Queens of the Stone Age Concert Review – 4/12/11 – The Wiltern – Los Angeles, CA
I wasn’t planning to review last night’s Queens of the Stone Age show at the Wiltern. However, it was so damn good I now feel obligated to report on it. It was the opening show of the band’s two-night hometown run in Los Angeles and it brought a lot of emotion from the audience, which they rewarded with an amazing performance that surely delighted everyone in the room.
It’s the best Queens show I’ve ever seen. I had a lot of friends with me that agreed it was insane. The portly guy in front of me convulsing the entire time screamed it was the best show he’d ever attended upon its conclusion. Hell, Harrison Ford was in the audience and I’ll be willing to bet my Indiana Jones DVD collection that he loved it. It really was tremendous.
Queens of the Stone Age are following suit with many of their contemporaries by reaching back into their catalog and playing a meaningful album in its entirety. For this run, the band is focusing on their self-titled debut, which was released in 1998. Queens’ debut album is oftentimes overlooked by fans, many of whom jumped on board with 2002’s Songs For The Deaf, which of course featured the crossover hit single “No One Knows.” So the old school Queens fans were out last night and the energy at the Wiltern was electric. This delighted the band, particularly frontman Josh Homme, who applauded everyone for being there, saying “It’s a special night for us, very special, we’re glad to see you here tonight… We’ve been out for way too long. But this is a very, very special night for us.” I’ve never seen Homme in such a great mood.
Hearing the first record live, in its entirety, was a treat and it sounded incredible. I believe one reason is that the band is a 5 piece now, compared to the trio that created and performed the self-titled debut. There are more weapons on stage, particularly multi-instrumentalist Dean Fertita, who keeps himself busy up there with multiple keyboards, guitars and tambourines, as well as providing backing vocals. I have seen a few different QOTSA lineups over the years and I think this one is the best. They just sound amazing.
What really put this show over the top were the encores. In the first encore, two of my favorite tracks from Lullabies to Paralyze were played in “Someone’s In The Wolf” and “Tangled Up In Plaid.” The latter, in particular, gave me particular joy as I always believed that it never got enough attention. The sexy slower number, “Make It Wit Chu,” was mixed in and is always a good song to slow things up. The huge surprise was the Songs For The Deaf deep cut favorite “Hangin Tree,” which the band rarely plays live.
After this encore, I could have walked away a very satisfied fan but QOTSA returned for two more songs! They weren’t messing around either as both were barnburners. The first, Era Vulgaris’ “Sick, Sick, Sick” got the crowd moving, while the second, the seminal “Go With The Flow” had mosh pits erupting on two different levels of the venue. And just like that, it was over. It was a stunning way to conclude this unforgettable show.
Walkin’ On The Sidewalks
You Would Know
How To Handle A Rope
Give The Mule What He Wants
I Was A Teenage Hand Model
You Can’t Quite Me Baby
Someone’s In The Wolf
Make It Wit Chu
Tangled Up In Plaid
Sick, Sick, Sick
Go With The Flow