Queens of the Stone Age descended upon the House of Blues in Orlando and promptly blew the doors off the joint. They kicked off the show with a track from Era Vulgaris, the punky “Battery Acid.” Their gritty, grinding sound translates so well to the live experience that they seem to coast between monster crowd pleasers with crushing force. Next, Josh Homme, beneath a canopy of gothic chandeliers with fiber optic lighting, declared, “I just wanna dance” and slid into “Little Sister” (more cowbell!). The show consisted of a large dose of the new album with a handful of songs from 05′s Lullabies to Paralyze with “Medication” a viscous little bopper being a surprising highlight. They left out a good portion of Rated R. No “Lost Art of Keeping a Secret,” no ‚”Leg of Lamb,” or “Feel Good Hit of the Summer,” but tore the ass out of “I Think I Lost My Headache.”
QOTSA thankfully didn’t forget their roots and sprinkled in a healthy dose of songs from the first album; “Avon‚” “Mexicola” and an extendo-metal-jam of “Regular John” and “You Can’t Quit Me Baby.” Era’s first single, “Sick, Sick, Sick” proved to be just that, completely sick. The band is super tight and Troy van Leeuwen and Josh intertwine and call/respond guitar riffs with elegant ferocity.
Although Joey Castillo is a powerful drummer and an excellent fit for QOTSA, I can’t help to think that Dave Grohl should quit his day job and elevate QOTSA even higher and relegate the Foo Fighters to their true domain, a great side project.
The show was a rousing display of rock fury and the 80 capacity crowd ate it up. I was on the Loge dining on pate (hot dogs) and champale (Stella) and could actually see the show‚ Yay! I must say they may have sounded better here, but at The Tabernacle in Atlanta it was a full-on party replete with chicks in the audience dancing on seats, bars, tables and an alarming number of people vomiting from various degrees of inebriation. Next, I continued the party QOTSA style by dropping my rent money at the Cheetah. Long Live Rock! In Atlanta they played 7 or 8 songs different from the Orlando set. “I Wanna Make It Witchu” and “Suture Up Your Future” were a couple of different tracks and the setlist was in a completely different order – no cookie cutters here my friend. They closed both shows with crushing, face-melting jam-outs of “Song for the Dead” and I was glad to be alive.
Article originally appeared in REAX #18, April 8 2008
“Sick Sick Sick” from The Tabernacle ATL, GA