June 7, 2001 - Newport Centre: Newport, UK
Set (out of order):
Feel Good Hit of the Summer
I Think I Lost My Headache
Tension Head
Precious and Grace [ZZ Top] (Mark Lanegan on vox)
You're So Vague
Ode to Clarissa
The Lost Art of Keeping a Secret
Leg of Lamb
Auto Pilot
Better Living Through Chemistry
Monsters in the Parasol
Quick and to the Pointless
In the Fade
Lightning Song
Regular John
You Would Know
Recording Info
no info available
Review by: Tookey

A couple of friends and I went to see QOTSA at Newport on June 7th 2001. Supporting them were Goatsnake & King Adora. Goatsnake were the first band on. Id never heard Goatsnake before, but they still rocked. King Adora werent as good as i thought they were gonna be. At about 9:00, QOTSA came on. They opened the set with Feel Good Hit of the Summer, the crowd knew it was going to be a good night. They played everything of Rated R and a few songs of QOTSA, like Regular John, Avon(which blew my mind), and You would know. They let out a couple of B-sides, such as Baby Your'e so Vague. After The gig had finished we went round to the tour bus. I went off to try and find some posters or something to get signed. My friends met Nick and Josh and were talkin to them for quite a while, when i got back Nick, Josh and Mark had gone back inside. We waited around for a bit and Josh came back out(Yay!). I didnt know how tall he actually was until I came face to face with him. He signed my stuff and put a message saying "NO BOOTLEGS" on it. He signed and took a bite out of my friends piece of cardboard(I dont know why he bit it, we were trying to get him to spit on it). After talking to him he went back inside again. I was still a bit gutted cos i only
Review by: Feedback

Having scooped the NME's album of the year award for the rather fine "Rated R", Queens Of The Stone Age's penchant for addling mighty riffs with rampant experimentation seems to have established them as the band most likely to bridge the gulf between Kerrang reader and indie kid. So, with some lingering background guilt at never having got to an At The Drive-In gig before their implosion at the height of their critical and commercial success, this I had to see.

Goatsnake are unreconstructed metal merchants of the old school - guitarists with straggly long hair, a shirtless drummer intent on bashing several shades out of his kit, a shaven-headed singer and a stack of tunes that harken back to the forging of rock, blues, Satanism and swagger. And, to a non-believer like myself, they are very good, not the sort of thing I'd listen to at home but eminently capable of getting a bored, disinterested crowd of early-arrivals on their side. Their singer, possibly not sponsored by the Welsh Tourist Board, recommends Twmbarlwm as the ideal venue to smoke a joint and get naked, bravely ventures into the area between stage and moshpit and blows a mean harmonica, a la Ozzy, when required. Goatsnake's tunes have enough tempo changes to keep them interesting without collapsing into echt-prog twiddliness, and on the rare occasions when you can actually decipher the lyrics they seem to be about "going down that dusty road", which might not be poetry but it will do. And most importantly they seem to have utter conviction in their music and themselves, which, in a graveyard slot like this, is enough to make even a cynical old soak like myself go slack-jawed in admiration.

King Adora, on the other hand, I have heard of: their tune "The Law" has pounded into my subconscious via its residency on my MP3 jukebox at work, and a tolerably enjoyable two minutes it is too. And had they played it tonight it might have lifted their rather one-dimensional, unenthralling set. As they strolled onstage - drummer decked out in LP-high spiked hair - the image of what Supergrass might have looked like had they formed in 1977 entered my mind, and as they bashed out 30 minutes' worth of bubblegum-punk-pop weighed down with slacker attitude it failed to leave. Maybe I'm just getting old.

So, it gets to around 9:30 (tellingly, "Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!" has been burbling through the PA) and "We are Queens Of The Stone Age", and as if there could be any doubt to the accuracy of that statement they thunder into "Feel Good Hit Of The Summer", kicking up the kind of white noise storm that makes my spinal cord dissolve and makes me think that I really should go to gigs more often. They proceeded to essay virtually all of "Rated R" - "I Think I Lost My Headache" is only mildly depleted by the loss of its squawking, Sally Army-plays-Philip Glass brass ending, "Tension Head" is a squalling, unexpected highlight - as well as vast tracts of their difficult, brutal, eponymous debut album. Former Screaming Tree Mark Lanegan (who, from the bleachers, looks like Kevin Bacon's evil twin) steps up to the mic to perform vocal duties on a smattering of tunes, including, surprisingly (although maybe not given both band's devotion to furthering the cause of beard-based excess in rock) ZZ Top's "Precious And Grace", and Brendon MacNichol amazingly manages to throw some shapes whilst playing pedal steel and keyboards. Extra points too for hurling a couple of obscurities into the pot, the Lanegan-sung "You're So Vague" ("you probably think this song is about you", as if you couldn't guess) which appeared on the reissued 2 CD version of "Rated R", and the ripped-up rock 'n' roll of "Ode To Clarissa" - prefaced by a Josh Homme comment that, roughly paraphrased, went "To everybody who thinks we have no tunes, or our songs aren't about anything, that ends here" - found only as an extra track on the belated vinyl pressing of that album.

Which is all fine entertainment. You might quibble with a light show that regarded blinding the audience with white light at the end of each song as the pinnacle of pyrotechnic achievement, you could tap your watch in disappointment at a performance that barely scraped through 75 minutes' duration (including one of the least faux-spontaneous or even requested encores I've seen in all my years of gig-going - the band just wandered off and then sort of wandered back on again!), you might be slightly miffed that they found no way to include blistering oldies such as "Mexicola" and "You Can't Quit Me Baby" in the setlist. Perhaps you could even suggest that the evening's most obvious flaw was that nothing, musically at least, really happened onstage that you couldn't get from listening to the albums, most songs straying as little from the original versions as the constraints of live performance would allow. But for all this, Queens Of The Stone Age still provided a thrilling, altered kind of night out, littered with throwaway moments that remind you just how effective and infectious very loud rock music can be when done properly.
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