REVIEW: Queens Of The Stone Age @ Reading Festival ★★★★☆

qotsa at reading
After sub-headlining Reading & Leeds Festival twice in previous years (2008 & 2010) and always having a slot just before that, its finally time for Ginger Elvis (Josh Homme) and his playing partners in Queens Of The Stone Age to have their crowning moment of glory on the hallowed twin sites. Well sorta, they get to properly finish off the Friday at Reading and play just before Paramore on the Saturday at Leeds.

Kicking off proceedings under the night sky with ‘You Think I Ain’t Worth A Dollar, But I Feel Like A Millionaire’ from breakthrough album and timeless masterpiece ‘Songs For The Deaf’  is a brilliant choice of first song as any. Next up somewhat surprisingly is the best festival song ever recorded, ‘No One Knows’. Busting it out this early is surely going to be a bad move by the band? Of course it isn’t. The field is jumping  and singing along with the main riff and singing every word back at main stage. This goes to show how brilliant a band QOTSA are that they can play such an iconic and world-wide anthem so early in their set and have no one leave. The first half of the set is comprised of mainly new material from last years release ‘…Like Clockwork’, the overall success of that record means the crowd enjoy selected cuts from the album and are happy that the band can fit it in their set along with the bonafide rock classics they throw in in-between.

The second half of the set is astonishing. Hit after hit after hit, no letting up, no respite. ‘Little Sister’ into the drug shopping list that is ‘Feel Good Hit Of The Summer’ into ‘The Lost Art Of Keeping A Secret’. It’s just all kinds of brilliant. Josh Homme is on ultra cool mode tonight as well as he sips neat alcohol and casually lights up cigarettes in breaks before discarding them like their nothing at all. Everyone wants to be that man tonight. Ginger Elvis at his rock n’roll best. ‘Go With The Flow’ and an audacious rendition of ‘A Song For The Dead’ complete with drum solo captivate the audience and stun them with intricate musicianship and brutal force.

This is one of the most outstanding and well executed headline performances of recent years complete with a dazzling and electrifying laser show to accompany tonight’s soundtrack.