Oct. 21, 2002 - The Ambassador: Dublin, IE
Feel Good Hit of the Summer
Quick and to the Pointless
You Would Know
You Think I Ain't Worth a Dollar, but I Feel Like a Millionaire
Sky is Fallin
Gonna Leave You
Hangin' Tree
Auto Pilot (Mark on vox)
Song for the Dead
Better Living Through Chemistry
No One Knows
Tension Head
Go with the Flow
Song for the Deaf
The Lost Art of Keeping a Secret
Monsters in the Parasol
Walkin on the Sidewalks (Mark on vox)
Another Love Song (not played)
Regular John (2nd encore; not played)
Recording Info
no info available
Review by: Tony Clayton-Lea/Irish Times

For quite some time prior to the release of their 2000 album Rated R, Queens Of The Stone Age didn't exactly help matters by engaging in fairly puerile public nudity (off-putting and thoroughly unnecessary, I'm sure you'll agree) and writing songs that boasted the indisputably silly but rather catchy stoner chorus of "Ecstasy, heroin, cocaine, marijuana".

That was before this year's Songs For The Deaf, the Southern California band's third record, and one that is infused with a disconcerting, sombre tone (QOTSA members Josh Homme and Nick Oliveri had both been through divorces and family bereavements) and precision-tooled instrumentation.

The band took to the stage amid a swirl of pupil-popping lights and lighting effects, and proceeded to pummel the life out of the venue and the capacity audience. Vocal duties were shared between Homme, Oliveri and regular collaborator, former Screaming Trees frontman Mark Lanegan; while the former two sandblasted their way through new and old material, it was the latter who occupied the gig's most severely dolorous nooks and crannies.

Lanegan's presence on the hard rocking, downright weird lullaby, Hangin' Tree, and Songs For The Deaf's twisted'n'gnarled Middle Eastern metal was more than a relief from his friends' eye-bulging screeches - it focused the material as a whole and gave it even more substance. In between and around this were the onslaught of hard rock dynamics and tattooed, metronomic beats.

Occasionally, the lengthy metal jams wore on, but they were underpinned with such exacting force (think Husker Dü arm-in-arm with Black Sabbath) that it was difficult to disengage. Pop music?

We certainly don't think so, but if QOTSA have set out to make the much-maligned genre of hard rock (which can so easily be strained, banal and vacuous) strange and accessible again, it looks like they've succeeded.
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