Thursday, April 23, 2009

QOTSA - From The Vault...

Taken from the QOTSA Fansite - SongsToFuckBy.com (RIP long ago...).

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Feel Good Gig Of The Summer!
Part II Tuesday, 28 January 2003. The Palace, Melbourne, Australia.


Band Of The Year! Album Of The Year! Triple J Hottest 100 #1 with 'No One Knows'! It seems that everyone loves Queens Of The Stone, even possibly more than The Vines! As singer / guitarist Josh Homme just recently put it… "Best Band Of Infinity"!


Labels and sarcasm aside, QOTSA are one of the most energetic and original bands around. Just look at their history (insert I love Kyuss info here). Last time round (2001 BDO) they blew us away, so after the release of their 3rd album, 'Songs For The Deaf', and the signing on for this years Big Day Out, Queens Of The Stone Age was definitely one of the most anticipated gigs this side of well… perhaps Jane's Addiction.

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On your way up to The Palace you walk past another venue, The Palais, which us just too damn confusing if you're an out of towner. And tonight PJ Harvey could be heard as smooth as silk as I walked past - normally I would've stopped and wished to be inside, but we all know who was about to come on next door!

The Palace is one of those venues that doesn't seem to have that much character but would have a million rock stories to tell. General Admission tickets make me smile and I walked straight in and up to the bar and got comfortable. I was there for about 15 mins and the lights gave us that dimming hint and the frenzy started. The Queens Of All the Ages were about to blow our minds… and ears!

The warm up CD's we'd been listening to was a mixture of typically muffled Ramones recordings and skipping tracks… not bad but not so full of volume, then QOTSA came out and kicked straight into "You Think I Ain't Worth A Dollar, But I Feel Like A Millionaire", fuckin loud and brutal!

At first it seemed - mainly from the wall of noise and blood in my ears - that the sound was ridiculously loud, which it was, but then you realise that there is no other way to hear QOTSA's blend of adrenalised rawk'n'roll!

Not even at the end of "Gimme toro, gimme some more" and a wheelchair gets passed up and out of the mosh to the security?!? Didn't see who it belonged to or may-be someone just brought it in case things got outta control. Who knows, may-be it was a miracle healing!

QOTSA tonight was made up of full timer's Josh Homme - vocals / guitar and Nick Oliveri - vocals / bass with Troy Van Leeuwen (A Perfect Circle) - guitar / lap steel and Joey Castillo (Danzig) on drums. I was hoping that Mr Foo Fighter Dave Grohl would come on and belt out a few songs but I hadn't heard anything about Mark Lanegan coming along. The guy is awesome, his presence somewhere in between Tom Waits and the eye of the storm. He just got up there, hung on to the mic and drove home the fact that we were just even lucky to be there. Did someone mention 'Supergroup'? Tsschhht!

As you would expect, Josh's strumming was perfect! Punchy and straight to the point, from robot-rock to all out chaos and all the while in control with that smooth-demeanour he exudes. He seemed to be getting right into it - throwing smirks and smiles over to Nick from time to time and even strutting his stuff with a crunched up beer can gritted between his teeth. Psychosis hit hard with 'Feel Good Hit Of The Summer' and I'm not too sure but was that a flick knife he was holding up to his throat at one point? Let me know!

Nick is pure rock! Belting the crap out of his bass and rupturing more than a couple of my ribs. How many people do you know can scream 1 metre away from their mic and still be heard over a DC-3? I love the chemistry between Nick and Josh - they were born to be rock gods - and by the look of the mosh, besides the clowns throwing bottles, there were smaller groupie moshes going on in front of each of their idols! Nick just makes you wanna get up there with them and reinvent punk-arse attitude all over again.

There were the expected whispers of "Is that Dave Grohl? I can't see…" but after a couple of strikes of the stick, everyone was asking "Who the hell is this?". Joey Castillo isn't a name that readily comes to mind when I think of awesome drummers, I have to add before someone abuses me that I'm not a Danzig fan so therefore haven't knowingly heard him before, but his crushing force and intensity has changed that completely. This guy is like a thunder storm from hell! I was hoping for Dave Grohl but more than stoked we got Joey - I am definitely going to get some Danzig now.

Troy Van Leeuwen held his own up there next to Josh - perhaps not as many people were watching him play, but his guitar added a fourth dimension to the QOTSA sound. Troy's slide meandered through Josh's crunch and mesmerised. At times almost haunting, another name I will be paying more attention to.

Queens Of The Stone Age were incredible when they toured here in 2001 (check out the first Desert Highways instalment for the review), but who would've thought they would've sounded 200% better!

As they walked off for the first time I left my (very squashed) comfort zone at the bar, sculled the bourbon and forced my way down to the front for some elbows in the spine and even a couple of photos. The body doesn't cope with moshing much these days but it doesn't take long when you look straight into Nik's eyes and see that this is the shit and you better be jumpin!

The mosh is where forgiveness is instant as everyone loses themselves and goes crazy. Nonetheless I was still spewin when my new camera was fully erect with zoom out and ready for some action… and SPLOOSH! Over me went a bottle of water! What can you do? Well besides hoping that the photos turn out!

After another off and en-core, QOTSA had blitzed every other band that had ever graced a stage. You could just look at the faces next to you and see their mouths agape and quite a few times I lip read FUU-UUCK!

Originally meant to start at 10:30 and play to midnight, QOTSA came on early and ended up playing for about 1 hour and 45 mins. The setlist reads as 'You Think I Ain't Worth A Dollar, But I Feel Like A Millionaire', 'Quick And To The Pointless', 'Go With The Flow', 'Mexicola', 'The Sky Is Fallin', 'Leg Of Lamb', 'Hangin Tree', 'Autopilot', 'Song For The Dead', 'Avon', 'Clarissa', 'I Think I Lost My Headache', 'Song For The Deaf', 'No One Knows', (line for encore) 'Regular John', 'Feel Good Hit Of The Summer', 'Another Love Song' & 'The Lost Art Of Keeping A Secret'.

They didn't stick to their setlist, missing out on Regular John, but adding 'Do It Again', 'Monsters in the Parasol', 'Tension Head' and as you can see on the setlist photo, someone decided to add 'Gonna Leave You'.

There are two types of people in this world… those that leave a gig straight away and those that want everything that isn't bolted down. And you guessed it, I went in for the kill. Last tour I scored Nik's setlist and a pick, so tonight was round two and I wasn't going home empty handed. After seeing Josh and Nik's picks fly out and over my head it was time to get down and dirty. I shoved my way through to the front and started on the security. Man some of these guys just don't budge. I scored a few grunts and then some call for backup before I caught the eye of someone who knew the story. A woman on stage heard my pleas and off she went untaping Nik's setlist from the stage and avoiding all other reaching hands but mine. Sounds very fanatical and obsessive, yeah well, you get that. Both setlists are going to look great framed on the wall! Big thanx to whoever she was.

I headed off - setlist under my shirt from other plunderers and went in search of silk-screened heaven. After lining up and reaching the front I was told with several others that we were on the wrong side of the table for posters and could only purchase t-shirts there and had to walk around the other side. Well excuse me for expecting you to reach out and grab a poster! So around the other side of the consuming fans, but alas they had sold out! Those who bought one will be stoked! The gig poster, by Joe Whyte, is one of the best posters I have seen with incredible colours and smooth arse lines. Check out St. Kilda's 'Beyond The Pale', still some left in the store - go crazy!

After I walked outside in triumph of being the groupie slut that I am with Nick's setlist in hand I thought hmmm, which exit will QOTSA leave from. After meeting Steve from Adelaide, who just couldn't get enough Big Day Out action he thought he better travel over here to see the BDO, QOTSA and Foo Fighters again, we headed for the back of the venue.

I am one of those… well, like I said, groupie sluts! I love meeting the band, chatting and seeing how things are on their side of the fence, since that's exactly how you see them some of the time, behind a fence! But it was also pretty cool just hanging out with some of the others who do the same. We swapped stories about gigs, who saw them at the Big Day Out and who just scored some wicked limited edition release!

And its funny that no matter how awesome a gig is - it could've been better. One guy I met, I'll call " Just tell me why they didn't play 'Regular John' " for obvious reasons. He saw them at the BDO (where they even played it) and was stoked. He saw them again at the Palace and was blown away. He wasn't spewin' at the band but c'mon, have you heard that song? It's definitely one of their smoothest! Check out the photo below… it was even on the setlist! When Troy Van Leeuwen walked over to us, he was even questioned… "I guess someone changed their mind".

We had a chat with Troy, who was pretty relaxed and cool about all the fuss, he signed a few posters (my setlist below) and even a QOTSA girlie t that he got stuck on the barbed wire of the fence on the throw back over.

We waited for a while but surmised that Josh had gone home with PJ… I guess that "No One Knows"!

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As usual I didn't get my arse into gear quick enough and when I went to get a ticket, they had sold out - so a big YOU ROCK to Scott for off-loading an unwanted extra! I would've been at home and sulking otherwise!

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