Queens of The Stone Age: ?Sick, Sick, Sick in Indy
By JEN X
It was in the air of the Murat Theater in Indy: the salty sweet stench of every person in the venue, mixed in with a bit of homegrown and alcohol. The atmosphere was dark and damp yet formal and classy. There were about 1,500 fans in?a room that had silk covered walls and carpeting underfoot. As soon as the lights went down, it turned into a human sauna with your auditory senses being pummeled under the best attack you could wish for. The Queens of the Stone Age were back, this time with new material and a new attitude.
The Gasoline Angels from L.A. were the openers. The duo comprising brothers Karim Chatila (vocals?and guitar) and Kasey Chatila (drums?and keyboards) came out to the packed line beforehand to chat and again after their set to talk to people in the crowd. Some say the are a little “Queens-esque,” but I don’t think I would go that far. In the?20-minute set they played out their self-titled?CD to perfection, ending in a kiss thrown out the less than thrilled audience. You can check them out at www.myspace.com/thegasolineangels and determine if they are your kind of band. To be honest, it was difficult to decipher in the time they played what I thought, except that musically they have something good going on with their riff-heavy sound, and it didn’t hurt that they were pleasing to the eye.
The time?between the opener and QOTSA was short, and as the band came out rocking to “Regular John,” the energy of the crowd rose to full throttle and never came back down. Guitarist/vocalist Josh Homme, who started QOTSA with former bassist Nick Oliveri after their proto-stoner rock project Kyuss called it quits, led the show with some old faces: guitarist Troy Van Leeuwen and drummer Joey Castillo; and some new: keyboardist/guitarist Dean Fertita (The Raconteurs) and bassist Michael Shuman. The mix rocks, just as it did when Homme brought Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl and Mark Lanegan from Screaming Trees into the fold. The common denominator is that Homme is a strong frontman, and without that, the talent of each individual wouldn’t stand up to the band as a whole. Even with the revolving door of musicians, you have to give it to Homme; it works and it works well.
QOTSA rifled through for over an hour, pulling from their entire catalog. The first part of the show was highlighted with “If Only,” “You Would Know” and “Avon,” all from their first self-titled venture. The Homme-imposed “robot rock,” characterized by extended jamming over a single guitar riff, sounded better than expected in a small club and the crowd expressed its enthusiasm for the older material by singing along the entire time. With a slight dance feel helped by Fertita’s keyboard work, “3’s & 7’s” led us through the group’s latest?CD Era Vulgaris. For the first time on this tour, the title track was played with some nice rhythm change-ups, and was greeted with a roar from the crowd that only subsided momentarily until “Into the Hollow” was played. “Little Sister” and “Burn the Witch’ from the?CD that made QOTSA a “name” of sorts were played with the same intensity as on the Lullabies to Paralyze tour, with Homme’s famous hip action making an appearance.
Getting a little crazy, Homme played some riffs from “Spiders and Vinegaroons” during the breakdown of “The Fun Machine Took a Shit and Died” and then let it rip with “Sick, Sick, Sick” and the closer of “Go With the Flow.” During the encore of “Feelgood Hit of the Summer,” the “Dance like you fuck” line, which seems to be added into every live show, had some in the crowd surfing over to the stage.
Given the heat, this show might have been miserable to some, but to others it was what a true rock show should be about: the band’s charisma, audience interaction and, above all, great music. Mixed in with a bunch of sweat, how could you go wrong?
Do It Again
You Would Know
3’s & 7’s
Into the Hollow
Make It Wit Chu
Burn the Witch
The Fun Machine Took a Shit and Died
Sick, Sick, Sick
Go With the Flow
Feelgood Hit of the Summer
?? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
No One Knows