Reporting Jillian Mapes
If you compiled a word cloud of every Queens Of The Stone Age live review ever written, just how massive would the word “swagger” be?
Last night (June 5), for QOTSA’s Live on Letterman show, frontman Josh Homme brought the swagger in a subtle way. A sly smile, a hip shake during crowd favorite “Little Sister,” a bit of funny banter. The singer has certainly turned the charm on stronger during QOTSA shows past, but in terms of Rocking Out abilities, Homme and co. were at the top of their game last night. And why shouldn’t they be? QOTSA’s first new album in six years is out this week, and it’s likely to hit No. 1 next week. On top of that, there was a bit of chatter that Homme’s BFF Dave Grohl — who played drums on the majority of the album as well as 2002′s Songs For The Deaf — was in the house for this performance, which was webcast live. Watch the entire show here.
In honor of the album’s release, they played all but one song from …Like Clockwork in almost the exact order the songs appear on the record. Though the band has not played a ton of shows yet behind the album, the new songs were clearly practiced to near perfection. After a few line-up changes for the L.A. rockers (and a few old members back in the fold), this one is a clear fit, live at least.
The highlight of the hour-long set had to be “Kalopsia,” which felt like some twisted version of a high school prom with its spotted low lights and dreamy slow-dance-ready pace. All the while, bloody animation involving masked a man flashed in the background, keeping in line with the twisted imagery seen in the album’s videos, via British artist Boneface and animator Liam Brazier. The show was drenched in stunningly eerie visuals, and started off with a clever clip custom-created for the Live on Letterman occasion, seeing as it featured both Dave Letterman, Paul Shaffer and a running joke about Worldwide Pants.
The band ended the show with “I Appear Missing,” which saw Homme’s effortless shredding melt right into a jam session that never spiraled out of control but teetered right on the edge, before a cowbell-loving encore of “Little Sister.” It was quick and dirty — exactly what you want from a Queens of the Stone Age anthem.
Queens of the Stone Age Live on Letterman setlist, 6/5/2013:
1. KEEP YOUR EYES PEELED
2. MY GOD IS THE SUN
3. IF I HAD A TAIL
4. THE VAMPYRE OF TIME AND MEMORY
6. SMOOTH SAILING
7. I SAT BY THE OCEAN
8. …LIKE CLOCKWORK
9. I APPEAR MISSING
10. LITTLE SISTER (ENCORE)