. I feel like I’m home and I want you to know how much we appreciate that.” He became almost inaudible over the roar of the crowd at this, each member of the Israeli audience galvanized by the support. Israeli fans are frequently over-looked by international musical acts due to the aggressive pressure on them by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS).
“This has been a weird f**king year, ya’ll. We needed you tonight and ya’ll did not let us down.”
Weird is an understatement. It was Eagles of Death metal who were performing at Paris’s Bataclan theater last November, the night of the horrifying city-spanning terror attacks that took the lives of 130 people, including 89 at the concert alone. All of the band members survived, but their head merchandiser and two members of their record label were murdered, and Hughes narrowly escaped a similar fate when he ran straight into one of the gunmen in the hall.