Torrential rain did not deter fans of Queens of the Stone Age, who waited patiently in front of the Claridge Stage for skies to clear. Following a short delay, the band counted off "You Think I Ain't Worth a Dollar but I Feel Like A Millionaire" under the friendly arc of a double rainbow. This natural phenomenon was the perfect "feel good" complement to a spectacular performance. Leaving no dead air, they next dove headlong into "No One Knows", which pumped crowd adrenaline exponentially. This was a wise selection early on, being one of their most recognized tunes. Josh Homme had a mandate to initiate the faithful with selections from last year's Like Clockwork disc, though they smoked and burned in familiar territory first.
"My God Is The Sun" was the first of five songs from the latest album to be unleashed in their 15 song set. This sentiment was doubtlessly shared by those patient souls who had braved the rain. Noteworthy here is the genius of the writing, as their material comfortably welds strong melody with scorching heaviness. The group harmonies in support of Homme's lead vocals were tightly deployed amidst the maelstrom of sonic power that the quintet delivered. These guys spread a highly contagious case of head-banging that resonated out from the stage, across Le Breton Flats and into the living areas of nearby residents. I wouldn't be surprised if these people downed tools, started kicking over furniture and playing air guitar in their living rooms.
This one goes out to all the ladies
By the time that "Make It With Chu" was rolled out, there was a mass of vertical movement all around. It was also announced that bassist Michael Shuman was celebrating his birthday which garnered an ovation and a raucous, shambolic rendition of Happy Birthday from the audience. Homme had very kind words to offer to the organizers of Bluesfest, advised the crowd to keep their day jobs and mused that, "now it was time to just go with the flow..."
Only a comatose individual would have failed to pump their fist into the air as "Go With the Flow" and "A Song For the Dead" destroyed everyone in attendance, the latter featuring a huge drum crescendo. This is the soundtrack for apocalyptic invasion. Still vital, creative and one of the highlights of the live, 2014, Jimi Hendrix Ottawa Bluesfest Experience, this was a most stellar show.
If Queens of the Stone Age happen to be in your area code this summer, steal the money for tickets and get out and see them.