QOTSA 2004
Jan. 11th, 2004 - Metro City:  Perth, AUS
Feel Good Hit of the Summer ???
The Lost Art of Keeping a Secret
Go with the Flow
Ode to Clarissa
Do It Again
If Only
Sky is Falling
The Bronze
Quick and to the Pointless
Leg of Lamb

Six Shooter
Gonna Leave You
Hangin' Tree
Another Love Song
You're So Vague

Song for the Dead
Precious and Grace [ZZ Top]
Song for the Deaf
I Think I Lost My Headache

No One Knows
You Think I Ain't Worth a Dollar, but I Feel Like a Millionaire
Monsters in the Parasol
First It Giveth
Recording Info
unknown rig

January 11th 2004, just under a year since Queens of the Stone Age had last been in Western Australia. On that occasion, it was as part of the Big Day Out carnival, a mere 45 minutes to show why they’re regarded as one of the premier rock bands in the world. The band promised they’d be back soon and they were true to their word. After a mammoth world tour, we were fortunate enough to be the final frontier. The gig was re-scheduled from the night before, and moved from the more intimate Belvoir Amphitheatre to Metro City. The Distillers were replaced by local band The M-16’s as support act. The venue was jam-packed even before the first chords were struck. Supporting QOTSA is never an easy task, The M-16’s had the unenviable job, but did a decent job of it, keeping the mood up while showcasing a good majority of their material.

It was a long wait, but well worth it in the end. Josh came rolling out, his giant 195cm frame not hard to notice. Troy and Joey following, and Nick in nothing but a black mini-skirt, but nothing he does surprises us anymore! A quick welcome and then straight into it, the opening bass line of Feel Good Hit of the Summer opening proceedings. It’s been slightly revamped, but sounds better than ever, even though it’s been a constant in QOTSA’s setlists of recent years. This was followed by another classic from ‘Rated R’, The Lost Art of Keeping a Secret, surprising to hear it so early but no one was complaining. ‘Songs For The Deaf’ is the latest gem of an album this band have released, and the majority of it was played, Go With the Flow being the first, brutal guitar and drums at its best. Yes, it was going to be one of those nights. Do It Again had the crowd shouting along with Nick to the opening ‘HEY!’ and the crashing bodies in the crowd were more common by now.

Amongst this, it was a pleasant surprise that for a band with an impressive back catalogue, QOTSA can still throw in some of the older and rarer tracks when other bands would have thrown them on the scrap-heap years ago. Ode to Clarissa, If Only and The Bronze all got an early look in, the latter showing Josh at his best, playing a catchy and dynamic solo. Nick got to display his impressive vocal skills with Quick & To the Pointless as well as Six Shooter, a rarely played song but explosive throughout. Sky Is Fallin’ and Leg of Lamb also featured, but it was Gonna Leave you that was one of the highlights of the evening. The whole crowd was really into it by now, this was one of the songs that unfortunately didn’t get played at BDO 03’, tonight made up for it.

It had to happen, it was only a matter of when. Mark Lanegan came strolling out from the darkness and added his unique vocals to the mix. The former Screaming Trees frontman has been more than a bit-part player, he had a major input on SFTD, no solo shows from him on this tour sadly so the next half hour or so was to be savoured. Hangin’ Tree was the first track of the new phase with Troy displaying his talents on the slide guitar, another of those songs that takes on a much different effect when played live. Another Love Song was next up, followed by a couple more rarities, You’re So Vague which is a B-Side on the Feel Good…EP, and Precious and Grace, the only cover of the night. This was played in-between two standouts from the most recent offering, A Song For the Dead was easily the most powerful track of the night. Joey and Troy standing out amongst six and a half minutes of brutal rock. The front of the mosh-pit was carnage by now, there was much sweat and plenty of bruised, battered bodies. A Song For the Deaf, introduced by its haunting bass and guitar was to be the last we’d see of Lanegan who walked straight back into the shadows, hopefully we’ll see much more of him in future QOTSA releases and tours.

It was time to cure the head, and there’s no better way than the final number from ‘Rated R’, I Think I Lost my Headache with its monster guitar riff. No trumpets and jazz to end it, but why complain when the band roll straight into No One Knows? By now, the whole arena was jumping, Nick chose to fore-go the solo bass line, instead choosing to treat us by trashing his guitar, kicking over a few speakers and then storming off stage. Staged or not, it didn’t matter. Josh gave us a cranking solo amongst some fierce drum pounding by the giant Mexican, before they, as well as Troy finished off the song, thanked the audience and headed off, while lapping up a huge roar of approval from the audience.

QOTSA often come out and play a strong, feel good encore when it’s one of those very special concerts. Fortunately for all who were there, tonight was one of those occasions. The band returned, Nick choosing to discard his skirt and throwing it into the crowd, before covering his manhood with his bass. Whether it was the same one he’d shown to the ground not long earlier, I don’t know. But it was straight into the opening drum-beat of Millionaire, the first track off Songs For the Deaf. Josh then decided it was time for a couple of dance numbers, Monsters in the Parasol was mainly used as the opening track of their tours in 2002, but found itself off a lot of setlists of recent. Tonight it was toned down a bit, but its catchy chorus and monster drums (excuse the pun) got everyone going. It’s forgivable if you had forgotten that QOTSA actually released an album before ‘Rated R.’ With the amount of material they currently have, most of their self-titled album doesn’t get a look in. Avon was only the second track played, it kept with the dance theme and featured Joey performing a better than normal drum solo. Josh used the moment to invite the crowd to get nude, one girl jumped onto the stage and was about to use his words wisely. Unfortunately, a heartless drongo of a security guard put paid to this rare special moment by hauling her off stage. Fortunately, the band rolled into First It Giveth, most recent single and a crowd favourite. And with it, a long tour was over for the LA rockers.

It’s unlikely that we’ll see Queens of the Stone Age in just under a years time again. It would be easy to say the band are taking a well earned break, but Nick has a tour with his band, Mondo Generator and Josh resumes his drumming duties with The Eagles of Death Metal. Apparently the band have somehow already had time to write a follow-up to Songs For the Deaf. Over 20 songs have been penned, with more to come and hopefully it will be recorded in the not-so-distant future. If it’s anything like the three albums before it, we’re all in for a treat. Josh has actually said this new material is better than anything written on Songs For the Deaf, scary words but this is one band that follows up its words with action. It won’t disappoint. After the way they blew us all away on the night of January 11th, all I can say is bring it on!

Kieran Fernandez

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