There are certain locations that are beyond perfect to catch a live band. The Pyramid Stage at Worthy Farm falls into that category. As does the Sydney Opera House and Slane Castle in Ireland; but the south coast of England has added another spot to that list, and it’s the Eden Project.
Since it’s opening, the Eden Project has hosted various Eden Sessions, where 6000 revellers can enjoy huge name artists (like The Flaming Lips, Sigur Rós and Lionel Richie) at the centre of this mad, beautiful attraction. A huge festival stage is plopped in the middle of the complex, with the two futuristic biomes peaking out behind it, and in short, it’s a totally gorgeous concert venue.
This Tuesday it was the turn of the mighty Queens of the Stone Age to play the Eden Project. With the crowd of punters in a festive mood (only amplified by a slick support set from the Nick Valensi led-CRX, excellent old school tunes courtesy of the Sailor Jerry Amp Bar and, of course, the footie), it was a big one. Here’s what went down:
Although the storms held off, Queens entered the stage to a light drizzle and a musical accompaniment of 'Singin’ In The Rain', before blasting into 'A Song for the Deaf'.
Blitzing straight into 'Sick, Sick, Sick', Josh Homme and his impossibly sharp band powered through their stadium sized anthems. Homme was on fine form, encouraging the audience to take their mushrooms and "have the best night at one of the most beautiful locations I’ve ever been", and picking out a small child on his Dad's shoulder and declaring "Everyone applaud this little blonde kid - tonight is your night...motherfucker...sorry that's your dad!"
With Our Brave Boys playing the same evening, the Eden Project had dutifully installed a screen where fans could watch the England v Colombia game ahead of the show. With the match descending into penalties, and the show having to go on, punters had resorted to getting the updates on their phones during QOTSA's set; but for those who weren't plugged in, they needn't have worried. The roars and t-shirts being swung around heads that accompanied the opening riff to 'No One Knows' signalled one thing, and one thing only: that Football is coming home.
With the footie results in, the army of punters were on a high, and had the perfect soundtrack for it. Big hitters 'Feet Don't Fail Me' and 'The Way You Used to Do' were sweltering triumphs, 'My God Is the Sun' a glorious, sleazy cacophony. Hell, in this setting, even Homme's banter about guitarist Troy Van Leeuwen and keyboard player Dean Fertita both running for mayor of Cornwall sounded good.
Homme was every part the rockstar, flinging cigarettes butts over his shoulder mid-song and indulging the crowd in debauched banter. Finishing with a thundering version of 'Little Sister', the band swaggered off stage to deafening cheers (and the occasional rendition of 'Three Lions').
As Josh and the gang reappeared for the encore, he called out a few members of the crowd who were trying to make a sharp exit, letting them know that they were about to miss some absolute bangers, and adding the incentive of "if you stay, I'll play three more songs, but if you leave I'll only play two." Closing with a blistering triple threat of 'Make It wit Chu', 'Go With the Flow' and 'A Song for the Dead', it was a breathless ten minutes of euphoric rock those rogue punters will be relieved they stuck around for.