Flashy lights, double-neck guitars, drum solos, and an incredible frontman — Queens of the Stone Age delivered on all these fronts (and more) when rocking out at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium this past Thursday. Beginning with a couple of their lesser known songs, the band started out a little slow, but eventually sprang to life with the third song of the night, “My God is the Sun.” From this point on, the crowd was at the mercy of singer and guitarist, Josh Homme. When he was dancing, the audience would dance; when he was singing, the audience would sing along; when he was giving a speech, the audience would be quiet and listen. The power in Homme’s stage presence was truly a spectacle in and of itself. However, this is not to say that the other band members did not have a commanding demeanor; they were all actively dancing and jamming over one another. Songs like “Feet Don’t Fail Me” and “No One Knows” created an unreplicatable atmosphere. The lights were absolutely magnificent and the people were dancing like their lives depended on it. The stage became their own unique world.

Before getting into “Domesticated Animals,” a song from their new album Villains (2017), Homme gave a powerful speech about society’s will to oppress peoples’ freedoms, comparing normal citizens to domesticated animals. His words perfectly summed up this concert experience; in a crowd full of people who are confined by society, Queens of the Stone Age provided an outlet — one that has no restrictions or expectations. A safe haven for people to let loose and get lost under the music’s psychedelic spells; a land where Homme is king and he rules through pure freedom.

However, the concert was far from perfect; even though the band’s presence was virtually unmatchable, the musicality could have been a little more impressive. This does not at all mean that the band had a poor performance, rather there was just nothing surprisingly wonderful about the production of the sound. As a Queens of the Stone Age fan,  I still loved it, but I cannot imagine many people, who are not already big fans of the band, being won over by the concert. Honestly, there were a fair share of subtle mistakes that may have made the die-hard fans wince at some points. In general, Queens of the Stone Age proved to the world that rock and roll is alive and well. They did this with their mighty stage presence, flashy stage effects, and wicked music.

Photo by SFGATE

If you consider yourself a Queens of the Stone Age fan, there is nothing that should get in the way of you seeing them live; your emotions will never be anything other than pure ecstasy. They will be everything that you expect and want them to be — especially Josh Homme. If you are just a fan of concerts, but not necessarily the Queens of the Stone Age, I would still urge you to see this band live. However, I must give a fair warning: the mosh pit at this show was beyond anything I have ever witnessed; do not plan on being anywhere near the front, unless you long for unadulterated mayhem. If a hectic mosh pit is not for you, it would still be worth getting a seat away from the chaos. If you do not like going to concerts often, this could still be a worthwhile event. That is the beauty of the Queens of the Stone Age; their demeanor and delivery are at least equally important to them as the music. With that being said, though I wish the music was played more precisely, I would still highly recommend this concert.

Rating: 74/100

Written by Shayan Shirkhodai



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