It probably seems a bit lacking in imagination to go for Queens of the Stone Age for the best Sziget concert as they were of course one of the more hyped acts. Yet we can admit that, with a lot of expectations weighing down on their shoulders, their falling flat on their faces was also in the cards. Their VOLT show from the previous year felt a bit lukewarm based on the reviews we’d read (yes, yes, always check local festivals before booking your summer holidays, lesson learned) and I just could not settle scores with the fact that they’ll be actually squeezed before deadmau5.
All of which did not really matter, as this turned out to be a great day for science- and for Josh Homme, who felt strangely at ease and even indulged in some good humoured banter. Unlike many major acts who seem somewhat pale at non-UK festivals, they looked and especially sounded as their hearts were in it- throwing in No One Knows early on, they still had the force to get better and stronger with each song- as the lights went out over Sziget, so did their music feel heavier and darker-would it have been an even better show if it was dark all along? The question now seems superfluous- this was day zero and you knew no headliner would quite match this intensity. And sure enough, they didn’t.