Live Review: Queens of the Stone Age at Center Stage, March 21

Review and photos by Ellen Eldridge

After an interesting combination of blues and rockabilly music performed by the Dough Rollers (a group of men dressed in suits sporting haircuts from the ’50s), Queens Of The Stone Age took to Center Stage in Atlanta like seasoned pros proclaiming success with a delightful performance of the debut album Queens Of The Stone Age, which has been re-issued on Domino and Rekords Rekords this March. The band kicked off its support tour at SXSW in Texas the week before its sold out Atlanta show and will continue playing dates in the U.S. through April before heading to Europe.

What made the Atlanta appearance special was the crowd; a sea of fans peacefully enjoying the music. One fan even brought a toddler out without incident. The evening was truly categorized by heavy fog and fuzzy, distorted guitars. The band played the self-titled debut in its entirety, in order, and added B-sides and rarities to its encore.

The fans swelled along with the writhing slide guitar in “You Would Know” and the wafting air of marijuana dispersed throughout the audience just like the sultry, repeated chorus. Raspy guitars and effects echoed off the bodies in the standing section. Many of the people in the crowd actually resigned themselves to sitting comfortably and enjoying the dynamic layers of the live audio. One can’t help but wonder just how many people experienced the show solely through the lens of a phone camera and some fans even brought in hand-held camcorders to record the show, but those who just absorbed the tracks seemed to get the full effect.

Yes, most were peacefully hypnotized, but even from the very back of the auditorium fans could see the drummer, Joey Castillo, furiously attacking his drums and flinging sweat everywhere. After concluding the full debut album, QOTSA entertained with “I’m Designer,” “Into the Hollow” and “Make It Wit Chu” from Era Vulgaris, “Feel Good Hit of the Summer” off Rated R, “Little Sister” from Lullabies To Paralyze, and the title-track from Songs For the Deaf (whose irony was not lost on those in attendance because this show was loud.) The B-sides played were “The Fun Machine Took A Shit and Died,” which was originally intended to be on Era Vulgaris and “The Bronze,” which is on the re-issue. QOTSA are still streaming the self-titled album from the website at


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