Queens Of The Stone Age: here’s what went down at their low-key US tour opener

The band kicked off their Stateside 'Villains' dates at the 1,800-capacity Capitol Theatre, Port Chester last night (September 6)

For a band who’ve spoken a lot recently about living in the moment and making the most of our short time on Earth, Queens Of The Stone Age don’t half take their time getting on stage to kick off their US tour. Each time there’s the slightest pause in the music playing over the PA or the tiniest change in the lighting inside Port Chester’s Capitol Theatre, the restless crowd whoops and cheers hopefully.

Eventually, that clamour is rewarded as Josh Homme and his men strut on stage and launch into a slow, stuttering beginning. The intro to ‘Feet Don’t Fail Me’ slowly builds like some imperial monster growing stronger with each note until the track comes crashing in properly. From then on, QOTSA begin to resemble the group urging you to carpe your diem and it’s nothing short of glorious.

This is Queens’ first gig on home soil since the release of their seventh studio album ‘Villains‘ and, as such, they use it as an opportunity to rebuild their set with a lavishing of new material. The wiry, spluttering ‘Domesticated Animals’ follows an incendiary ‘My God Is The Sun’, while ‘Un-Reborn Again’ sounds bolshier and brasher than on record.

Before a melancholy ‘Fortress’, Josh informs the crowd it’s keyboardist and guitarist Dean Fertita’s birthday. “Dean is 75-years-old today,” the frontman deadpans to the audience, raising a glass to his bandmate. It’s a rare instance of QOTSA’s leader pausing the show for any considerable length of time; an infrequent break from the rapid-fire of the setlist, which is brilliantly unrelenting.

As well as new album songs, there are other treats in store tonight too. Namely, ‘Rated R”s ‘Leg Of Lamb’, which gets its first live outing since 2011. Appearing between ‘Little Sister’ and ‘I Appear Missing’, it’s a reminder of the raw energy of the band’s earlier work, but also puts the quality of ‘Villains” material in the spotlight – that none of the new songs feel lacking compared to older tracks reinforces the idea that the latest record is one of the group’s best yet.

“I’m kind of a dick sometimes, but you’re absolutely wonderful,” grins Josh after an intense double whammy of a sprawling ‘Villains Of Circumstance’ and ‘If I Had A Tail’. There’s still time for a few more songs before an almighty rendition of ‘A Song For The Dead’ sends the 1,800-strong audience out into the rain, but they only prove the latter half of Josh’s statement. Each track is waved off by persistent applause (and standing ovations from those on the balcony) and rightly so – tonight, Queens give a masterclass in harnessing the urgency of now and using it to deliver an electrifying 105 minutes of rock ferocity.

@queensofthestoneage #queensofthestoneage

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Queens Of The Stone Age played:

‘Feet Don’t Fail Me’
‘Turnin’ On The Screw’
‘My God Is The Sun’
‘Domesticated Animals’
‘Smooth Sailing’
‘Un-Reborn Again’
‘You Think I Ain’t Worth A Dollar, But I Feel Like A Millionaire’
‘First It Giveth’
‘Little Sister’
‘Leg Of Lamb’
‘I Appear Missing’
‘Villains Of Circumstance’
‘If I Had A Tail’
‘The Way You Used To Do’
‘I Sat By The Ocean’
‘The Evil Has Landed’
‘No One Knows’
‘A Song For The Dead’