Thursday, Queens of the Stone Age played the main stage of the Festival d’été de Québec and it was the perfect festival set. I must first admit that I am a big fan and that I need to explain how awesome the show was.
First of all, the sound was incredible. It was loud and REALLY clear. After the first notes of Millionaire I was overwhelmed by the hypnotic loudness and magical clearness. At one point three guitars were playing at the same time, which makes it tough to shout out at the sound-man.
I think that we should name Josh Homme, frontman and leader of the band, the “boss” of the stoner rock scene. I mention this because of the tightness of the group. Live, QOTSA plays a lot with silence and abrupt pauses. Even if the latest album is entitled, ironically, “…Like Clockwork,” we can apply these values, without exaggeration, to their concert. During the entire set Homme felt no need to direct the band, they were simply too tight. All the musicians were great. Shout out to the new drummer, Jon Theodore, ex-member of the Mars Volta. These guys were ready for their first arena tour ever.
Homme, the redheaded giant (6 feet 5), and guitarist, was really into it. As usual, he was shaking his hips while shredding his guitar. The vocal aspect was also impressive and he did vocal acrobatics with his unusual falsetto on, “Make It With Chu.” Not a false note was sung during the entire set, which is surprising for a big guy dancing in this manner. All the other guys were pretty intense also. It was cool outdoors but the guys were sweating their asses off.
The set list was audacious and representative of the variety of QOTSA’s discography, and that’s the genius of Homme. During a QOTSA concert you need to head bang, to dance and sing along. You just can’t hold back.
These are all great reasons to love the guy leading one of the only bands on the mainstream circuit that can make you feel the Californian desert.
If you have the chance to catch these guys then go for it, they’re keeping rock real, without nostalgia or catchiness.