Queens of the Stone Age returned to Belfast on August 20th to headline the fifth night of Belsonic, and with the Belsonic speakers seemingly turned up to a Spinal Tap-esque 11 mark, they blasted onto stage after a 60 second visual countdown to add to the already sky high suspense.
Josh Homme opened with ‘You Think I Ain’t Worth A Dollar, But I Feel Like A Millionaire’, before veering into fan favourite and hit single, ‘No One Knows’, arguably one of the best hard rock songs to be released in the past 15 years.
The song as you would expect went down a storm with the packed out Belfast crowd, singing every word and head banging to every gut thumping drum beat that exploded off stage thanks to the sensational drumming of new recruit Jon Theodore, who throughout the set blew the crowd away with stunning drum fills well suited in replicating the brilliance Dave Grohl had laid down for the band in ‘No One Knows’ on drums in the past.
Throughout the set the music came thick and fast with hit after hit inspiring us in the crowd to just jump higher, sing louder and as Josh Homme put it himself “have a wonderful f**king time”. The set seemed to go from strength to strength as hard hitting guitar riffs continued to sail out into the open aired venue and spectators dared to take the leap and crowd surf, beneath the surfers mosh pits developed, and at one point even a dog got its paws in the air, much to the delight of Josh Homme who mid-way through the set stated “I f**king love that dog man!”
The band played their way through a mixture of new and older songs including tracks such as ‘I’m Designer’, ‘Smooth Sailing’, ‘Sick, Sick, Sick’ and the fan favourite ‘Go With The Flow’. The set was topped off with the monstrous song ‘A Song for the Dead’, that was, as the title may suggest, played loud enough, heavy enough and with enough raw energy behind every note that it could have awoken the dead for a much less pop and more rock and roll style Thriller dance routine. The song was played out with extended guitar pieces and a stunning drum solo that made sure that the Queens of the Stone age left the stage on the best possible high and after having well and truly blown everyone away. Niall Donnelly, GiggingNI.com