Queens of the Stone Age threatened to cancel Mad Cool gig over VIP section issue
"I’m not playing until you let them in… you’d better let them in because you work for me tonight" said Joshua Homme urging security to let fans into the VIP area.
Queens of the Stone Age threatened to cancel their set at Spain’s Mad Cool Festival on Saturday night in response to the presence of a VIP section at the foot of the stage.
Mid-way through their performance of the 2002 hit 'No One Knows', one of the most powerful refrains in modern rock, frontman Joshua Homme brought the performance to a pause, demanding that festival organizers remove the fences of the exclusive VIP area and allow general ticket holders to come closer to the stage.
“Security, you’d better let those people in,” Homme said. “I’m not playing until you let them in… you’d better let them in because you work for me tonight.” Homme then started a chant of “Let them in! Let them in!” which the crowd happily joined into. When the crowds started flooding in, he said, “That’s right, come on in… It’s a Queens Of The Stone Age concert and you can do whatever you want to do… Let them in. Look at my face. Let them in or I will walk down there and let them all in.” Ultimately, the security and the organizers gave in, allowing a throng of more than elated QoTSA fans to flood in right next to the stage.
Homme is perhaps the last of his kind - one that still maintains a rock 'n roll bad boy image in today's usually cleaner cut days and is no strangers to such antics. He often takes issue with fans who are unruly and calls them out publicly at gigs, explaining it as a form of "bullying the bully". Homme also features in a new anti-bullying documentary by singer Andrew Cole. “I’ve always tried to weed the bullies out of our audience, you know, because I don’t want them there, our music is not for you," Homme says in the documentary. "If you’re a racist, misogynist, homophobic jerk, we’re not for you, you can go."
Later in the set, Homme explained why he was so adamant about removing the VIP section.
“The reason I told them to let people in there with you guys is I’m getting sick of everyone telling everyone what to do. I’m sick of everyone being offended," Homme explained. "We traveled thousands of miles to play your party, to give you a night to remember. And we won’t leave until you’re f*cked up, high, dancing, making out with somebody and having the best night of your life. Otherwise, you’re just a bunch of domesticated animals,” he added sneakily. 'Domesticated Animals', of course, is the third track from QoTSA's latest Mark Ronson-produced album 'Villains', which dropped last year.
QoTSA's gig packed some intense energy in Madrid. As NME points out, after the performance of ‘Go With The Flow’, Homme smashed a set of their own light stacks against the stage, calling for more madness as they closed out the set. He then promptly kicked it into the pit.
Queens Of The Stone Age were the headlining act bringing Mad Cool to a close tonight; also on the super-heavy billing were Nine Inch Nails, Dua Lipa and Depeche Mode, to whom QOTSA dedicated ‘Make It Wit Chu’. The weekend has already seen sets from Kasabian, Arctic Monkeys, Jack White, Tame Impala and many more.