Blogpost: Queens of the Stone Age Bring the Heat to Colorado

Posted by Kevin Fitzpatrick • October 11, 2017

Posted by Kevin Fitzpatrick • October 11, 2017

Queens of the Stone Age and Royal Blood

Red Rocks Amphitheatre

Morrison, Colorado

10.10.2017

 

It wasn't looking good. In typical Colorado fashion, following a summer-like 76° Sunday, mother nature pulled the ol' switcheroo and unleashed the first snowfall of winter, 2017 on Monday. This is all well and good, but when you're A band about to play Red Rocks, it can be a pain in the ass. Ask The XX, who had to be relocated Monday night to the much less grandiose 1st Bank Center.

But it turns out even Mother Nature is no match for the likes of Josh Homme, Michael Shuman, Jon Theodore, Troy Van Leeuwen and Dean Fertita on Tuesday night. Because as soon as the Queens bus crossed over the state line, the temperature rose 30°, and there wasn't enough snow left at Red Rocks to make a snowball. Hyperbole aside, Queens of the Stone Age gave Colorado one of the best shows of the year.

Kicking off the festivities were English two-piece Royal Blood, hot on the heels of their latest release How Did We Get So Dark. Now, this grizzled writer has seen his fair share of rock duos in his seemingly endless time on this earth, but never has he seen a two-piece sound bigger than most five-pieces before. Bassist/vocalist Mike Kerr and drummer Ben Thatcher were clearly enjoying themslves and their sheer jubilance at playing an inaugural set at Red Rocks was in stark contrast to other rock duos "too cool" to show such emotion. I'm looking at you, Black Keys.

By the time QOTSA hit the stage at 8:50 on the dot, the audience was primed and ready. Starting out with Villains album opener Feel Don't Fail Me. When they followed it up with First it Giveth and Avon, it became pretty clear this was going to be an career-encompassing set - with a focus, naturally, on the group's latest, Villains. The strength of the new material is evident when it receives just as much fanfare from the crowd as an older deep cut like Leg of Lamb.

What also becomes evident from the start is just how strong of a rhythm section they have in Shuman and Theodore, laying a rock-solid foundation strong enough - and one could almost say flawless enough, that it affords Homme, Van Leeuwen and Fertita the freedom to really do whatever the fuck they want. The stage was sparse, save for some lighting stands arranged around the stage that served mostly as target practice for Shuman. 

Queens ran a tight-as-a-snare set lasting 100 minutes plus two encores of Head Like a Haunted House - a highlight amongst many highlights and Song for the Dead, a literal show-stopper. Homme came to play, not talk, but that didnt keep him from conversing and giving some sage advice to a young woman in the front row expecting her first child. Homme loves what he does and wears his gratitude on his western shirt sleeve. To him, every note is a blessing, which put both him and the Red Rocks crowd in total agreement.

 

Gallery: QOTSA Red Rocks 2017 (10 photos)

More recent blogposts

Beethoven and Wagner vs Nietzsche

Posted by T • July 26, 2021

Beethoven: A life University of California Press   There is no shortage of books dedicated to the life of a composer whose legacy has never ceased to reverberate and impact music at large. Released to commemorate the two hundred fiftieth anniversary of his birth, what sets this biography apart in terms of authority is partly due to the unprecedented access … Read more

Water of Life – Limeburners and Earp Distillery

Posted by T • July 25, 2021

Water of Life – Limeburners and Earp Distillery   Over the last ten years, Australia has firmly established itself on the map of nations that produce quality malt whiskies. Slowly but steadily, rye whiskies created on terra australis have been making a splash on the scene with quite a few distilleries crafting their own incarnations of American style rye whiskey. … Read more

The Formative Years – Rugby and Canterbury

Posted by T • July 24, 2021

The Formative Years – Rugby and Canterbury I’ve covered the mecca that Washington DC proved to be as a hotbed for hardcore and punk as part of this series before, however, missed to shed light onto one of my favourite releases from the 1980s era, i.e. the vitally important split LP of the short-lived bands The Faith and Void.  While … Read more

The Formative Years – Hardcore Classics, pt. 1

Posted by T • July 23, 2021

The Formative Years – Hardcore classics pt. 1   With ZAP magazine playing a pivotal role in promoting and covering everything New York Hardcore related in a pro-active and prominent manner, Europe and specifically Germany have always been prime markets for hardcore emanating from the Big Apple.  The result was that “NYHC” became a veritable label and trademark and almost … Read more

The Formative Years - Ebullition Records

Posted by T • July 22, 2021

The Formative Years - Ebullition Records  The first time I heard about Ebullition Records was when there was talk around the campfire of that a gentleman that was known to me as a Maximum Rock’n’roll / No Answer zine contributor, i.e. Kent McClard, was planning to release a full length of one of my favourite bands from Orange County, California, … Read more

Thus Let Us Drink Beer - Holgate and Six String

Posted by T • July 18, 2021

Thus Let Us Drink Beer - Holgate Brewhouse and Six String Brewing   As we have outlined with our previous coverage of Holgate Brewhouse, over the last twenty years the Victorian brewery has established itself firmly on the forefront of innovative quality producers of ales that honour both the classic styles from the old world and the ever expanding and … Read more

Water of Life – Hellfire / Larrikin Distilleries

Posted by T • July 15, 2021

Water of Life – Hellfire Distillery / Larrikin Distillery   If you have followed this series with a modicum of interest and harbour a weak spot for fantastic, artisanal spirits, Tasmania would be doubtlessly be have made it on your to-visit list quite a while ago. Visiting the southernmost state of Australia twice a year, I never cease to discover … Read more

Water of Life – The Scotch Malt Whisky Society

Posted by T • July 12, 2021

Water of Life – The Scotch Malt Whisky Society   There is certainly no shortage of whisky clubs and subscription services these days and for anyone remotely into discovering new flavour nuances and variations of their favourite bottlings, joining one can prove to be a viable option. The experience those services offer ranges from basic monthly tasting kits that might … Read more

Water of Life – Milton Rum & Mad Monkey Distillery

Posted by T • July 11, 2021

Water of Life – Milton Rum and Mad Monkey Distillery   Rum has a long and at times chequered history reaching back more than six hundred years to the times dominated by Colonialism, where it did not only serve to make pirates drunk but as a means for trade. Fast forward to the present day and the renaissance that the … Read more

The Formative Years - Kill Rock Stars

Posted by T • July 10, 2021

The Formative Years - Kill Rock Stars  It would have been around 1992 that I first came about a new label that seemed to have its focus firmly set on releasing its friends’ records and the underground scene centred around Olympia, Washington. It did not take long for the label, its credo and overall outlook and aesthetic to manifest via … Read more