Sunday, November 24, 2013

Save my soul with Rock 'n' Roll - Queens Of The Stone Age in Munich

QOTSA

Josh Homme ... We "met" the second time that night. The second time in two decades, because the last time I saw him play his band was named KYUSS, he entered the stage with his band mates, all lowered their heads, the light dimmed down to a red flickering and they blasted the KYUSS sound into our faces. That dark and earthy sound no other band had. They did not say a word except a final "Thank you" but they were AMAZING. I really loved it. 

20 years later the band is named Queens Of The Stone Age, the hair is short and although Josh did not exactly turn into a wordy storyteller between songs he definitely said a bit more than just "Thank you". The music changed as well although not THAT much, because what is still the same is the incredible humming feeling it puts into your solarplexus. It is dark and heavy and cuts straight through your skin and bones reaching for your soul.

But let's go back to the beginning of this memorable night. I was shocked when I read that doors would open at the Zenith at 5.30 pm. I mean ... I am a grown up person with a job. 5.30 pm doors would mean taking half the day off to make it in time and that was not possible. To save time I was working from home that day and was rushing out of the house at 6.15 pm even taking a cap to make it over as fast as possible. 

The venue is fairly big (about 6,000 people) and I knew I would likely still get a somewhat decent spot, but I had no hope for more. BUT one more time I was benefiting from the fact that Munich people at shows are late and lazy. When I arrived one hour after doors the venue was not even 1/3 filled up and for a reason I do not get the majority of people was hovering behind the first wavebreaker between the stage and the soundboard (middle of venue) and not in front of the stage. I looked left, I looked right, I went to the stage - 2 rows of fans and that was it. I was seriously confused, went to the bar, bought a drink, emptied the mug, returned the mug, went back to the stage. Same scenario. I was like "Okay, if you do not want that front of stage slot, all you people, I certainly do." I chose the right wing, perfect view on the stage as well as the entrance of the backstage area and the workplace of the guitar tech. The venue filled up behind me, but nobody even tried to push me away. Perfect.


Band Of Skulls

The first band entering the stage was Band Of Skulls from England. I had heard a couple of songs before that night but honestly never listened closely, but the trio played a very solid and fun support show.  
I have seen way too many bad and boring support acts, but this was definitely not one of them. It was a perfect little set to get in the mood for more live music. If they come to a small club near you, check them out - worth it! 

Between Band Of Skulls and QOTSA something truely unbelievable happened: the dude standing in front me at the barrier left. I mean ... WHAT THE HELL? Who leaves a spot like that right before the main band starts to play? I am guessing his girlfriend forced him because he later fought his way back to her with two drinks in his hands, but by his return I had already easily moved myself into the wide open spot, grabbed the barrier and never moved an inch away again before the last note was not played. Before you feel bad for the guy: He was more than a head taller than me and his girlfriend and had a perfect view from his new slot right behind his lady. He did not exactly suffer. 

Then it started and it felt like a transatlantic jumbo jet getting airborn. It is big and kind of comfy but you feel the enormous energy in your guts. WOAH!

I will not go through the show song by song (or play by play like we hockey fans say). The set list (see at the bottom of this posting) was wonderful. I personally had no wish open at the end. I absolutely loved the blues touch in the show with some serious jams and solos. Although I am not exactly the ballad type of person I enjoyed very much when QOTSA slowed down and made room for some almost fragile melodies. The title song of the recent album "... Like Clockwork" was especially awesome. 


I also need to tip my hat for the the person(s) who developed the stage and light concept. I am not fan of explosions, fancy laser shows, strobo light (minus "Glitter and Trauma" by Biffy Clyro - obviously) or glitter bombs and the QOTSA show was perfect. The visuals at the back of the stage were impressive and fit perfectly to the set list referring to the lyrics of the songs or the record they were taken from. They did not take away the attention from the music but underlined and intensified it - just like it should be. 


The sound was great as well for the Zenith. That venue is a tin can and sounds like one, but the QOTSA soundguys made the best out of it and my LugPlugs helped one more time to reduce distortion and helped to improve the experience. Stating the obvious here: QOTSA are very, very loud. Even with my hearing protection I felt the pressure on my ears, but luckily came out of the show without buzz or other problems. 


If I would try to describe and summarize the show in one word, I think it would be "majestic". It was HUGE without being ostentatious or pretentious. It felt like sinking to the bottom of the sea, getting down to the roots of things. It was a kick in the guts. A very enjoyable kick in the guts.


I used my fab spot at the barrier to take some pictures, too: 









Setlist Munich:

You Think I Ain't Worth a Dollar, but I Feel Like a Millionaire 
No One Knows 
First It Giveth 
Burn the Witch 
My God Is the Sun 
I Sat by the Ocean 
…Like Clockwork 
If I Had a Tail 
In the Fade 
Misfit Love 
Kalopsia 
Little Sister 
Fairweather Friends 
Smooth Sailing 
Make It Wit Chu 
Sick, Sick, Sick 
Better Living Through Chemistry 
Go With the Flow 

Encore:
The Vampyre of Time and Memory 
I Appear Missing 
A Song for the Dead 

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