Desert-psych rockers Queens of the Stone Age came to Boston, MA the weekend before last, performing in the city for the first time in four years. It was one of those nights where everything comes together, a packed crowd on a Saturday night, a lengthy, heavy, pulse pounding show, even rock & roll royalty in the house as, with a night off in Boston, Slash and Duff McKagan of Guns N’ Roses came out to see Queens of the Stone Age pound the intimate Boston arena. Agganis arena is less than half the size of Boston’s biggest arena, TD Garden. With a capacity of 7,200 it served as the perfect sized venue for everyone in attendance to experience a night of high octane rock & roll.
Queens of the Stone Age are out on the road in support of their latest album, “Villians” which came out August 25th, and debuted at number 3 on the Billboard 200. Villians is the band’s seventh studio album, and first release of new material since 2013’s …Like Clockwork, which was the band’s first #1 album. “Villians” and “…Like Clockwork” would get the most attention during QotSA’s 21 song set, with 6 and 5 songs respectively played from the two records. “No One Know” arguably the groups, most recognizable song was played in a very early slot in the set, as they waited only 7 songs to bust it out.
Later in the night, an extended jam of “Make it Wit Chu” united the crowd as charismatic frontman Josh Homme instructed all the women in the venue to sing the chorus, than all the men, then everyone at once. Homme spent most of the night playing it cool with his swagger and attitude, that land in just the right place for the frontman of an arena headlining band.
The band paid special attention to more than a few of their songs, playing the show as almost a heavy jam band extending songs by 4-5 minutes at a time. Their stage setup was pretty simple, aside from some scattered light bars around the stage the focus was primarily on the band and their music. Homme is a great frontman, he knows when to give and when to take. He spent some time talking to the crowd and telling anecdotes, but was by no means longwinded and didn’t distract from the flow of the show.
Queens of the Stone Age live dates are a bit of a rarity in Boston, as this was only their 4th show in the city over the last 10 years. The group is one of a very select few bands whose bulk of work has come in the 21st century that have also managed to maintain, and even grow their relevance, now well into their second decade making music. The members around Homme have varied throughout the years, but he remains the primary songwriter and driving force behind their music.
With the influx of new artists these days and popularity levels rising and falling like Enron stock in 2004, a heavy rock band that has made most of their music in the new millennium lasting and staying popular for almost 20 years now is nothing short of an astonishing accomplishment. If comparative listens to their 2002 gem of an album “Songs for the Deaf” and 2013’s “…Like Clockwork” aren’t enough to sell you, do yourself a favor and go see the band live. You’ll have plenty of oppurtuines to do so when they embark on the 2018 leg of the Villians Tour, which you can find dates for below.
01/22 – Victoria, BC @ Save On Foods Memorial Centre 01/24 – Vancouver, BC @ Pacific Coliseum 01/25 – Seattle, WA @ KeyArena 01/26 – Portland, OR @ Rose Quarter – Veterans Memorial Coliseum 01/27 – Eugene, OR @ Hult Center For the Performng Arts 01/29 – Fresno, CA @ Selland Arena 01/30 – Sacramento, CA @ Sacramento Memorial Arena 02/01 – San Francisco, CA @ Bill Graham Civic Auditorium ^ 02/16 – Las Vegas, NV @ The Cosmopolitan 02/17 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Fourm 02/25 – Rio de Janerio, BR @ Maracanã Stadium # 02/27 – São Paulo, BR @ Allianz Parque # 03/02 – Curitiba, BR @ Pedreira Paulo Leminski Quarry # 03/04 – Porto Alegre, BR @ Beira-Rio Stadium # 03/07 – Buenos Aires, AR @ Velez #
Photos: Queens of the Stone Age @ Agganis Arena 10/22/17