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Queens of the Stone Age (w/ Royal Blood) @ Budweiser Gardens (London, ON) on May 24, 2018 [Show Review w/ Photos]

Here’s our review of the three-ring freak show that is Queens of the Stone Age who, along with Royal Blood, graced London, ON’s Budweiser Gardens with their legendary presence.



Ladies and Gentlemen, thanks to the globalization of electronica, mumble rap, and whatever else people listen to these days, one burning question scorches across the minds of music fanatics the world over. In the words of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, “Whatever happened to MY rock n’ roll?” Which is a silly question in the context of truly loving music, because it turns out rock n’ roll doesn’t belong to anyone – it belongs to EVERYONE, which is how it will continue to burn eternally. Prepare yourself to meet two of the bands that are currently carrying the torch.

Welcome to the three-ring freak show that is Queens of the Fucking Stone Age. Right when you think the electric guitar is about to go out of style, this band oozes grooves out of every speaker around the world. And, any die-hard rock fans looking for a fresh fix of something new, should definitely check out the head-banging, two-piece group Royal Blood, who blew the roof off London, ON’s Budweiser Gardens before QOTSA burnt the joint down. First thing’s first, let’s get to the newcomers.

Here’s Royal Blood’s video for “I Only Lie When I Love You” off of 2017’s How Did We Get So Dark?.

Royal Blood is a straight up riff factory that doesn’t play any games when it comes to slamming out twenty-first-century rock n’ roll with the attitude of a junkyard dog. It’s not all purely aggressive though; there are definitely dance-worthy hooks that will put a dip in your hip, but always with a serious edge. If you’re looking for one of the premiere new voices that’s carving out the face of modern rock, this is your ticket. After they cleared the stage, the audience wore the soles out of their party boots because if you want to talk about rock royalty, make way for the Queens…

The irony of opening with a song called “A Song for the Deaf” wasn’t lost on anyone because, as much as QOTSA like to have fun, once they’re on stage they’re all business, baby. After blasting through some choice cuts cherry-picked off of classic albums like Songs for the Deaf and Rated R, it was a full-blown dance party as the band paraded through some of their newer material. One thing that remains true is that even if you don’t like the music, there is no denying the power Josh Homme has over an audience. He commands the group and the crowd in harmony like an orchestra conductor fuelled by some twisted sonic sorcery that allows him to conjure songs the way the rest of us breathe. In short: if you have not seen this act and you’re looking for a shining light to guide you back to rock n’ roll in the modern music landscape, this is the band for you.

Shots of QOTSA @ Budweiser Gardens (London, ON) on May 24, 2018 by Cameron Black.

Queens of the Stone Age’s Setlist:

01. A Song for the Deaf
02. No One Knows
03. If I Had a Tail
04. Monsters in the Parasol
05. My God Is the Sun
06. Feet Don’t Fail Me
07. The Way You Used to Do
08. You Can’t Quit Me Baby
09. Sick, Sick, Sick
10. The Evil Has Landed
11. I Never Came
12. Burn the Witch
13. Hangin’ Tree
14. Domesticated Animals
15. I Sat by the Ocean
16. Head Like a Haunted House
17. In My Head
18. Smooth Sailing
19. Little Sister
20. Regular John
21. Go With the Flow
22. A Song for the Dead

Check out QOTSA’s ghoulish video for “Head Like a Haunted House”.

After graduating with a degree in Media Studies and Journalism from the University of Guelph-Humber in Toronto, ON, Alex has been covering pop culture events since 2009. He has covered major festivals like Osheaga, North by North East, Edgefest, and Heavy T.O and interviewed members of the Foo Fighters and Carlos Santana (who featured the interview in his memoir) and more. Alex has also spoken with filmmakers like writer/director Shane Black (Iron Man 3), writer George Pelecanos (The Wire, The Deuce), feature film directors, actors, stunt coordinators and more. His passion for film lead him to write original screenplays and even made the Second Round of the Austin Film Festival in 2019. He loves movies, music, reading, writing, and festivals of all kinds while he works on his next feature film spec script.