Live New Orleans

Queens of the Stone Age

Voodoo Music Festival

November 02, 2003

This was the end of QOTSA's U.S. tour, and the band played like it. They were as tight as a machine. Over the course of many dates, they must have developed a form of communication that didn't involve voice or drumstick-knocking. Maybe it was an old thing called counting time. During one song, the band paused at the dramatic apex for a long period of time. My eyes were on the band so I would know when to expect them to break back into the song, but out of nowhere, with vocalist/guitarist Josh Homme facing the stage, they burst through the silence.

QOTSA can be described as psychedelic because they employ many textures and layers, but deep down they're all about the hard rock. The music November 2nd was smart hard rock, full of odd meters and vulnerable lyrics.

Queens of the Stone Age formed in 1997 out of the ashes of Kyuss, a stoner-rock band that included Homme and former QOTSA bassist Nick Oliveri. Oliveri was recently kicked out of the band for partying too hard, apparently.

On Sunday at The Voodoo Festival, the band was heavy and effective as all hell. They didn't talk much, but they didn't need to(Of course there was the immortalized line of Homme at the end of the set to "get drunk and f--- somebody"). Drummer Joey Castillo was a flailing monster and aptly filled Dave Grohl's shoes for the songs from 2002's "Songs For The Deaf. Also on board was Perfect Circle guitarist/keyboardist Troy Van Leeuwen and former Screaming Trees vocalist Mark Lanegan. Homme did a stint in The Screaming Trees in the '90's, so that's the connection. Lanegan came out to sing "Hanging Tree," "Auto Pilot," and "Another Love Song" in the middle of the set. That guy is creepy, but supremely cool. Do de do, he just slithered from out of nowhere to the mic and slithered backstage again. He likes to wear black. Along with Oliveri, this was Lanegan's fourth to last show with the band. Lanegan left the band for unknown reasons at the same time Oliveri was kicked out.

The band ran through many songs from their recent album, a few off of 2000's "Rated R," and just one from 1998's eponymous debut. QOTSA was the most talented, exciting, and promising hard rock band in America at Voodoo Fest. Let's hope they can keep their edge with the departure of Oliveri and Lanegan.


1 Millionaire
2 Do It Again
3 Avon
4 First It Giveth
5 Monsters in the Parasol
6 Quick and to the Pointless
7 Feel Good Hit of the Summer
8 Gonna Leave You
9 Hangin' Tree
10 Auto Pilot
11 Another Love Song
12 Song for the Dead
13 Go with the Flow
14 No One Knows

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