Queens Of The Stone Age & Nine Inch Nails

By Eve Cheesmur

Artist:  Queens Of The Stone Age / Nine Inch Nails

Date / Venue:  Wednesday March 19th, Vector Arena, Auckland

Giants invaded Vector Arena last night with the colossal line up of Queens of the Stone Age and Nine Inch Nails. Two of rocks most revered and talented front men, along with their respective bands in tow and some epic visuals, pretty much ripped Auckland a new one.

A coin toss decided the fate of which band would take the short straw of opening and 'ginger Elvis' Josh Homme gracefully accepted to rock the stage first.

I was dubious about how the sound would be at Vector, having seen QOTSA perform in 2008 with Smashing Pumpkins when the sound was a soupy shambles. As a safety measure, I found a tampon in my bag which I fiercely dissected and forged into Makeshift Tampon-Earplugs*. To my surprise, they weren't necessary as Vector had sorted its sound for this round of rock.

QOTSA opened the set with swag, and played a couple of tracks from their latest album Like Clockwork. Recently converted fans threw themselves into the mosh-pit like testosterone filled rag-dolls, while old timers nodded politely from the outskirts holding in grins of appreciation.

It was a flurry of variation with the tracks played, which showcased the flexibility and talent that makes QOTSA one of rocks most poignant bands of all time. The graphics and lighting succinctly held hands, as did the line up of songs which melded into each other perfectly and skipped together along the set.

As a long time fan, I was gagging to hear tracks from the older albums; Songs For the Deaf, Lullabies to Paralyse, and Era Vulgaris.....QOTSA did not disappoint. Smashing out the classics like Sick, Sick, Sick, Go With The Flow, and Little Sister, not to mention Josh's snake like hips and the drummer who rivalled Dave Grohl, I had died and gone to rock heaven.

On a more hellish note, front man from Nine Inch NailsTrent Reznor took the stage in a very racy, racer back singlet to show what protein shakes and living at the gym produces. I shouldn't hassle the man, he is a genius. With accolades and wins under his leather studded belt including Oscar & Golden Globe, Trent seemed to clearly be a businessman when it comes to music at one point on stage telling the crowd "We've gotta rock more, let's do this shit".

There was no mucking around on stage when NIN opened with Copy of A from the album Hesitation Marks.The bogans looked confused by the electronica rave track, but stayed focussed on acting like a true rocker by throwing fists in the air.

It had been a long time coming for NIN fans to see their idol again, and Trent Reznor had no intention of giving them a beige experience. With dance hall beats, synths, and undercurrents of being at an angry Ministry of Sound on acid, the crowd seemed confused but aroused by the mishmash make over on the delivery of The Hand That Feeds and Came Back Haunted.

The lights were an epileptics nightmare and a headbangers dream. The mosh-pit hit an all time high when the classics like Head Like A Hole and March of The Pigs played. Trent was joined on stage by his babe of a wifeMariqueen Maandig (which only seem fair considering Josh Homme's wifey was 'special guest' for the night) which gave the punters a chance to catch up on gossip from the day under some beautiful lighting.

Bogans were biting at the bit for the encore, as there were some old classics which were left in the bag. NIN finished off with the mellow and hauntingly beautiful song Hurt, which I'm sure is the way a few of the kids in the mosh were feeling.

*Makeshift Tampon-Earplugs are patent property of Eve Cheesmur 2014.