The Nine Inch Nails and Queens of the Stone Age tour is well and truly underway, with Tuesday night’s Perth show signalling the 4th date of the epic tour. So far the coin toss has been remarkably even handed with both QOTSA and NIN headlining 2 shows each. Being a superfan of both bands (seriously I was far too excited about seeing QOTSA’s sound guy at the airport), I decided to trek to Sydney and Perth to get some extra shows in. Then I thought, instead of greedily hogging my experience, why not give you guys a heads up for their Melbourne shows.

So what should you expect from Friday and Saturday’s shows?

Brody Dalle will play a heap of Distillers songs.

What did you expect? Dalle’s old band still has a lot of fans and she’s got a great catalogue. She’s mainly been playing Distillers tracks as well as a handful of new songs off her upcoming album and throwing in a few covers. Sadly, no love for Spinnerette fans so far but I still hope she’ll drop Ghetto Love on us at some point.

If QOTSA headline, there should be an encore.

If we get to the end of Queens set and you still haven’t heard your favourite track, it might still be coming. Do what you always do and call the band back for a bit more, they will deliver. As far as the set goes, expect a whole lot off …Like Clockwork and Songs For the Deaf but, sadly, not a lot off their older albums.

If NIN headline, there should be a guest appearance.

Every headlining show they’ve played thus far, Mariqueen Maandig has joined Nails on stage to play a couple of How To Destroy Angels songs and it has been awesome. I was lucky enough to catch HTDA at their first ever live show and, while it was spectacular in every sense, it was painfully obvious seeing it that it would never make it to Australia. This is a great consolation for HTDA fans and for NIN fans who aren’t into Reznor’s other band, this should change your mind.

You won’t know who is headlining until you walk into the arena.

All the bands and their management are keeping it quiet on social media and even the security and venue staff have been sworn to secrecy. It’s absolutely fantastic because it keeps the anticipation running hot right up until you’re in the door, guessing who’s on. Even then you still may not know who is on unless you can identify by the covered up stage setup and quite a lot of people, particularly in the Perth crowd, still didn’t believe that my friends and I knew who was playing. Sure the headline spots have alternated thus far, but there’s no guarantee that they’ll stick to that arrangement.


And what not to expect?

Mantra.

Seriously guys, as awesome as Sound City was, there is no way these guys are going to play this song without Dave Grohl (and possibly even with him) to satisfy any sort of will or whim the crowd may have. While I am still holding out hope for a team up that probably won’t happen, they sure won’t be playing this one.

A coin toss.

While I haven’t been able to prove or disprove the existence of the fabled coin toss, one thing I know for certain is that it isn’t the cricket and the stage crew (among others) need to know well in advance of the show times who is actually going on first, so don’t expect an umpire to bring Homme and Reznor out on stage to call heads or tails.

Disappointment.

I knew from the second this tour was announced that there was no chance whatsoever of walking out of the theatre with anything but pure gratification. The setlists have been very varied for both bands (NIN more than QOTSA) so there is a chance they may not play your favourite song – of course, if your favourite song is No-One Knows, then you’ve got it in the bag – but from the second the houselights go down until the second you leave, the bands will be delivering nothing but brilliance. If you end the night overwhelmed by any emotion apart from elation (or lust), you may want to get your pulse checked.

Wes Fahey


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