Queens Of The Stone Age - The great improvisationWith record sales at a new low, bands hardly make any money out of recording their music. On the one hand downloading is great: it gets you the music for free, and the bands you love come overseas to play a lot more (to earn the money they didn’t earn with their new release). On the other hand it often results in hardly spontaneous, almost robotic setlists and ridiculous ticket prices. Neil Young played Amsterdam a while ago: 100 euro per ticket and up. Leonard Cohen will be touring soon, and he’s broken new records with ticketprices: ten thousand dollars for a seat in the front row at his initiation at the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame. It makes you wonder what a band like Queens of the Stone Age lives of, as they crush the audience with the most inspired improvisations in Rock you can possibly hear for just 35 euro. Probably the most affordable ticket around for such a big show, and what you get for it is even more amazing: an hour and a half of brilliant music, that meanders into improvisation so much that you’d be able to liken it to a live Jazz show.
With Era Vulgaris the band has recorded another brilliant record, with quite some electronics in it that every once in a while even sound industrial. Live the songs burst to life, hand in hand with an amazing lightshow that maybe only Nine Inch Nails could set out. Luckily the music is the bigger issue, and the better one. The great improvisers of Queens impress with brilliant and spontaneous rearrangements of 'Feel Good Hit of the Summer', just after opening the gig with the great 'You Think I Ain’t Worth a Dollar', originally sung by Nick Oliveri. Not willing to please audience or record label too easily with a flood of new songs before playing the hits and buggering off, it actually takes up to the fourth song on the setlist for '3’s & 7’s' to be heard. In fact, with five tracks off Era Vulgaris, and eight (!) of Songs for the Deaf, it’s easy to conclude that the band’s here to impress with a great show with top notch music, rather than just selling more albums.
There’s not a Queens of the Stone Age show that is the same. Not only due to the improvisations and alternations of the songs themselves, but more so through the changing of the setlists every single night. That leaves the concertgoer with a nice list of rarities to check of their ‘wanting to hear live list’. Who’d ever thought to hear the great dark and macabre 'The Blood is Love'? Or that amazingly spooky 'Hanging Tree'?
In the end Queens aren’t the arrogant kind of band to just play to please the diehard fans. They’re well aware that a large portion of the audience is here to dance and sing, and what better way to get them doing that by turning the huge Heineken Music Hall venue into a sauna with hits like 'First it Giveth', 'Sick Sick Sick' and, of course, 'No-one Knows', before leaving a couple of folks screaming for more, which they get when 'Song for the Dead' is kicked in. Now there’s a song that on its own should get a place in the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame. Not because it’s brilliantly built-up, it’s fantastic exciting drumming (courtacy of Dave Grohl), but even more so due to the never end alternating of the arrangement. Every time you hear the song performed live it gets better, newer, heavier. Just like Queens of the Stone Age. You know, probably the best and most versatile rock band around at this time.
00 Introtape (Sly and the Family Stone - Dance to the Music)
01 You Think I Ain’t Worth a Dollar, But I Feel Like a Millionaire (songs)
02 Feel Good Hit of the Summer ( r)
03 Do it Again (songs)
04 3’s & 7’s (era)
05 Go With the Flow (songs)
06 Misfit Love (era)
07 Turnin’ on the Screw (era)
08 In The Fade ( r)
09 Make It Wit ‘Chu (era)
10 The Blood is Love (lullabies)
11 Hanging Tree (songs)
12 Little Sister (lullabies)
13 You can´t quite me baby
14 First it Giveth (songs)
15 Sick Sick Sick (era)
16 No-one Knows (songs)
17 Song for the Dead (songs)