|Review by: Essi Berelian of playlouder.com
There's nothing quite like a subterranean London venue in the first few weeks of summer; a dingy little dive like the Mean Fiddler quickly becomes thick with smoke and sweat. We are all breathing in other people's personal moisture and we just don't care because the Queens Of The Stone Age are here to instruct us toward better living through chemistry. Tonight, lead Queens Josh Homme (guitars/vocals) and Nick Oliveri (bass/vocals) don't look particularly well medicated but each and every tune aired bears the medicinal stench of a pharmacy. And what lifts this a notch or two above what would be merely an exciting gig is the presence of Dave Grohl behind the drum kit in total skin-thrashing mode, providing the solid but angular spine for Homme and Oliveri to shriek, moan and croon through their tales of altered states and everyday weirdness.
'Regular John' sets the crowd off first and then the Queens opt to blow their wad early with 'Feel Good Hit Of The Summer', which most would have expected as a surefire encore tune. This lot have never obeyed the rules, so why should we expect them to conform right now? Among the expected new songs, favourites such as 'You Would Know', 'Avon', and a particularly vicious 'Tension Head' more than make up for this early peak with Oliveri stripped to the waist and wailing at the top of his lungs. What's more ex-Screaming Trees bloke Mark Lanegan provides lead vocals on new songs 'Hanging Tree', 'Song For The Dead' and oldie 'Walkin On The Sidewalks' which melts in the furnace of an extended psycho guitar wig-out towards the climax.
Finally, 'Monsters In The Parasol' - "A song about the benefits of LSD," deadpans Homme - and 'The Lost Art Of Keeping A Secret' bring the encore to a singalong close and Homme salutes us with the devil horns. Awesome.