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    All Pics Property of MM Staffer Scott Miller
  • QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE @ NYC: 03-22-05

    Coinciding a big push with the newly released (3/22) Lullabies to Paralyze cd the reincarnated Queens of The Stone Age line up minus bass player Nick Oliveri have hit the road for what seems to be a warm up tour. On Tuesday March 22, QOTSA did an in store concert and signing at Virgin Megastore in Union Square. The crowd was anticipating hearing the new riff heavy music that was just about to be released that very night and it's exactly what they got. The band played for about forty minutes playing mostly songs from the new cd that sounded incredible live. They did a few oldies and a couple off of Songs for the Deaf which was their breakthrough album in 2002. The buzz created by the band was a prelude to the main gig they had in New York at Webster Hall on the following Thursday 3/24.

    Webster Hall you would think is a great place to see QOTSA if you could get your hands on tickets which basically sold out in twenty minutes or so. It's an old club in the East Village of Manhattan and the interior decoration is as way cool as the neighborhood but the only problem is whoever runs the place doesn't know how to get people in and out of the club as there is only one way in and one way out something you should know as well as maybe the FDNY. Any way, a band called Throw Rag was entertaining enough as they really were a good warm up band. They were a mix of Social Distortion meets John Belushi as the bass player earned plenty of laughs for his on stage antics by basically going shirtless and showing off his beer gut. When it was time for the Queens to hit the stage they opened by playing behind a white curtain for the first few seconds of the opening song "Someone's In the Wolf" then of course the curtain is ripped down and the band are behind it ready to blaze away which they do for about two hours. Everybody seems to be focused on singer/gutarist Josh Homme for most of the show as he supplies the edgy riffs and energy that get the show moving into what should have been a fever pitch. The problem in my opinion was that the crowd was a little lame especially for New York City. The noise from the audience was almost invisible and nobody had anything to say probably because the average age in the room was about 22.

    The band play most of the new stuff with great mix of the old and the Queens are really on fire for much of the night. Drummer Joey Castillo (ex-Danzig) beats the drums unmercifully and what's very unique about this band is that about eight songs into it singer Mark Lanegan (Screeming Trees) takes the stage and basically takes over. Standing at the mic with a hazed over look he just sucks most of the stage presence from the rest of the band even Josh. His mesmerizing voice just runs right through you during "In My Head" and "God is in the Radio". Mark disappears after a few tunes and then comes back to finish the show but doesn't take the stage for the encore. As strange as it is this combo of the two frontmen comes across as genius. The band cap off the show with hit "Go With The Flow" and "I Think I Lost My Headache" then return for the encore and play a couple of archives from their first record "Mexicola" a crowd favorite and "Regular John".

    Whether you saw these guys live in the past or not it was a great rock show plain and simple. The new cd has already gained some mixed reviews even from the loyal fans but it's still too early to tell. My prediction is that by the time Queens of The Stone Age make their return in the fall playing even bigger venues it will still be the hottest ticket in town as it was last night.



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