Queens of the Stone Age
Margaret Court Arena, Melbourne VIC
September 7th, 2018
Supports: The Chats and CW Stoneking
One of rock’s most acclaimed acts of the last two decades, both critically and commercially, desert rock virtuosos Queens of the Stone Age returned to Melbourne to dazzle the hordes with their slinking alt-boogie sound.
Opening the night in style, Sunshine Coast’s own The Chats boisterously tore through their allotted timeslot. Garnering infamy with their track ‘Smoko’, having been viewed more than 2.5 million times on YouTube, the boys twenty-minute affair was completely fuelled by working class angst and unapologetic humour. Hailed ‘The Beatles with mullets, drinking VB’, The Chats are authentic, raw and an honest display of cheeky Australiana. Watch this space.
After a brief intermission, blues king C.W. Stoneking masterfully taped into a fresh case of southern comfort. Delivering a well-balanced set of unique rockabilly, jazz and big-band country, Stoneking’s swampy-soulful tales were a gorgeous and refreshing break from the night’s activities.
Wasting no time, in front of a near-sold-out crowd, the Queens crew stormed Margaret Court Arena with a set relying heavily on material from five of their previous seven records.
Crackling with energy and twenty years of dizzying momentum, tonight’s offerings were some of their sexiest and most danceable yet. More devious and dangerous than ever before, having tweaked the recipe with 2017’s Villains, Josh Homme’s animalist thrusts are now more smooth than sleazy, more glitz than grit.
Yes, this is still the same band of misfits who slithered out of California in the 90’s, but that all-too-familiar sinister and incongruous swagger is now imbued with a certain polished and glorious sass. And even with such a remarkable back catalogue of recognizable rock classics, this was QOTSA at their most playful.
Opening with psychedelic grinder ‘If I Had a Tail’, before leading into ‘My God Is the Sun’, Homme’s testosterone fuelled croons were as ferocious as the lashing riffs underneath. More sophisticated and confessional than before, Homme knows how to reinvigorate the well-worn 70s and 80s rock blueprints by adding his own unabashed personality.
What was impressive this evening, was discovering the many incarnations of QOTSA. From their signature desert twang on ‘No One Knows’ and ‘Song for the Dead’, to the ass-shaking, hip-swinging ‘Feet Don’t Fail Me’ and jeering grooves of ‘Domesticated Animals’, their set showcased the idiosyncrasies that make Homme and his gang who they are.
These boys show no signs of slowing down and it’s heartening to see a band not just succeed on a grand scale, but thoroughly enjoy every moment when there. With no visuals or complex light show, just virtuoso musicianship, a discography of delicious delights and a dozen strobe lights with smoke, this was pure, bare to the bone, professionalism. And whilst it was a unique set list for some; for a band of this calibre, there was more than enough for both casual and ardent fans to fawn over.
All class, they don’t make them like this anymore.
Photo Gallery by Luke Sutton. Insta @lukeasutton
Please credit Wall of Sound and Luke Sutton if you use published photos.
(Editor: It is important to note, Queens Of The Stone Age will be ending their long world tour in Perth on September 12th. So if you wish to see them, you better get to the show, because it will be the last time for quite some time. )
Queens of the Stone Age
Queens of the Stone Age – Villains Australian Tour
with C.W. Stoneking and The Chats
September 9th @ Entertainment Centre, Adelaide SA
September 12th @ Perth Arena, WA (FINAL DATE ON WORLD TOUR)