Touring behind the new album, “Villains,” the California rockers delivered wall-to-wall crowd-pleasers at a sold-out 20 Monroe Live in Grand Rapids on Sunday. (Review, photos)
SCROLL DOWN FOR PHOTO GALLERY, SET LIST
If there is a better rock ‘n’ roll band on the planet than Queens of the Stone Age, please do not tell me about it.
I would prefer to think that, at least for one majestic night, there is only one great rock band, and that band is the mighty Queens of the Stone Age.
Rock and roll is an abstract set of principles as much as it is an identifiable brand of music. To “rock” is a weightier endeavor than just emerging onstage with a guitar and hitting a distortion pedal at the right time. There has to be swagger, a defiance, a giving of zero you-know-whats.
On every front, Queens are a torch-wielding purveyor of both that music and that attitude. The band’s much-anticipated performance at 20 Monroe Live, long since sold out, was a muscle-flexing display of rock — or RAWK — both as content and as context.
The band is touring in support of its latest album, “Villains.” (A title that, clearly, their team did not clear with The Verve Pipe.) It rocks and is groovy as hell, like all of their records. After opening with its lead-off track, “Feet Don’t Fail Me Now,” the band, led by Josh Homme, a lovable thrower of devil horns, cruised through a 90-minute set of career highlights.
There are many from which to choose, and as an early convert, I’d have donated a major organ in exchange for a few more cuts from “Rated R,” the band’s artistic, if not commercial, breakthrough from 2000.
But it’s hard to argue with the run of “Songs For the Deaf” material, including the calling-card hit “No One Knows” (delivered nonchalantly in the middle of the set instead of an encore) and the rock-radio banger, “Go With the Flow.”
Beyond the wall-to-wall stellar music — “Turnin’ On the Screw,” “Make It Wit Chu,” “The Lost Art of Keeping a Secret,” “Little Sister” — Homme and his team did as much to promote the idea of rock as much as the actual craft. For instance, Homme disclaimed that he was under the weather, but still managed to smoke a bunch of cigarettes onstage, which in 2017 manages to qualify as deeply subversive. Devil horns up!
PHOTO GALLERY: Queens of the Stone Age at 20 Monroe Live
Photos by Anthony Norkus
SET LIST: Queens of the Stone Age at 20 Monroe Live (9/10/17)
Courtesy of setlist.fm
1. Feet Don’t Fail Me
2. Turnin’ on the Screw
3. My God Is the Sun
4. Domesticated Animals
5. Smooth Sailing
6. The Evil Has Landed
7. No One Knows
8. The Lost Art of Keeping a Secret
9. Make It Wit Chu
10. Leg of Lamb
11. Head Like a Haunted House
12. I Appear Missing
13. Villains of Circumstance
14. If I Had a Tail
15. The Way You Used to Do
16. Little Sister
17. Go With the Flow
18. A Song for the Dead
Copyright 2017, Spins on Music LLC