So this is the first review I’ve done for a recent show and I was really excited. I’m a huge Queens of the Stone Age (QOTSA) fan and had not seen them since the Songs for the Deaf tour. The one consistent member of QOTSA is front man, lead guitarist and singer, Josh Homme. The other musicians have changed often during the early years. At the same time the band has worked with a impressive list of session musicians including Elton John, Dave Grohl and Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top.
I have to thank my good friend and former co-worker Rob for letting me know this show was coming. He had never seen them so we grab some tickets and made our way downtown. We grabbed some dinner and made our way to Memorial Auditorium on a very cold Winter evening. The tour is in support of the latest QOTSA album, …Like Clockwork.
Once we got into the lobby I checked out the swag table to see if they had any prints for the show. Sure enough they did and it was a very cool cobra in a bottle design on a black background. Reminded me of the old 70s black light rock posters. I knew that I wanted it so I skipped the opening band so that I could shuttle the poster back to my car and not have to hold onto it all night. The opening artist was Chelsea Wolfe whom I had not heard before. She was a bit to goth for me so I have no regret missing her set.
I had a few minutes to say hello to some old friends before QOTSA took the stage. Once the lights went down I was back and my seat and ready. They opened with You Think I Ain’t Worth a Dollar, But I Feel Like a Millionaire. Great opening track that got the crowd pumped and set the tone for the show. They followed up with the next song from that album, No One Knows. I like when bands do this, open up a few tracks that are not from current album. It’s a great way to get the crowd amped up for the rest of the show.
Next was My God Is The Sun from …Like Clockwork. I really like the groove that this song starts out with. This was the song they played at The Grammys when they were cut off and Trent Reznor sounded off. Then into Burn the Witch which has a similar groove to it. Smooth Sailing off the new album was next, again with a very good groove and some funky riffs. After Monsters in The Parasol (a great rocking song from Rated R) QOTSA went into I Sat By The Ocean. This song has a great sound with heavy bass and driving beat. It’s not typical of their sound in that it’s not heavy and fast.
Like Clockwork, the title track on current album was next. This is a slow song which is typically how they close out their albums. Two songs later was If I Had A Tail. I have really grown to like this song as it has some fun lyrics and slow building sound. The set closed out with Better Living Through Chemistry and Go With the Flow. Better Living is a fantastic piece that builds off the guitar and drums and builds up with some scary vocals. The pause in the middle of the song allows it to build back up with a driving guitar riff. The video clip above captures some of that part of the song. Go With The Flow was the single released from Songs of The Deaf that is about the closest they get to a pop song.
The first set ended and the band took a short break before coming out for the encore. Josh came out alone to play The Vampyre of Time and Money from the new album. This was a different Josh than I’ve seen before, sitting at a piano and pouring his heart into the song. He has really progressed as a songwriter and performer and it showed.
Feel Good Hit of the Summer and A Song for the Dead closed out the show. Feel Good is one of those songs that just thumps with crazy lyrics. Song for the Dead is one of their heavier songs and one of my favorites from Songs for the Deaf. The band totally nailed it.
This was an excellent concert. The band played their asses off. The sound and lights were great. The crowd had energy and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. If you ever get a chance to see QOTSA go see them. You won’t regret it.