I’ve been a fan of Queens of The Stone Age since the age of 12, eleven years ago, so it would be an insult to my former journalism lecturers if I claimed to be in a position to write an unbiased review.
The hard rock heroes ascended on Dublin’s o2 on Sunday 17th of November, bringing their brand of filth ridden rock to doting fans and recent admirers. Needless to say, as a Die Hard fan I was incredibly excited. I had coiffured my hair, slicked on some red lipstick and added my customary black liner however the girl who left the house looking mildly polished was not the wild haired, smudged liner-ed, zealous girl who returned.
21 songs; a feast for QOTSA fans. I had been waiting for this gig for a couple of years and my expectations where stratospheric.
Josh Homme’s arrival on stage rendered the sex appeal levels of the room off the scale; what a man. His performance on stage was slick and bestial in equal measure. As always QOTSA managed to ooze machismo without giving in to the dickish cliché of gross rock stardom.
What really stood out, however was how pitch perfect his vocal was from start to finish. Not once did it sound like he was straining despite the hefty setlist.
Predictably (if you know your QOTSA) but delightfully the band kicked things off with You Think I Ain’t Worth A Dollar But I Feel Like A Millionaire. Although originally screamed by Nick Oliveri and on this occasion sung the honey soaked vocals of Josh Homme, it was an energetic start to the concert.
It was a steady setlist; waning only when the crowd, presumably not a long-term fan majority, faded slightly when Monster in the Parasol was churned out. For me, however the one moment of let down came from Make It Wit Chu a song which always bothered me, if not for the mushy, love song by numbers lyrics then for the terrible text speak title.
That aside, it was a gig highlight of the year. I have not yet decided whether it is my gig of the year; I’ve been to so many this year and a handful of them left a lasting impression on me.
The night filled me with a buzzing sense of appreciation for the artistry that is crafted into their music. Homme’s lyricism is multifaceted, spanning across psychedelic rock, tender ballads and gusty, face-blasting rock anthems. This was all the more apparent in the o2.
Highlight of the night, for this long-standing fan at least, was Better off Living Through Chemistry. The song is one I’ll skip over often when at home; it is a somewhat epic and not your usual track for meandering or cleaning the kitchen to. Live, it epitomised performance perfection.
From beginning to finish it rumbled in my chest; the baselines throbbing and the chanting hypnotising. I closed my eyes and allowed the music to seep into my bones, rattling them with aural pleasure. It consumed me, or rather I consumed it, wholly, feverishly as the band trundled through the interlaced song. Weaving guitars, thudding drums and warm yet chilling vocals echoed around the room in what was, dare I say, one of the single best performed songs I have seen in concert to date.
Queens of The Stone Age had put on a fans’ show; of that there is no question. Their performance was almost linguistic; reminding the audience in forceful but reasonable terms of their superiority over many of the bands that have passed through the o2.
Where you at the gig? Or maybe you’ve seen them in the UK or elsewhere? Tell me what you thought.