QOTSA – Theatre, Set and Match.

Saw Queens of the Stone Age at Stockton Globe Theatre last night. Proper sweaty moshing affair and a great gig on many levels.

Two supports. First-up Deep Tan. Female 3 piece. Pretty weak unfortunately. Too thin on content, technique and sound and no variation in their 6 song set. Had they been younger I might have said they could do with more practice in front of a crowd, and a bit of production / arrangement, but nah. The bassist seemed to know how to do it. Sadly, the roadies and techs checking and tuning the gear for the next act got a bigger response.

The Chats, 3 no-nonsense lads on a tour from Australia’s sunshine coast had their one off shot supporting QOTSA and smashed it. Quite a few knowing their songs made for a good rapport with the crowd and full of energy and dynamic range despite the pretty standard fast and shouty 3 piece “garage rock” material. The lead bassist fella – contrary to his pasty-ginger-in-beach-shorts persona – and the whole heavy sound, put me in mind of Brisbane’s legendary dark and low-slung F111s, but I can find no link. Worth another listen.

QOTSA brought their own elaborate set and lighting to this old provincial theatre. Beautifully renovated it has to be said, overlooking the budget and schedule scandals from a couple of years ago. In fact the two worked well together. In total control of the lights from pitch-black to blazing white-out, the whole space was part of the set. Josh remarked on it a couple of times amidst his trademark rambling commentary on life. And in fact being a fan of QOTSA on sound alone it was interesting attention to detail in the lighting tone to support their range, not just dynamic range in volume, but in tone, pace and rhythm too. Loud, obviously, but what makes Josh such a great front man is that he’s not shouty – a proper communicator and people person. Professional job and very effective all round.

And then there was the crowd. So many familiar riffs and lyrics, the packed floor was bouncing and singing along from the first bar of most of them. A long time since I’ve been in such a boisterous crowd, moshing and crowd surfing. A good work-out standing your ground against toppling over those smaller / frailer folk in front. Dealing with too many of the most mobile thugs, too pissed to control themselves or where they and their drinks crash landed anyway. Chaos is fun, but know your limits?

A night to remember.


Failed to get tickets for Halifax Piece Hall this summer and, can it really be true, 18 years since I last saw them? In Australia (Perth) coincidentally. And the F111’s at “The Globe Theatre” coincidentally too – in Brisbane. It’s all connected.


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