Queens of The Stone Age
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Vancouver, BC Canada
***Live Review By Lord of The Wasteland
I’m guessing I wasn’t the only person who saw the irony in the situation. Queens of The Stone Age’s Vancouver stop last September fell victim to a civil strike, forcing a last-minute move from the intimate Orpheum Theatre downtown to a cavernous, out-of-the-way hockey rink out in the sticks. The incessant bitching that lit up the band’s forum was justified but fruitless under the circumstances. It was this or nothing.
Fast-forward eight months. The strike is over. But Queens of The Stone’s next Vancouver gig is booked in the 4,000-seat PNE Forum—a hockey rink which boats some notoriously shameful acoustics. And it was sold-out.
While a vocal minority expressed their displeasure over this, there were plenty of energetic QOTSA fans on hand to cause general mayhem (crowd-surfing the band hits the stage?!) and get down for ninety minutes of inferno-like heat and killer tunes.
As is the custom, Queens of The Stone Age kept its fans guessing until the very last second what would show up on the evening’s setlist. While the eighteen-song set heavily favoured 2002’s SONGS FOR THE DEAF and last year’s ERA VULGARIS, a few surprises were thrown in including RATED R’s “In The Fade” and “Leg of Lamb” and “Infinity” from the Japanese import of LULLABIES TO PARALYZE. The exceptionally-young and overly rowdy crowd seemed to want more of the “hits” but with the exception of “Feel Good Hit of The Summer” and “The Lost Art of Keeping A Secret,” all the band’s best-known material was played. Opening with the wicked groove of “Regular John,” highlights included Troy van Leeuwen’s turn at the lap steel on “3’s & 7’s,” a fuzzed-out “Burn The Witch” and the huge sing-along to current single “Make It Wit Chu.” An extended jam on “No One Knows” was highlighted by a phenomenal performance from former Danzig drummer, Joey Castillo. Gigantic vocalist/guitarist Josh Homme kept his stage banter to a minimum but did admit to being heavily liquored (“It’s great to be drunk in Vancouver, so cheers everyone!”) which drew plenty of whooping. Homme seemed to have repeated problems with his microphone cord unplugging but his frustration never showed as he crooned and rocked out.
First It Giveth
Sick, Sick, Sick
Turnin’ On The Screw
Leg of Lamb
Do It Again
3’s & 7’s
I Think I Lost My Headache
In The Fade
Make It Wit Chu
Burn The Witch
Go With The Flow
No One Knows
You Think I Ain’t Worth A Dollar, But I Feel Like A Millionaire
A Song For The Dead
Along with the metal chandeliers hanging over the stage, the star-like backdrop and blinking light bars that were featured on several songs did their best to create an intimate setting but this was all arena-rock bluster, fitting for the venue but a big raised middle finger to all those who voiced their displeasure over not being able to bask in the ornate architecture and stunning sound of The Orpheum. It seems Queens of The Stone Age’s days of being an underground buzz band are long gone, making room for the younger hit-fuelled rock crowd to shove the nitpickers aside, tear the roof off and mosh. And everyone knows the best place to do that is…you guessed it, a hockey rink.
***Thanks to Stephanie at Live Nation for the press pass.
Queens of The Stone Age—Official Site