|Review by John Iskander with thanks to dallasmusicguide.com
March 10, 2003
Queens of the Stone Age (with Rye Coalition)
Fort Worth, TX
From the Palm Deserts of California, QOTSA have finally risen out of the shadows of their stoner-rock predecessors, Kyuss, with their third full-length effort Songs for the Deaf (Interscope). On their second visit to the DFW metroplex in 6 months -- the first being at the Granada Theatre on September 29th, 2002 -- QOTSA continued to push the catchy, heavily-played single "No One Knows." Although it was not the most energetic performance for the crowd at Ridglea, QOTSA still managed to mesmerize the audience with extended and manipulated versions of tracks from Songs for the Deaf.
While it is difficult to categorize the music of QOTSA, it becomes arduous after seeing the assortment of characters represented at the Ridglea. The diversity among the fans was greater at this show than an all-day rock festival. The cultish fans were not disappointed as Josh Homme (guitar) and Nick Oliveri (bass) played a generous amount of old favorites from their 1998 self-titled debut (Loosegroove) and 2000's Rated R (Interscope). However, newer fans and MTV viewers were disappointed, as Dave Grohl was not on drums, (and hasn't played with the band since July 2002).
In typical QOTSA fashion, the set was rotated between old and new songs sung by Josh, Nick and Mark Lanegan (Screaming Trees). Rumored to be sick, Josh was clearly frustrated the entire evening; which was probably why he pulled a 'battle axe' to his guitar after the fifth song and why he did not sing during the two-song encore. His only lyrical adlib of the evening was adding 'crystal meth' to the narcotic ingredients of "Feel Good Hit of the Summer" (if you've heard the song, you'll understand). Unanimated as ever, Josh tore through the 17-song set with no interaction with the audience. Within 71 minutes, the show was over and done with by 11pm. This was one of the shortest sets of the Spring tour. Mark, who only pops up on stage to sing lead, was the most solid performer of the evening, (though it helps when you only have to be on stage for half the set). Nick seemed to be the only one who enjoyed himself. The rest of the line-up, which has consistently changed for every album, currently includes Joey Castillo (Danzig) on drums and Troy Van Leeuwen (A Perfect Circle) on guitar and keyboards. The next single, "Go with the Flow" should be released 3/31 or 4/7.
Though hardly worth a mention, New Jersey's pompous Rye Coalition, failed to stir the crowd even before QOTSA's set. The lead signer actually complained that Fort Worth was "the least enthusiastic crowd on the tour so far." He was rewarded by having small items enthusiastically thrown at him towards the end of the set. Having the crowd wait over One hour outside the venue did not help matters much either. Subjected to unnecessarily long guitar and drum solos, the crowd cheered only when they left the stage.