The Queens of The Stone Age recently rocked out in a totally engrossing show that really spotlighted the talents of the band’s masterful musicians at The Anthem in DC. And it also was an opportunity for QOTSA to pull from a thrilling kaleidoscope of overlapping influences to put on a distinctive show.
We hit concert nirvana about two-thirds of the way through the show when QOTSA performed an already smashing rendition of “Make It With Chu” from their album Era Vulgaris (2007) and mixed it perfectly into “Miss You” by The Rolling Stones.
Indeed, the hard rockers didn’t miss a beat at The Anthem on August 9, when they appeared for the first of two DC dates in support of their new album, In Times New Roman… (2023). Dubbing the tour “The End Is Nero Tour,” QOTSA played one or two songs from must of their albums and favored In Times New Roman with five songs.
QOTSA played many of the new songs in the first half of the show with an early performance of “Emotion Sickness” soon followed by “Carnavoyeur.” The band also added “Negative Space” and “Paper Machete” from the new album to the set, and they made a USA tour debut of “Made to Parade.” The gents went to town with churning guitars on “Made to Parade,” a showcase for their heavy guitar prowess. The song song some glam touches that were reminiscent of the music of frontman Josh Homme’s friend and collaborator Iggy Pop.
Watch an official lyric video for “Negative Space” by Queens of The Stone Age on YouTube:
The QOTSA band members were in high spirits from the very first number — “No One Knows” from Songs for the Deaf (2002), a melodic and swirling hard rock album that was clearly a little bit influenced by the post-punk revival occurring at the time.
Josh was full of rock and roll swagger, and his voice was a perfect complement to his chugging guitar riffs — a bit of weathering and wisdom in the mix. From very early in the show, the audience really responded to the QOSTA thunder, and Josh seemed positively tickled by the warmness of the crowd in the sold-out room.
Everyone applauded enthusiastically after every number, and Josh acknowledged it after a particularly strong welcome for “My God Is the Sun” from …Like Clockwork (2013), saying, “Thank you very much! That makes us happy.” Going into “If I Had a Tail,” Josh continued to soak up the love of the crowd, confessing, “Sometimes this town can be really quite strange, but you are quite wonderful and that’s beautiful.” In all honesty, the audience was reflecting back a wonderful performance.
Watch the official music video for “My God Is the Sun” by Queens of The Stone Age on YouTube:
The QOTSA band members were on fire, but particularly Jon Theodore was a beast on drums, and Mr. Homme himself was a marvel on guitar. This was my first time seeing QOTSA live, and I didn’t fully know what to expect. I had previously seen guitarist Troy Van Leeuwen fill in for Captain Sensible of The Damned a few times when the Captain couldn’t make some USA dates, and Troy impressed out of the gate. He was equally good in his own band last week, and everyone was very much in tune with each other.
There is something very much in the QOTSA DNA that connects their music to ’70s acts like The Damned and Iggy Pop, two aforementioned prominent artists that they have worked with, and although they are very much a Seattle hard rock band, Queens of The Stone Age also have a mystique that feels almost tangible. At the end of the show, QOTSA did not leave the stage and return for an encore. Instead, Homme said the band would simply remain and play some more. They closed with “A Song for the Dead,” a powerfully thrashing tune that embodied the band’s psychedelic side.
Anyway, the entire Queens of The Stone Age band was in very fine form, and you would do well to treat yourself to a return performance at The Anthem, tonight, August 14!
Openers for both nights at The Anthem included hardcore punks The Armed and dreampoppers Phantogram, both of whom also were well worth watching. The Armed were full of antics, and you will want to get their early to see some epic crowdsurfing and in-your-face performing.
Here are some photos of The Armed opening Queens of The Stone Age at The Anthem on August 9, 2023. All pictures copyright and courtesy of Nalinee Darmrong.
Here are some photos of Phantogram opening Queens of The Stone Age at The Anthem on August 9, 2023. All pictures copyright and courtesy of Nalinee Darmrong.
Here are some photos of Queens of The Stone Age headlining The Anthem in DC on August 9, 2023. All pictures copyright and courtesy of Nalinee Darmrong.