It’s been a seriously long time since I posted anything on here, so I’m gonna start a couple of months back when I saw Queens Of The Stone Age play here in Florida.They played the Mahaffey in St Pete at the beginning of February. It’s the continuation of a busy touring year as they support the ‘…Like Clockwork’ album which, if you’ve heard or read in these pages, kicks serious fucking ass. It’s a fucking great album, I mean a FUCKING great album, in my opinion their most complete work yet. So I was really looking forward to seeing them.
Now it was my first gig on American soil, I’m from London and so I’ve only ever seen bands play in the UK. I was kind of intrigued to see if there was any difference in crowd reaction or atmosphere? One instant minus point was the fact it was an all-seater arena. Again, back in the UK and London specifically the venues all tend to be just that, music venues. Old theaters or cinemas with the seats ripped out so they can squeeze as many people in as they can. The Mahaffey is actually a really cool place. Clean, tidy, quite flash actually. It’s very much a theater, with an army of ‘older’ women leading people to their seats which was totally weird but quite cute. All these old girls walking around with big smiles on their faces was a bit trippy but pleasant all the same. The Brixton Academy this ain’t!
Chelsea Wolfe was up first. I hadn’t really heard much of her prior to that night but I liked what I heard. She has a new fan in me that’s for sure. Quite dark, atmospheric. The kinda stuff you might hear on Game of Thrones, cos I did the other week on one of their trailers. So yeah, good start. The crowd were warm too, they certainly paid more interest than your average UK crowd for a support act.
Ok so the place slowly fills up, little old ladies walking the aisles like an army of happy ants showing people to their places, the lights drop and the big screen counts us down from 60 seconds. 3,2,1 BOOM, ‘…Millionaire’ starts pounding at our chests! Fuck yeah, this is what we came for! This band know how to tear it up live and they were on it right from the start, slipping straight into No One Knows, the crowd fucking loved it. Instantly I detected a greater willingness for people just to enjoy themselves than back home in the UK. What I tended to find in the UK was the crowd would just be letting go and getting into it as the gig came to an end. But here in St Pete in a very conservative looking theater people were bang up for it from the word go, which was awesome cos it made the gig that much more enjoyable. It also just so happens that we had a class fucking act up onstage whipping us all up! I fucking love this band, as if you couldn’t tell, from one track to the next, the set-list was perfect just to keep the crowd simmering all the way through. New tracks, old classics, (yeah classics, QOTSA sound so contemporary that it seems odd to say any of their earlier stuff is old enough to be called a classic, so maybe I’ll say crowd favourites?) all welcomed by the crowd with equal enthusiasm cos this band were on top fucking form, the best I’ve ever seen them, and the audience was lapping it up.
It was one great track after another, all the best stuff from all their albums with a little ‘Desert Sessions’ tossed in. If there is one track I love live it’s ‘Better living through chemistry’ and they played that too, I was in my fucking element, along with the entire auditorium. People were freaking out allover the place. And the band kept on jacking us up, we’d just started the descent after ‘Better Living..’ and then BAM – ‘Go With the Flow’ made everybody crazy again. Yeah, yank crowds are fucking awesome!
It seems like you can’t see QOTSA or THE FOOS lately without some drunken prick getting up onstage and showing us just how stupid alcohol makes you. On the other hand, he’d have been grateful for the anesthetic effect of said alcohol when Josh literally threw him off the stage! It actually served for a comedic break before Josh sat back down, slagged him off a bit, and then carried on with the opening bars to Vampyre. ‘Feel Good…’ came next and everybody went fucking nuts again, naturally, and then they finished the night up with another fucking awesome tune in ‘Song for The Dead’ Fucking A-mazing. Awesome from start to finish. This was the best I’ve ever heard them, and a great introduction to gigging in the U.S. Oh and then I tweeted about how good they were, and they followed me! That made my night!
If you get a chance to see them on this tour, fucking grab it with both hands cos they are on fire right now, at the top of their game. They tore up their way right to the top of my fave gig list and I can’t fucking wait for them to come back and do it all over again!
You Think I Aint Worth A Dollar But I Feel Like A Millionaire, No One Knows, My God Is The Sun, Burn The Witch, Smooth Sailing, Misfit Love, …Like Clockwork, Long Slow Goodbye, If I Had A Tail, Kalopsia, Fairweather Friends, Little Sister, I Sat By The Ocean, Make It Wit Chu, Sick, Sick, Sick, Bettter Living Through Chemistry, Go With The Flow, Encores – The Vampyre Of Time And Memory, Fell Good Hit of The Summer, A Song For The Dead.