Music » Critics' Picks

Red Hot Chili Peppers, Queens of the Stone Age and the Mars Volta

Wednesday, May 7; Savvis Center


At their own request, what the Red Hot Chili Peppers got, you gotta give it to your mama. What Queens of the Stone Age (pictured) -- who open for the Chili Peppers next Wednesday at the Savvis Center -- got, however, you might wanna keep for yourself. Led by ex-Kyuss guitarist/vocalist Josh Homme, the Queens' music forms the leading edge of what has become known as "stoner rock," an update of the unsubtle sludge metal of the '70s -- never mind that Homme claims not even to be a stoner himself.

The group's lineup has become something of a revolving door, but if you care to judge Homme by the company he keeps, consider that, since breaking up Kyuss, he's worked with the Screaming Trees' Van Conner and Mark Lanegan, Soundgarden's Matt Cameron, Dinosaur Jr.'s Mike Johnson, the Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl, A Perfect Circle's Troy Van Leeuwen, Ween's Dean Ween and assorted others, as well as his former Kyuss-mates Alfredo Hernandez and Nick Oliveri. Grohl has called QOTSA's most recent effort, Songs for the Deaf, the best album he's ever played on -- impressive words, considering the guy used to drum in a little combo called Nirvana.

The Chili Peppers aren't above being blown off the stage in this town. Some will remember when a couple of young bands known as Smashing Pumpkins and Pearl Jam did it long ago at the American Theatre. We're not saying that Flea and company won't bring the funk to the Savvis (the Mars Volta also appears). We're just saying that the Queens will be there, too, and that they've got the stuff to challenge the headliners to give it away, give it away, give it away now -- for real.

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