Midway through Queens of the Stone Age's triumphant set Josh Homme, vocalist, guitarist and chief architect of the band, declared, "A lot of people say London is a difficult place to play" and he's quite right, what with some Londoners having the tendency to stand still. He needn't have worried though as if there's one band who can get people jumping and sweating like madmen, it's Queens Of The Stone Age.
First though were a band called In Case of Fire. The three piece dealt in crunchy riffage, powerful vocals, taut drumming and the odd sample in the background. You could see the headliner's influence in them as well as other alternative bands with similarities to Muse and possibly even Feeder prevalent. They were a good support but I feel they're not quite there yet, what with the singer's vocals staying in the same range. A little more variety could complete them. Their best song was easily Second Revelation, with 65dos programmed kick-drum pattern and the singer flaying about crazily as he soloed away. Watch out for them in the near future.
After a looong wait, QOTSA arrived with Turnin On The Screw, its grinding riffs and tempo changes lurching like a zombie out of a coffin. Tonight they were tight as leather hot pants and feeling comfortable enough to extend songs into menacing jams. Choosing to play a set prevalent in songs from their latest album Era Vulgaris just went to show what a brilliant album it is.
Misfit Love and 3's & 7's threw their weight around dangerously and Suture Up Your Future provided a more delicate moment. The final song before the encore Sick, Sick, Sick provoked everyone in the crowd to go apeshit to the juddering music.
In between Josh felt free to let loose some corkers. A Song for the Deaf was stunning, completed with the bassist's scarily awesome screaming. There was also an extended jam, which was brilliant but a song I didn't recognise. Despite lacking the cowbell that's on the record, Little Sister was awesome and when Josh made a mistake he was deeply apologetic showing the love in the room went both ways.
Other aspects of the show were brilliant too. The eerie, haunting lights and the creepy metallic chandeliers hanging above the band fitted in with this band, taking you into their desert realm. The encore was short but sweet. You Think I Ain't Worth a Dollar, But I Feel Like a Millionaire built us up before A Song for the Dead brought it to a halt. I ran into the slippery pit, having waited for this song the whole and proceeded to go crazy to its stop-start glory.
Queens Of The Stone Age are a special band - from their crazy bassist to their monster of a drummer to the domineering yet affable Josh Homme, you can't help but love every member and every song. The lack of two of their biggest songs tonight only shows their confidence as a band and trust in their fans.