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Three reasons to see Eagles of Death Metal, beyond the obvious

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Jesse Hughes and the Eagles of Death Metal soar into town for a Friday-night pool show at the Hard Rock Hotel.
Barry Brecheisen/AP Photo
Jason Bracelin

It’d be a tragedy if the Eagles of Death Metal became synonymous with tragedy. They’re among the most revelrous, life-affirming bands in rock ’n’ roll, and yet, after gunmen left 89 dead at one of their gigs in Paris last November, they’re now linked to one of history’s worst terrorist attacks. Helping the band put all that behind it is but one reason to see EODM this week at the Hard Rock Hotel. Here are three more:

1. Eagles of Death Metal frontman Jesse Hughes preaches the gospel of rock ’n’ roll like no other. Hughes just might be rock’s most zealous evangelist, a true believer who prophesizes from the stage with the mouth-frothing fervor of some wide-eyed street preacher—only in Hughes’ case, he’s predicting the fall of various ladies’ undergarments in place of brimstone. Dude’s not just a motormouth, it’s as if his tongue is propelled by the kind of booster rockets that sent spacecraft into orbit. Thing is, the guy is as earnest as he is impossibly energetic. “What good’s a heart if it ain’t on your sleeve?” Hughes asks on “Heart On,” the title track from the band’s third full-length. Over the course of four albums, EODM has made it its business to render that question a rhetorical one.

2. The show’s on a Friday night, and this bunch is like the end of the work week incarnate. The Eagles of Death Metal’s repertoire isn’t just posited on letting your hair down, it’s about shaking that dirty mane until fun-blockers like good judgment, inhibition and self-consciousness are jarred loose from cerebellums. The band’s catalog is one prolonged invocation to cut loose, with Hughes panting and purring in a near-falsetto whinny over bump ’n’ grind guitars meant to get hips and fists shaking alike. Work hard, play hard? These guys render the two indivisible.

3. When it comes to getting lucky, attending an EODM gig works 60 percent of the time, all the time. Just how libidinal and heavy-breathing is the EODM canon? Well, when the band plays the Hard Rock pool, expect the windows of all those bedroom suites to get fogged up from the outside for a change. If rock ’n’ roll can be likened to an aphrodisiac, this is Spanish fly with the wings of, well, an eagle. “I make dick-shaking, titty-wobbling, good-time, let’s-get-down, what’s-up-girl music,” Hughes told entertainment website Consequence of Sound in 2015. Time to shake and wobble, Vegas.

Eagles of Death Metal with Beware of Darkness, The Dirty Hooks. July 22, 9 p.m., $27-$30. Hard Rock Hotel pool, 702-693-5000.

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