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QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE Live In Dublin, Ireland

By Larry Petro, News Monkey
Monday, November 18, 2013 @ 5:47 PM


At 02 Arena, Dublin, Sunday 17th November, 2013

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Review by Justin Ryan




It hasn't been easy being an Irish QOTSA fan over the last 15 years. Apart from one outdoor stadium show co- headlining with LINKIN PARK in the summer of 2008 and an hour slot supporting the RED HOT CHILI PPPERS at Slane Castle in August 2003, QOTSA have inexplicably always played club sized(approx 1300 people) shows on each visit to Dublin. This has inevitably lead to huge numbers of fans being unable to get tickets for their shows, resulting in massive disappointment and providing local scalpers with the opportunity to fleece fans for large sums of money for tickets that have always been priced fairly in the first place.

Sunday night's show at Dublin's 02 Arena was a golden chance for all that fan frustration to be obliterated. The venue's capacity is 15,000 and most of the tickets were sold shortly after going on sale a couple of months ago. Priced at a reasonable 40euro($50), only a tiny number of nose bleed seats in the very top corners of the venue were left by the day of the show and by doors opening time, most of these had also been sold. At 8pm, support act SWEETHEAD took stage and delivered a fifty minute set which contained a mix of up tempo numbers along with mid tempo, heavy groove laden numbers. The tunes were received well by the already full venue, much attention being focused on statuesque lead singer Serrina Sims, whose figure hugging, sequined green cat suit raised quite a few smiles.

At 9:15pm, all house lights were cut and the video screen behind the drum kit began to roll. A thirty second countdown began on screen, the band appearing from the back stage darkness ready to begin as the counter hit zero. The atmosphere was at fever pitch as the band opened with "...Dollar, But I Feel Like A Millionaire". A sea of eight thousand people on the ground floor standing section swayed from wall to wall as the venue security surveyed what lay in front of them. "No-One Knows" followed the frantic opener, the large video screen above the drums running animated footage associated with the vibe of the Songs For The Deaf album. Six large lighting panels either side of the video screen also provided the option of lighting the stage up in blasts of bright lighting or lighting up the whole venue or both simultaneously, as was done on many occasions. Quite some time and thought had obviously been spent preparing this show as a big production event. Clever use of lighting and its, on occasion, deliberate non-use, brilliantly complimented the show's music. Having said that, none of the lighting or video effects used at any point outshone the quality of the music on offer, it simply added to the intensity of the occasion.

A large number of tracks off the new album, "Like Clockwork" were played. "My God Is The Sun", "I Sat By The Ocean", "If I Had A Tail" and "Smooth Sailing" were some of the new material delivered impeccably on the night. Josh Homme made time to dedicate, "Fairweather Friend", to the fan who managed to sneak onto their tour bus the last time they were in Dublin [last year, at the Olympia Theatre]. Homme recounted how, having left the venue after that memorable show for their hotel, they smelt the scent of cooked food on the bus. Looking behind them, they discovered a stowaway fan eating his way through a McDonald's take out. Pulling the bus over to get the uninvited fan off their bus, the fan then proceeded to run after the bus for eight blocks, giving the band his middle finger at every red traffic light. "Some of the craziest people we've ever met come to our shows in Dublin", is how Homme concluded the humorous story.

A healthy mix of material from the bands back catalogue made up the two hour concert running time. Little time was spent between each song, the overall pace of the concert being hectic but in a masterfully controlled way. "We promise to give you absolutely everything we've got tonight, Dublin" was Homme's statement of intent, followed quickly with the quip "but before that, I'm going to give this glass of Tequila everything I've got!". "Burn The Witch", "Sick, Sick, Sick", "Lost Art Of Keeping A Secret", "Monsters In Your Parasol" and "Go With The Flow" were all delivered flawlessly to a crowd who just couldn't get enough of QOTSA's brand of high octane, break neck speed, rock n' roll. Homme's special message for the venue security got a cheer almost as loud as the one for "Little Sister". "Just wanted to let the security know that this is a QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE concert. That means the crowd can do whatever the fuck they want. Crowd surf, sit on shoulders, tape the whole thing, film the whole thing, fuck it, we do what the fuck we want!. We dont need any Daddy's here tonight!". The concert concluded with a two song encore at 11:15pm. "We'll never, ever forget this night, Dublin" was how Josh Homme bade farewell to his elated audience. I doubt the crowd will ever forget it either.


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