Queens of the Stone Age – Riverstage
Queens of the Stone Age – Riverstage
Written by Jack Gobbe
Photos by Vincent Shaw
When somebody questions the relevance of rock this generation, I’ll answer with one band, Queens of the Stone Age. While the genre has seen many of its current icons stray to other sub-genres, be it anything from lo-fi to electronica, Queens of the Stone Age has embodied the abrasive sound of rock in every way without ever sounding too self-indulgent. It’s not hard to marvel at the way in which front-man Josh Homme and his rotating cast of band members have consistently delivered stellar records for twenty years.
After only a year from headlining Splendour in the Grass, Homme and company returned to wreak havoc at Brisbane’s Riverstage. The night began with an astounding fourty minute performance from CW Stoneking, who serenaded the Brisbane crowd with his rhythmic blues prowess as the masses poured into the Riverstage.
Queens of the Stone Age kicked things off in a decidedly smooth fashion, with ‘If I Had A Tail’ easing the crowd into the menacing drone of ‘In My Head’, a discography standout that highlighted the band’s ability to craft both a raucous rock cut and an infectious tune of a chorus.
The band’s latest record, ‘Villains’, was showcased with the duo ‘Feet Don’t Fail Me’ and ‘The Way You Used to Do’, both of which sounding undeniably grittier than what was offered on the studio recording, a testament to the power Queens’ exude in a live setting.
Despite just settling into the fifth song of the night, Queens of the Stone Age made it clear that this would be a show to remember, subsequently churning out highlight after highlight, with the likes of ‘No One Knows’, ‘My God is The Sun’ and ‘Smooth Sailing’emphasising the band’s status as legends with a back catalogue as broad as it is powerful.
The risk of sounding too-skewed towards heavier rock, if that was even a concern, was met with equally as fine-tuned slower jams such as ‘Make it Wit Chu’, proving Queens’ ability to write a melodic singalong just as well as they can a raging rock anthem. The love for their rolling rock tunes were met with fanfare upon the concluding duo of ‘Little Sister’ and ‘Go With The Flow’, the latter of which a hint of things to come due to its spot on the band’s beloved ‘Songs for the Deaf’ record.
The encore began with Homme announcing that it had been exactly sixteen years since the release of ‘Songs For the Deaf’, prompting the band to play album opener ‘You Think I Ain’t Worth A Dollar… I Feel Like a Millionaire’before the raging, eight-minute spectacle that was ‘Song for the Dead’, a track that saw their Black Sabbath influences shine through. Built around thunderous drums and a tidal wave of distorted guitar, the set couldn’t have ended more chaotically or perfectly with this closer.
If any band can execute a lengthy two hour set so precisely, it’s Queens of the Stone Age. With a dynamic set list that can draw from a seven record deep discography, I couldn’t help but feel that the band could keep playing until sunrise if they had the opportunity to do so. And if you asked anyone leaving the Riverstage that night, I’m sure they would happily marvel at one of the best rock groups for days on end.
For Tassie fans, it was something extra special. QOTSA performed an exclusive, intimate one-off acoustic performance at Mona’s Nolan Gallery – and now Frontier can reveal that the show generated over$20,000 in funds, to support Hobart’s Royal Hobart Hospital Paediatrics Ward. It was, said a hospital rep, “A fantastic donation and [is] much appreciated”, staff noting they will use the funds to enhance the environment for patients in their new Paediatric and Adolescent Units.
Says Mona music curator Brian Ritchie of the special show:
“Mona’s communications’ networks nearly imploded due to unprecedented demand for tickets to this bespoke charity event. Punters drooled at their good fortune to hear world class rockers in the rarest of environments, The Nolan Gallery. The music throbbed, but there was a higher purpose, generating income to support Royal Hobart Hospital Children’s Ward.”
The day after the show, the band made a special visit to the hospital – dropping off presents, and presenting monies to staff, and showing their support for a city close to the Josh Homme’s heart. He even took along his mother-in-law and Hobart resident, mum of his wife Brody Dalle-Homme. What’s more, Homme also made a personal donation to the hospital in addition to the gig funds, via his charity ‘The Sweet Stuff’– a charitable organisation formed by Josh, his father, and brother back in 2013.
The reviews are unanimous: these shows are amazing. Don’t miss QOTSA on their last three gigs in Australia – Melbourne tonight, Adelaide on Sunday, and Perth on Wed 12 Sept!
For more information, head to frontiertouring.com/qotsa.
QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE
VILLAINS WORLD TOUR
AUGUST & SEPTEMBER 2018
Presented by Frontier Touring
Wed 12 Sep Perth | Perth Arena (All Ages)
with special guests C.W. Stoneking and The Chats
ticketek.com.au| Ph: 132 849