Raucous rawk - Stone-Age style

Concert review

Published on May 16, 2008

Take the Salmon Festival atmosphere and throw it inside Mile One. Put Queens of the Stone Age on stage, feed people $2.50 beers, and make it general admission.

Two-and-a-half-buck beers while it lasted, anyhow. Apparently, Molson underestimated the drinking capacity of the 19-25 St. John's demographic because they ran out of beer before the end of the show.

Take the Salmon Festival atmosphere and throw it inside Mile One. Put Queens of the Stone Age on stage, feed people $2.50 beers, and make it general admission.

Two-and-a-half-buck beers while it lasted, anyhow. Apparently, Molson underestimated the drinking capacity of the 19-25 St. John's demographic because they ran out of beer before the end of the show.

Regardless, the result was a night with few rules, debauchery, 6,000 fans, and a band that lives the rockstar lifestyle like it's going out of style. There wasn't one indication last night's Queens of the Stone Age show at Mile One was a win-to-get-in deal.

In fact, the stadium, which was supposed to be filled to near-capacity, looked half -empty because everybody crammed to the front half to catch a glimpse of the Grammy-nominated band.

"Tonight is the last night of our entire Canadian tour," said seemingly enthusiastic Josh Homme, Queens lead singer. "This place is pretty f--kin' bad-ass. You guys must be f--kin' crazy for livin' here."

I paid the price for hanging out in the photographer's pit for the first few songs, too, dodging half-full (by the time they got to me) beer cups.

Frontman Homme led the band as they doled out legitimate reasons for this morning's doctor's notes that would read: "Cannot attend (work / school) due to temporary deafness."

Homme, the only remaining original band member, abetted the drunkenness and led the band through a bunch of material from its latest album, last year's "Era Vulgaris," including the Grammy-nominated song "Sick, Sick, Sick" and other fan-favourites like "Make It Wit Chu" and "The Fun Machine Took a Shit and Died."

A technical problem prompted the band to halt the show just long enough for Homme to lay into whoever was responsible for the blip. "Which one of these stupid motherf--kers just blew something?" he said, to a cheering audience.

The rest of his commentary is so expletive that if I published it my career would be over, but the crowd ate it up. Homme garnered enough support to re-start the song, so they did.

"Song for the Dead" was intense and executed to perfection, easily earning it highlight-of-the-night status. As the show went on, the mosh pit only grew rowdier and crazier, until they wrapped up the set, took about a 60-second break and returned for "3's and 7's" and their 2002 breakthrough hit "No One Knows" from "Songs For The Deaf."

I pity the Mile One cleanup crew, but even more the George Street bartenders.