After the absolute jaw-dropping drum solo from no other than Jon Theodore, during the crowd favorite, “No One Knows,” Josh Homme, frontman of QOTSA, says to the crowd, “…you have everything, we can possibly give tonight….” Homme and his gang of villains certainly lived up to that promise.
The evil has landed. It has been four years since Queens of the Stone Age, who are one of the greatest living rock bands of the past few decades, has played in Rochester. Friday night, they took their Villains World Tour to the city, along with Royal Blood as their opening act, at the newly renovated, Dome Center, which is one of the top engineered venues in Western New York. You can actually feel the sound from the band in your soul, which might sound cliché, but you feel like you might have a heart attack. Also, might I add, you are under an operational lighted ceiling, which is 50 feet high.
Most of the crowed weren’t aware of the young duo, Royal Blood. However, when they took the stage and played the lead riff to “Figure it Out,” the crowed engaged fully. Drummer, Ben Thatcher started chugging vodka, right before a monster drum solo, with frontman, Mike Kerr, looking on. As a young band, they’re worth all the attention.
Taking the stage, QOTSA consisting of: Josh Homme, vocals/guitar, Troy Van Leeuwen guitar/synths, Dean Fertita, guitar/keyboards, Michael Shuman, bass, and Jon Theodore, drums, walked out to the Skatt Brothers’ “Walk the Night.” QOTSA is the type of band where if you ran into them at a bar, you have to be careful with how you approach them because they can kick your ass.
Queens opened with the slightly calm then intense “A Song for the Deaf,” which was unexpected, you would expect something like “Feet Don’t Fail Me” or “Feel Good Hit of the Summer,” but the band made the crowed wait for those tracks. They then burst into the catchy and heavy riff of “No One Knows,” which is when some members of the crowd started moshing. The band continued with another track from their 2002 classic album, Songs for the Deaf, with the solid hitting, “First it Giveth.”
After being hit by: three songs for the deaf, people’s dreadlocks and sweaty arms, QOTSA soothed the crowed with the pleasing and grooving, “If I Had a Tail,” where Homme unleashed his full Ginger Elvis swagger.
The band brought Royal Blood onto the stage to show their gratitude for their support as the opening band throughout the Villains World Tour. Soon after, Homme called Rochester “A strange, but beautiful town,” and then dedicated “The Way You Used to Do” to Royal Blood and the city.
The crowd soon turned into dancers like from the television show, Soul Train, when they struck the simple riff of the many syncopated rhythms to “The Way You Used to Do,” the latest boogie rock single from the Villains album.
After the drugs kicked in for everybody, the band played the oldie, but goodie, “You Can’t Quit Me Baby.” Van Leeuwen and Homme, mesmerized the crowed by showing off their guitar skills, which transitioned right into Homme busting out strings to “The Lost Art of Keeping A Secret.”
There were no bothersome photographers near the stage, which was lucky for them, especially when Homme broke into his guitar solo during “The Evil Has Landed.” Homme is notorious for once kicking a female photographer in the face last year.
Queens played the underrated “Long Slow Goodbye,” making it their tour debut. Followed by another Lullabies to Paralyze (2005) track, “Burn the Witch,” which the singing from the crowed overshadowed Homme’s vocals.
Later, the crowed were all in motion like an ocean wave to the sexy strutting to “Smooth Sailing.” Finally, the band ended their set with the punchy crowed-pleasing anthem “Little Sister” that made the crowed demand even more from Homme and company.
Returning for the encore, Queens excited the crowed with the Nick Oliveri-favorite, “You Think I Ain’t Worth a Dollar, but I Feel Like a Millionaire,” with Homme on vocals. After hearing the vigorous opening riff to “Feel Good Hit of the Summer,” I looked at the guy next to me and said, “oh, shit” because if you weren’t moshing throughout the show, you would be now. Thank God, I wasn’t in the front row, or I would’ve been crushed up against the railing. During this, Homme sung some portions to Billy Idol’s “White Wedding,” which Queens covered back in 2007.
Lastly, QOTSA ended the night with their superior anthem, “Go With the Flow,” which serves the momentum only Queens can offer in one night.
Countless rock shows have been played at the Dome Arena such as Primus and Clutch, but no shows before compare to what Queens accomplished in a night. They gave it all they had, coming across as stirring and slick at the same time. This is a hard thing to accomplish and only one band can do that and that’s QOTSA.
Queens of the Stone Set list at Dome Arena, Rochester, NY (5/25/2018)
- A Song for the Deaf
- No One Knows
- First it Giveth
- If I Had a Tail
- My God is the Sun
- Feet Don’t Fail Me
- The Way You Used to Do
- You Can’t Quit Me Baby
- The Lost Art of Keeping a Secret
- The Evil Has Landed
- Long Slow Goodbye (tour debut)
- Burn the Witch
- Make It Wit Chu
- Domesticated Animals
- Smooth Sailing
- Little Sister
- You Think I Ain’t Worth a Dollar, but I Feel Like a Millionaire
- Feel Good Hit of the Summer (w/ snippet of Billy Idol’s White Wedding)
- Go With the Flow