The first time I saw Queens of the Stone Age was in 2014 on their co-headline tour with Nine Inch Nails and I genuinely couldn’t believe how tight they were as a live act. Given the chance to witness their live show again, I couldn’t have been more stoked and they truly did not disappoint.
Opening with ‘If I Had A Tail’ proved to be an unexpected opener that sent the crowd into a sheer frenzy. With Josh Homme commandeering the stage from the second he walked out, the heavy riff was earth shattering as it cut through Margaret Court Arena.
But, if I thought the crowd reaction from the opener was positive, you should have seen when they tore straight into ‘In My Head,’ a song off their 2005 album Lullabies To Paralyze. There wasn’t a person in sight who wasn’t frothing out.
Whilst other old songs such as ‘No One Knows,’ ‘Little Sister’ and ‘Someone’s in the Wolf’ seemed to be crowd favourites, I was personally really blown away by the newer stuff that was showcased.
Whilst I didn’t hate it upon its release, I wasn’t the biggest fan of Villains, the groups most recent album. But honestly, I felt like biting my tongue as they tore into the newer songs. There is a reason Villains exists as an album, and it is to be played live.
From the opening riff of ‘The Way You Used to Do’, a newer song “about a girl from Melbourne,” I was sold. With Troy Van Leeuwen donning a 12 string guitar the up-beat tempo created such a unique crowd dynamic that a mosh quickly turning into a dancefloor. It was hard not to be in awe.
Other new songs such as ‘Domesticated Animals’ and ‘Villains of Circumstance’ maintained the tempo and slotted in nicely with their setlist.
Finishing with ‘Go With the Flow’ was the perfect send off to a flawless set before they returned for a one-song encore.
In the anticipation to the encore you could hear crowd members chatting amongst themselves with some yelling out song titles. Whilst I was hoping for ‘Millionaire,’ it seemed the majority of fans where praying for ‘Feel Good Hit Of Summer.’
When the band returned to play ‘A Song For The Dead’, I don’t think there was a single crowd member who wasn’t surprised. I also don’t think there was a single crowd member who was unsatisfied. ‘A Song For The Dead’ was the perfect closer, with moments that let each band member shine and that heavy as balls bit at the end that leads into some crazy drumming it was by far the highlight of their set.
As I said in 2014 to anyone who listened, go see Queens Of The Stone Age. Even if you don’t like their music, go see them. Because there is a bloody reason that these guys are as genuine as rock stars get and it is honestly something that can only be seen to be believed.
Margaret Court Arena, Melbourne
Friday September 7
Reviewed by Alex Callan
Photos by Jake CK