Queens of the Stone Age | 4.5.11

Many left perturbed, which is so odd; how can you be upset about the band not playing hits when the billing is so clearly defined?




The Pageant, St. Louis

Queens of the Stone Age and bandleader Josh Homme have reached the point in their growing careers where they no longer feel the need to reach out to new fans—or so their current tour would seem to imply, anyway. Showcasing their debut, self-titled album, which until its recent re-release was quite scant and difficult to locate in hard form, for an entire tour is quite certainly a gambit. But hardcore fans were certain to be thrilled by the idea of the band playing a setlist nearly without Guitar Hero homage or show sponsor, KPNT, hits.
Homme and co. still certainly showed much love to those in attendance who could read that the show was in fact going to be a s/t love fest. Sounding as fresh as they day they were released, songs like “Mexicola” buzzed with the basslines of Michael Shuman (originally played by Homme himself in 1998). 
Describing “Walking on the Sidewalks” as a song inspired by exactly that, Homme stated that despite being sick he thoroughly enjoyed walking the fine streets of the Loop for a good portion of the day. Personal favorite, “Hispanic Impressions,” fully unleashed the band’s musical talents. Guitarist Troy Van Leeuwen and Homme simultaneously shared and traded riffs. When the two combined with multi-instrumentalist/Dead Weather member Dean Fertita, QOTSA became an absolutely indestructible wall of sound. 
Though it killed any rowdiness the crowd had failed to work up by that point, main set closer “You Can’t Quit Me Baby” is a hell of a slow burner that allowed every band member to show off slightly,  shifting back and forth in pace building to a feverish pitch, somehow with the guys seemingly not breaking a sweat. Drummer Joey Castillo was the rock hard base keeping everyone constantly on beat and focused. 
Homme seemed a little perturbed that the crowd was content with watching rather than “dancing,” but the band did return for an encore during which Homme seemed to smoke an entire pack of cigs,  emboldening several in the pit to follow suit. The low point of the night seemed to come during the lone song from 2007’s Era Vulgaris when nearly everyone in attendance knew the lyrics to “Make It Wit Chu.”
Homme thanked the crowd for allowing the band to experiment by playing their debut and promised that, “Next time we will come back and play everything.” Many left perturbed, which is so odd; how can you be upset about the band not playing hits when the billing is so clearly defined?
The openers of the night were New York band The Dough Rollers. The group brought their legit blues-rock, and surprisingly were warmly accepted and welcomed by the sold-out crowd. Unassuming lead singer Malcolm Ford repeatedly promised to make the set quick and painless (it was), before wailing out vocals that were one part Muddy Waters, another part Bob Dylan (with whom they have also toured). | Bruce Matlock


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