Queens Of The Stone Age
21st Century Reading Bands: 2010 Main Stage, 2008 Main Stage, 2005 Main Stage, 2001 Main Stage, 2000 Radio One Stage
The Defining Reading Moment: 2010′s tour de force of a set that saw Josh Homme and co. breezing through everything from the psychedelic hits of yesteryear to today’s beefy riffy barrages.
Josh Homme and co pretty much sum up what Reading has been about in the 21st century. Their no holds barred sex, drugs and rock n roll has been a fixture on the line up five times in the new millennium (2000, 2001, 2005, 2008 and 2010), cementing them as Reading Festival favourites.
They started their long Reading careers in 2000, on the NME stage. 2001’s set was remembered for a screaming and naked Nick Oliveri, which featured songs from their self-titled debut and sophomore album, Rated R. They were joined onstage for “Quick and to the Pointless”, by Toby Tores of Snake River Conspiracy, and they also coved ZZ Top’s “Precious and Grace.” While their 2001 mid-afternoon Main Stage set saw the band becoming cult heroes at the festival.
They were back four years later in 2005, following two more album releases, Songs for the Deaf and Lullabies to Paralyze. By this time, Oliveri had been fired from the band and was replaced on bass by Alain Johannes. They had graduated up to third top that year, after a string of impressive performances and their cult fan base increased. They returned three years later, subbing to Rage Against the Machine. Josh Homme’s shaved head was the talking point of their performance, which included a slow version of “Go With the Flow,” while the low volume and the wind interrupted their set.
In 2010, they made themselves Reading legends. Opener “Feel Good Hit of the Summer”, showed off their customary swagger, but driving guitar riffs of “3s & 7s”, “Sick, Sick, Sick”, “Little Sister” and “No One Knows, were their most memorable moments. The set closer “A Song for the Dead”, was a great way to leave the stage to a hero’s welcome. Homme announced to the crowd, “I love this festival so goddamn much,” and you could tell he was being sincere about it. He even had time to have a dig at headliners Guns N’ Roses, when the mention of their name by Homme was met by a chorus of boos from the crowd. Everyone leaving the Main Stage after their performance felt that QOTSA should have been headlining, and after the mess that followed them, they definitely were in no way upstaged.
They are loved at the festival and what’s more, they love the festival. A perfect match, and perhaps, when they next return return, they’ll be a new headliner for the festival. Siobhan Gallagher