It was a night drenched in nostalgia when Queens of the Stone Age took over Festival Hall

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It was a night drenched in nostalgia when Queens of the Stone Age took over Festival Hall


Ecca Vandal took to the stage early with her band in tow, howling into the mic with a gargantuan amount of ferocity to fill all of Festival Hall and then some, rocketing across the stage like she owned it. Her set was both wildly impressive and important – selecting a woman to support a band whose crowd notoriously attracts a cock-forest was a very clever move – plus, she’s got the talent to match the best of them.

After a 45-minute changeover, the formidable force that is Queens of the Stone Age took the stage. The band came out swinging right from the start, bolting out of the gates with a powerful double dose from Songs for the Deaf with You Think I Ain’t Worth a Dollar But I Feel Like a Millionaire and No One Knows setting the pace for what would be a mammoth two hours of back-to-back hits.

Homme’s trademark swagger couldn’t conceal his very evident limp, complements of an ill-timed knee injury, which saw his usual strut hindered into a slow stagger and reminding us the man is not the deity he may have us believe. While he was juiced up on heavy painkillers, Homme still oozed his characteristic, albeit codeine-fuelled, nonchalant cool, intermittently running a comb back through his ginger quiff while toking on a cigarette.

Like a rock’n’roll pendulum, the band swung back and forth between the frenetic and the flawless. Tracks like Smooth Sailing, I Sat By The Ocean, The Vampyre of Time and Memory and Make it Wit Chu brought things down a notch, while Burn The Witch and Sick Sick Sick provided the crowd with a hammering heartbeat to leap along to. The band played their colossal riffs with an air of indifference, while Jon Theodore smashed the shit out of his kit like a phenomenal beast. Watching this guy at work was a goddamn spectacle in itself.

It’s no secret Homme has a love affair with Melbourne. Perhaps it was the painkillers; perhaps it was genuine sincerity, but Homme let the crowd know how much he loves our town.  “You’re the best fucking audience of this whole trip,” he gushed. “You could say, ‘Josh you’re all fucked up,’ and that would be fucking true, but that doesn’t mean you’re not fucking wonderful, does it?” He also found time to berate a heckling punter, biting back at someone who told him to shut up. “That’s just what your mum said last night,” he yapped. “She said, ‘Josh just shut up and fuck me,’ and I was like, ‘You’re way too ugly for me to do that to you.’ ” Homme and your-mum jokes don’t seem to bode too well.

The band barely touched any material from their latest effort, Villains, opting instead to dig into their catalogue to play some sure-fire crowd-pleasers. The band closed their nostalgia-drenched set with Go With The Flow, before returning to belt out Keep Your Eyes Peeled and A Song For The Dead.

Highlight: Watching the crowd do absolutely anything that Homme summoned of them.   

Watching some white shirt bro-dudes inflict pain on everyone around them instead of each other.

Crowd Favourite: 
No One Knows.