Joe Walsh Brings
Nine Inch Nails
Joe Walsh and Dave Grohl
Joe Walsh and Dave Grohl
Dan Aurbach and Dave Grohl
Nine Inch Nails
Trent Reznor Kelly Deal
IMG_0281rt - Copy
Dave Grohl and Joe Walsh
Dave and JOe
November 16, 2022
Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and Ohio native, Joe Walsh brought his sixth annual VetsAid concert to Nationwide Arena on Sunday. In a press conference held earlier in the day, Walsh said that he was "a gold star kid, but we didn't even know what that was." He noted that his father died on Okinawa in 1949 while doing missions and he was only one 1/2 years old at the time of his fathers death. He said that he always felt a connection to his father and military families so he decided to help out veterans by starting Vets Aid.
All of the proceeds from ticket sales and merchandise were going to several veteran organizations including many right here in Ohio.
This time out, Walsh brought with him bands and artists that have Ohio connections.
First up were The Breeders from Dayton. Their fourteen song set seemed a little disjointed. There was a lot of down time between songs that included long awkward silences before the band started the next song.
Kim Deal did shout out a few cities by asking if anyone was from Huber Heights or Youngstown and a few other towns. She did mention that "Driving On The 9" was written by Youngstown native Ed Redeeming.
However, things did pick up at the end when they went into their biggest hit "Cannonball" and their last song "Gigantic" by The Pixies. Former boyfriend of Kim Deal, Dave Grohl joined them on the last tune on guitar and vocals. Just his appearance on stage got everyone on their feet.
Between each band, Joe Walsh's son, who was filling in as MC for Drew Carey who came down with COVID, introduced local veterans and the organizations that they were affiliated with.
The James Gang (from Cleveland) were the next act up on stage. This was the bands first full set since 2006 and they sounded fantastic!
It was great hearing classic deep cuts like "Asshtonpark," "Midnight Man" and "Collage." Of course they broke out there two biggest hits "Walk Away" and the set closing "Funk 49" that also featured Dave Grohl on guitar.
The third act on the bill was The Black Keys (from Akron). Patrick Carney and Dan Aurbach played a very impressive ten song set. It was all killer and no filler.
Kicking off with "Howlin' For You," which led into "Fever" the band never slowed down. "Hi/Lo," "Gold On The Ceiling" and perhaps the best version of "Little Black Submarines" that I have heard made the set. They closed with a rocking version of "Lonely Boy" that had most of the crowd up and dancing.
Trent Reznor and the rest of Nine Inch Nails from Cleveland were up next.
They were just electric. So much power and energy.
A few songs into the set, Reznor noted that Joe Walsh reached out to him and said "I'm doing a concert for the vets..." and Reznor said "I said yes." He said that the first concert he ever saw was Joe Walsh and he was humbled that he would even ask him to be a part of this concert.
The last three songs of their set would normally close out any show. "The Hand That Feed," a raucous "Head Like A Hole" and the beautiful and intense "Hurt" were definitely some of the highlights of the evening.
But the evening wasn't over yet.
Walsh appeared again to play four of his biggest solo hits.
Before he did that, he deadpanned "That was my first Nine Inch Nails Concert. I thought I was in an earthquake! I loved it!"
With that, Walsh and his trusty friends that included Nathan East on bass and long time drummer and Cleveland native, Joe Vitale on drums ran through "In The City" and an extended version of "Turn To Stone."
Grohl, born in Warren, once again came on stage to jam with Walsh on guitar to "Life's Been Good." He then switched to the drums once again to close out the show with "Rocky Mountain Way."
It was a great way to celebrate veterans and help raise money for their various causes.
Let's hope Vets Aid returns to Ohio next year!
Photos and review by Greg Drugan