“FIVE… FOUR… THREE… TWO… ONE…” booms across the Reading main stage as Queens Of The Stone Age swagger into view through a smokey red haze. Having built themselves toward a near enough legendary status within the last few years, the excitement in the main arena is almost bubbling over amongst the endless sea of twitching heads. 2013’s …Like Clockwork left fans drooling in awe of the band’s sheer refusal to deteriorate with age, and were now about to discover this too is the case for live performances.
The band open on the menacing groove of ‘You Think I Ain’t Worth A Dollar But I Feel LikeA Millionaire’ before dropping into old classic ‘No One Knows’, perhaps a little earlier in the set than expected. As Homme prowls the stage, slipping in and out of the glaring lights, Troy Van Leeuwan reaches for a double-necked Fender Jaguar as the California legends rocket into ‘My God Is The Sun’ and thousands of fists are thrust into the air.
“When we first played here we were on at one o’clock. It’s now ten o’clock so we’re now nine hours better than we ever were,” Homme jests between tunes in a set comprised of a career-spanning collection that seems to hit just the spot for all Stone Age fans. Until Homme begins to spill out the grizzly serpentine riff to ‘I Sat By The Ocean’, nothing has ever sounded quite so perfect blaring across the arena as his velvety guitar sound. Mick Jagger-esque falsetto vocals are dittoed by the audience during ‘Make It Wit Chu’ before the band close the set with a bone shaking ‘Go With The Flow’ and ‘A Song For The Dead’.
A totally different affair to Paramore’s previous set- a darker, more serious affair indeed, but QOTSA leave no festival-goer dissatisfied and leave as conquering heroes. After making the nine hour leap since their debut Reading appearance, Queens Of The Stone Age demonstrate just how important a band they really are.