Queens Of The Stone Age Majestic Theatre Concert Review: Josh Homme and co deliver an incendiary set on a cold Texas night at the San Antonio Majestic Theater.
Don’t get the wrong impression of Queens Of The Stone Age frontman Josh Homme. Despite his recent (and past issues) with unruly concert-goers, he still wants you to have a good time; just within reason.
After a face-melting opener of Millionaire, followed by their hit 2002 single No One Knows, Homme told the hypersensitive security force to check it; You stay away from those kids…people come on up…have a good time…One rule; Don’t come on stage or I’ll knock you the fuck out.
This is part and parcel with Homme’s charm; he’s a contrarian (get a load of his anti-Imagine Dragons/Grammy’s rant. I concur 100%), but he still wants to give the respectful fan their money’s worth.
And that the band did, with a blistering, tightly knotted set that covered a wide range of the band’s discography.
The bulk of the set leaned on their 2013 moody masterpiece …Like Clockwork, and the live setting allowed even more widescreen drama to sweep through album tracks like the rollicking My God Is The Sun, the dreamy Kalopsia, and the wet funk of If I Had A Tail.
The band’s bluesy psychedelia was perfectly attuned to their choice of venue. San Antonio’s Majestic Theater lives up to its title in every way. With its fanciful architecture and moody overhead lighting it lulled the audience into a dream-like trance. Far too ostentatious and classy for most rock acts, but it fit this evening’s proceedings like a glove.
Opener Chelsea Wolfe perfectly set the mood; her darkly romantic trip-hop groove provided perfect counterpoint to the main attraction.
But it was QOTSA’s evening, and they owned it. I’m not sure if it’s the town, the fan base, the classiness of the venue, or fear of a Homme beat down, but it was the most pleasant non-dickish group of people I’ve seen at a show in recent memory.
Homme kept it loose and playful with the crowd; he scoffed at an audience member for yelling; Hey, fuck that guy. But then he chuckled; no seriously, someone go have sex with that guy!
VIEW CONCERT GALLERY (ALL PHOTOS BY SLIS):
Minds and hips exploded during the slithery Smooth Sailing, old-school track Avon and the cowbell clank of Little Sister.
A true highlight was the hallucinatory nightmare of I Appear Missing. The band milked the climax of the song into an extended jam, where the sound mixer did an amazing job of raising Homme’s ethereal riffing to the forefront, while keeping the rest of the band in soft-focus.
The band made excellent use of projections and lights throughout the set, playing the disturbing animated video from Missing , an ominous rippling fire effect during Sun, and celestial nude dancers during make-out anthem Make it Wit Chu.
And while QOTSA is ultimately Homme’s show, he’s surrounded himself with a crack team of musicians; guitarist Troy Van Leeuwen, drummer Jon Theodore, keyboardist Dean Fertita, and bassist Michael Shuman had military-like precision, holding the audience in their seismic groove.
Homme manned the piano for the his death-dodging anthem The Vampyre Of Time And Memory, and he used the track’s power-ballad feel to grand effect, asking for audience members to illuminate the stage solely by cell-phone light. It was an oddly touching moment.
The band closed out the set in pugilistic fashion, the one-two punch of drug anthem Feel Good Hit Of The Summer, and a whiplash inducing rendition of Song For The Dead.
The crowd was exhausted, sweaty, and piled out into the cold night air with huge grins. A Feel Good Hit Of The Winter for one and all…