Sultans of Rock Queens of the Stone Age returned to Dublin last Friday night at the 3Arena to a sold-out show of elated fans. It is the last night of the European tour and some of the fans have been queuing in the bitter cold since the morning to get to the safety and immaculate view of the front barrier.
Oklahoma four-piece BRONCHO began the thawing of the crowd with their chunky, fuzzy garage rock smothered in deliciously infectious pop. They coolly walk on stage and blast straight into ‘Try Me Out Sometime’. Ryan Lindsey the immensely energetic frontman, yelps and wiggles throughout the tracks. His floppy coat adding flight and a floatability to his jumps. From the instantly singable ‘Class Historian’ to the slick shaky ‘Señora Borealis’ these guys put on a swagger drenched flamboyant show that oozes suave and swagger. It’s difficult not to wiggle and bop to these tunes and BRONCHO let the music do all the talking with little to no banter between tracks except for the chanting of “Queens of the Stone Age” which the crowd were only too happy to join in. Their tunes are power pop smacks of delight, their sound is fresh and invigorating, ideal for hazy summer days and just what those early bird queuers needed to defrost.
A translucent black curtain falls between the crowd and the stage creating a shaded filter to the goings on on stage as AC/DC blast from the speakers to entertain the fans. The audience erupt as Queens of the Stone Age take to the stage. Their presence undeniably larger than life. ‘If I Had A Tail ‘ kicks off their set to screaming fans. Homme is in a particularly good mood smiling and dancing with gyrating hips and wiggles. The anecdotes are plenty and the atmosphere is electric. The villains of anarchy have arrived, and boy do they put on a show. There is no massive screens or fancy distractions, it’s the five piece and the crowd and it is extraordinary. The charisma, swagger and just plain godliness has the crowd in awe. There is so much happening on stage as each member exudes fiery stamina. Like a tag team they keep everyone on their toes with their explosive vigour. ‘Monster in your Parasol’ ’My God Is The Sun’ three songs in and it’s total turmoil in the mosh pit. Limbs flailing everywhere, hair flicking into strangers faces and necks whipping while the five-piece stride back and forth on stage jumping and kicking. ‘Feet Don’t Fail Me’ whacks the crowd into another frenzy. This is the thing with a band like Queens of the Stone Age they have so many cracking tracks a live show is a constant thrilling battering to your body. Michael Shuman strides about the stage with a fierce, intense, sultry stage presence belting out lusty mammoth bass lines and haunting backing vocals. While Troy Van Leeuwen suave and dobonair as always skips about the stage in a red suit. “We came to dance, drink and hopefully get everyone laid.. let’s get loose” Homme declares before introducing ‘The Way You Used To Do’ as Dean Fertita ventures from behind the keys to add some brawn on guitar. Members of the audience are already being lifted out of the pit all kerfuffled and distressed from the mania. It’s all crowd surfing, shoes in the face craziness. With so many guitarists on stage the band members at times crash into the free-standing strips of light while wandering and spinning around the stage. ‘No One Knows’ evokes screams as the crowd bellow out the riff and lyrics along with the band once again causing total anarchy among the crowd. Jon Theodore showcases his slick pummelling drumming skills for first of two drum solos while Homme lights up a cigarette and watches the crowd’s reaction smiling. The crowd erupt shouting “Olé, Olé, Olé” “that’s exactly why we are here…that, right there, that’s the f**king moment… tonight, it’s our night, your f**king night, our f**king night” Homme responds before the finale of ‘No One Knows’. Usually a drum solo is a brave move but it’s Jon Theodore for god sake it was legendary! Homme is effortlessly cool with his slicked back swagger and sensual guitar licks his presence commands the attention of the arena. We all subdue to his every wish. ‘I Sat By The Ocean’ ‘Smooth Sailing’ every track bashing out relentless stamina and maintaining the frenzy of the crowd. ‘Make It Wit Chu’ and ‘Villains Of Circumstance’ act as the breathers on the set list giving something to sway and sing along to while also allowing the body feel the pain of the moshing and battering from the previous tracks.
After ‘Sick Sick Sick’ the band leave the stage as the crowd howl for “one more tune” impatient they scream for “Burn The Witch” and Queens of The Stone Age oblige with an encore of ‘Misfit Love’, ‘Head Like A Haunted House’ which comes with a anecdote about a cheeseburger incident when they were last in Dublin where a guy sneaked into their van and was eating a cheeseburger when they found him. Homme calls him “the fastest drunk person I’ve ever seen in my life…..if he’s here tonight f*ck you man …no, if he’s here tonight…I’ll suck your dick” Homme laughs. They leave ‘Burn The Witch’ to last and the crowd go nuts.
Queens of the Stone Age are just too cool and induce a state of riotous lawless anarchy among the crowd. They are the divinity of rock, the stage their temple and the crowd their loyal adoring worshipers. And a show like this is the reason why nothing can beat them, they hold all the trump cards. The crème de la crème of rock music.