19 Apr 2019
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Gig Review: Queens Of The Stone Age @ Logan Campbell, Auckland - 13/07/17

15 Jul 2017 // A review by Paul Goddard
It's somewhere back in the late Nineties and I am in Rock City, Nottingham UK. There is a band on in the small bar downstairs I hadn't heard of them but they had a cool name and the singer just had something going on. At one point he grabs the spotlight and shines it on my mate's girlfriend. She has been a Homme girl ever since.

You can't imitate and fake what QOTSA have, it's a swagger, effortless coolness and when that is combined with songwriting skills that most bands can only dream off QOTSA were always destined to be Kings of the underground.

This is the first time I have seen QOTSA since and there is an air of anticipation in a packed out Logan Campbell centre. The crowd is an interesting mix of fans and people who just seem to be here to post selfies to show they managed to get a ticket. Cool bands attract cool people and wannabes.

Unfortunately I missed NZ opener Eyes No Eyes but I did hear that they were handpicked by QOTSA to open which increases QOTSA coolness factor. 

A huge cheer greets the band and we are off with a blazing version of My God Is The Sun. This is the opening night of their world tour and they seem fired up, energetic and happy to be here. There is a danger when you have a frontman as charismatic and recognisable as Josh Homme the rest of the band can seem like hired hands but this isn't the case with Queens. The chemistry in the band is sparking tonight, there isn't much banter between songs but you can see the nods and smiles between Josh and Troy who are clearly enjoying themselves.

The drumming from Jon Theodore is huge. Like Dave Grohl he hits hard and when they play No One Knows which, in my opinion, is the most perfect song ever written by anyone ever I am a very happy man.

The new album Villians is due out soon and we are treated to a tight version of The Way You Used To Do it has that dancier element you can hear in the recording but when played live it fits perfectly with their earlier material. Later in the set we are also given The Evil Has Landed off the new record and whilst it is hard to hook into as the song changes pace and direction frequently, I think it could become an epic and the riff at the end is classic QOTSA.

Josh pulls out his comb and flicks back his hair (I can see what a huge influence Josh had on Alex Turner from Arctic Monkeys) and tells a story about playing Auckland previously and why they chose Auckland as the opening gig of the world tour "You're a big little place like where we come from and no one give's a shit, but together you all give a shit"

The volume level goes up a few notches and as we are at the Logan Campbell Centre the sound gets muddy. A couple of songs are barely recognizable until the chorus kick in but the energy level of the crowd increases with the volume and some classic QOTSA stompers are blowing peoples minds.

After a short break the encore track Song For The Dead is the perfect set closer. The amps and ringing and the crowd give a standing ovation. One of the coolest bands on the planet, delivered one of the coolest shows, on one of the coolest nights in Auckland (literally).
 

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