Two of the most esteemed and exciting bands around performed at Nissan Pavilion on Saturday, Sept. 9, when the Queens of the Stone Age (QOTSA or Queens) and Red Hot Chili Peppers shared an unstoppable rock bill.
Celebrating the success of its critically acclaimed and commercially successful “Songs For The Deaf,” Queens brought its brand of Led Zepplin and Black Sabbath influenced hard rock tunes to a near capacity crowd, with the force of a freight train.
Slamming through a set that included tracks off of the aforementioned record and the band’s previous effort, “R,” QOTSA marked a return of classic rock songs, with a variety of elements from psychedelic soundscapes to hypnotic and repetitious rock.
The onstage synthesis of Nick Oliveri, Josh Homme and Brendon McNichol was truly a rare specimen of artistry, as all three contributed vastly different aural treats simultaneously, yet seemingly never out of step. Included in the 45-minute set were the band’s most recent singles, “No One Knows” and “Go With the Flow,” as well as “Hangin’ Tree,” a staggeringly brilliant version of “The Sky is Fallin’” and a surprise in the form of “I Think I Lost My Headache.” Without a doubt, QOTSA is the band laying the groundwork for the next generation of rock, one that harkens back to the days of sold-out arenas and hedonistic life styles.
After having all expectations shattered with QOTSA’s performance, the Red Hot Chili Peppers was an afterthought. However, by the end of the more than two-hour set, nothing appeared impossible. Though the Red Hot Chili Peppers barley touched the dust jackets to any albums prior to the reinventing “Californication,” they were flat-out dead on.
Aside from the fluidity between guitarist John Frusciante and bassist Flea, Anthony Keidis’ vocals hit every note, a miracle based on many long-lived rumors of the opposite. While the band managed to cut through such recent hits as “Zephyr Song,” “Can’t Stop,” “By The Way,” “Scar Tissue” and “Otherside,” as well as such classics as “Under the Bridge,” it was the live idiosyncrasies that recordings don’t allow for.
In most cases when a band with an extensive catalogue plays a cover song, it’s one they’re known for; however when the Red Hot Chili Peppers covered The Ramones and Iggy Pop, two musicians most of the band’s fans are unfamiliar with, it didn’t seem forced, it just seemed right.
Along with these covers, the band jammed out in between cuts, with Flea frequently handing-off his bass in exchange for a trumpet, or just noodling on the side of the stage face to face with Frusciante, and with Chad Smith proving why he’s renowned as being one of the best funk drummers around. Anyway you look at it, the Red Hot Chili Peppers will be one of the bands that personifies our generation like The Who, The Rolling Stones and The Beatles have defined the generations before.