Concert Review: Queens Of The Stone Age @ Budweiser Gardens, London, Ontario
London, Ontario was paid a visit last night by southern California’s Queens Of The Stone Age. London’s downtown core got a lot louder than usual when the rock band showed up to perform at Budweiser Gardens while promoting their amazing album …Like Clockwork.
If you have a tattoo, are in your 20’s or early 30’s and you were in downtown London between 9PM and 11PM last night, there’s a 90% chance you were at the concert. Lots and lots of inked-up folks in attendance last night, which is of course, very cool. The crowd seemed ready to go when at about 9:10 the lights went out and a bunch of lit-up yellow circles appeared with the number 50 in them. The numbers started to countdown until the band’s fans helped out with the final FIVE! FOUR! THREE! TWO! ONE! and Queens launched into Keep Your Eyes Peeled, the first track off the new album.
Many times during the set lead singer Josh Homme apologized for being ill
after watching England’s World Cup performance (at one point telling the crowd they sounded better than him) but said he was going to give it everything he had. He obviously did because if he hadn’t said anything I doubt anyone would have thought he was sick, sick, sick. He sounded great, played guitar great. Lucky folks like me who were super-close to the stage on the floor could see him hacking and coughing in the shadows between songs. A big salute to Josh for playing sick, thanks for not bailing!
The crowd was great all night. I think Bud Gardens policy of no booze on the GA floor helped keep a lot of the unwanted BS to a minimum. When I got there I went right up to like 12 feet from the stage, and for the rest of the night no one was crowding, no one was pushing, no drunks staggering by,
no bear attacks, it was great. The enthusiastic folks had nothing but love for QOTSA and it looked like Homme and the boys really appreciated it (especially since everyone in the band but the drummer had rocked-out in long-sleeve button-up collared shirts all damn night).
There were big, big cheers and applause for hits like No One Knows, Burn The Witch (with crowd singing the intro part like usual), Little Sister, and Sick, Sick, Sick. The band even threw in some less-frequently played tunes like Avon and I’m Designer for the die-hard QOTSA fans out there. I’d also like to add that Better Living Through Chemistry was a nasty, loud, rocking, kickass long jam, so good.
My fav part of the night was the last 2 songs. The aptly-titled Feel Good Hit Of The Summer, with its crowd-pleasing single repeated lyric of “nicotine, valium, vicodin, marijuana, exstacy and alcohol” and the chorus of “c-c-c-c-c-cocaine!”, had the crowd pumped and Homme even let them loudly sing a few lines on their own. Finally, Song For The Dead…what can I say? There wasn’t much of any sort of mosh pit all night…until this song started. The whole middle of the floor in front of the stage went crazy, it was awesome. Also, cheers to the dude crowd-surfing while trying to take a selfie.
I had a great time at the show. I always know it’s been a good concert when I leave and my ears are still ringing and I’ve lost half my voice. It was super, super loud in the place all night and the band killed it. They flew through the set, it didn’t drag at all. Homme noted the band has played London many times and that he’s noticed the crowd is usually “shit-faced”, adding that’s “what we are looking for”. It just seemed like a good exchange of positive energy between band and crowd all night.
PHM Rating for Queens Of The Stone Age: 8.5 out of 10
Setlist for Queens Of The Stone Age at Budweiser Gardens, London – July 6, 2014
1 – Keep Your Eyes Peeled
2 – You Think I Ain’t Worth a Dollar, But I Feel Like a Millionaire
3 – No One Knows
4 – Avon
5 – My God Is The Sun
6 – Burn The Witch
7 – Smooth Sailing
8 – Monsters In The Parasol
9 – …Like Clockwork
10 – If I Had A Tail
11 – Little Sister
12 – I’m Designer
13 – Make It Wit Chu
14 – Sick, Sick, Sick
15 – The Lost Art Of Keeping A Secret
16 – Better Living Through Chemistry
17 – Go With The Flow
18 – The Vampyre Of Time And Memory
19 – Feel Good Hit Of The Summer
20 – Song For The Dead