–By Sean Derrick
Queens of the Stone Age lead singer/guitarist Josh Homme was in a feisty mood on Thursday during their performance in front of a sold-out crowd at Peabody Opera House.
Taking time out at several moments during the band’s two-hour ear-splitting epic rock show Homme playfully joked with several members of the crowd in the front. That is one of the beautiful identifiers with the Peabody, in that it is big enough to host a major tour like QOTSA, but yet intimate enough that fans can get an up-close and personal experience with the band.
Homme didn’t need to resort to having fun with the audience to keep them interested. The music did that for him.
That QOTSA has kept pertinent over the 20+ years of existence remains nothing short of amazing in today’s impulse-driven limited attention span mentality of today’s music fan. Their newest CD Villains was prominently featured among the setlist of the night. With tight tracks like “The Way You Used to Do” leading the way the band showed fans why Villains is a must-have in their collection.
In fact, the band played seven of the nine tracks from the CD in their nineteen song set from the night, with another five coming from 2002’s Songs For the Deaf, the rest touched on nearly every other QOTSA release.
Even though the personnel of the band has changed dramatically over the years its current incarnation with Homme (guitarist/keyboardist Troy Van Leeuwen, bassist Michael Shuman, keyboardist/guitarist Dean Fertita, and drummer Jon Theodore) is as stable and noteworthy of any version of the band, with a tight sound and high energy.
With a stage set that resembled a slalom course with 15 lighted poles that wobbled back and forth when band members ran into, or kicked them. QOTSA certainly kept their moniker of having some of the most dramatic mood lighting on the circuit.
One of the most dramatic visual portions of the show came during “Head Like a Haunted House” replete with the band completely basked in a deep red light amid flashes of bright white, like lightning in a storm illuminating each individual member.
Other highlights included “Sick, Sick, Sick”, “Little Sister” (for which the crowd gave the band a thunderous approval) and “No One Knows” to end the main set.
But one that rose above the rest occurred when the band played “Hangin’ Tree” for the first time since 2014 and to which Homme mentioned former bandmates Mark Lanegan (who sang lead on the song) and Alain Johannes (who co-wrote the song with Homme), saying “Whenever I sing it, I wish they were here.”
While it would be super cool to have a reunion show/tour with those guys the band is focused on their current lineup and from the sounds of the show Thursday, they have a winner.
British power duo Royal Blood performed a blistering 50-minute opening set that blew the doors off the building. Opening slots won’t hold this band for much longer.
With vocalist/bassist Mike Kerr treating his bass like a low-low end registered guitar (in my mind the most innovative thing anyone has done on bass since John Entwhistle of the Who re-imagined what a bass player in a band does) and drummer Ben Thatcher beat down on his drums, the duo’s 10 song set showed why they are making a name for themselves as one of the must-see live acts on today’s circuit.
Touring on their newly released CD How Did We Get So Dark? the duo stormed through high impact tracks like “Come On Over”, “Figure It Out”, “Little Monster” and their first single from the new record “Lights Out”.
Check out the photos from the show after the setlist.
Queens of the Stone Age Setlist:
Feet Don’t Fail Me
My God Is the Sun
The Evil Has Landed
I Sat by the Ocean
Sick, Sick, Sick
I Think I Lost My Headache
The Way You Used to Do
I Appear Missing
Villains of Circumstance
If I Had a Tail
Make It Wit Chu
Head Like a Haunted House
No One Knows
Go With the Flow
A Song for the Dead