Review: Queens of the Stone Age at the Pageant, Tuesday, April 5

josh_homme_queens_front.jpg
Todd Owyoung
Josh Homme
It was a no-brainer that Queens of the Stone Age's show last night at the Pageant was sold out -- incredibly, it was the band's first St. Louis club show since September 2002. Although a no-frills 90 minutes, the set was exactly what fans expect (and crave) from QOTSA: eardrum-busting volume, sweet riffs and a steamrolling low-end.

View a slideshow of photos from Queens of the Stone Age at the Pageant

The catch, however, is that the quintet is playing its entire 1998 self-titled album on this tour. For some fans, that gesture may have felt like a rip-off. After all, the album is notoriously hard to find -- vocalist/guitarist Josh Homme noted several times that people might not have heard it - and it doesn't have the mainstream recognition (or hits) of QOTSA's later records. However, the gimmick worked like a charm: The band clearly felt energized with the less-familiar music and consequently approached these songs as if they were new material.

Bassist Michael Shuman's freight-train playing meshed well with the scorpion-sting guitars, especially on "Mexicola" The instrumental "Hispanic Impressions" was a ferocious symphony, so much so that guitarist Troy Van Leeuwen was inspired to conduct the rest of the band. Two songs later, the dirty soul gallop "Give the Mule What He Wants" let Homme show off his impressive vocal range; he employed the latter as well during the encore appearance of the smirking "Make It Wit Chu." ("I have to do a song for the ladies, if that's all right," he quipped.) Throughout it all, drummer Joey Castillo did his best impression of Animal the Muppet, showing restraint and then absolutely exploding like a maniac where necessary.

Lights back-lit the band and alternately darkened or overexposed the stage, which created shadowy, creepy effects. Homme in particular became even more imposing in the light -- he looked a perfect cross between a lumberjack, the Addams Family's Lurch and a laid-back dad. Still, he's a perfect frontman: He strums his guitar like a delicate virtuoso, cradling the instrument with grace even as he coaxes some gnarly, nasty tones from it.


Location Info

Map

The Pageant

6161 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, MO

Category: Music

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13 comments
HoodooOperator
HoodooOperator

As always it is jump on the STL fans. They are to blame... whatever. Josh mentioned early in the night that he was feeling sick, far more likely reason to cut it short than being pissed off at someone yawning.

Great set, even if it was only 90 minutes. Exceedingly glad they decided to include STL on such a short tour. It's a shame they are not as committed to touring and life on the road as other bands are, I would attend everytime.

Waicool
Waicool

i did not see the show, i dunno, Mark and Dave missing, the ticket price increases at the Pageant, whatever., just wasn't in the cards for me. Glad to hear they are still rockin though and no, i never heard their 1998 release until now (if the stream link works).

Abcd
Abcd

Wow - that sucks for STL. One positive is that the hardcore fans heard a great album in it's entirety. And you are right - the Des Moines show was amazing. Good energy and an amazing set w/ 2 great encores. Probably a show that will never be duplicated in terms of quality cuts. To each their own, though.

Jim
Jim

I went to go see them in Des Moines Monday night since the show here sold out before I could get tickets. Judging from the setlist I'm glad I did. They played over two hours in Des Moines compared to only 90 minutes here. They did two encore sets mostly comprised of material from Rated R and Songs For The Deaf. They even played Infinity from The Heavy Metal 2000 soundtrack.

They opened their encore set with Monster In The Parasol. Mixed in hits like Little Sister and Sick, Sick, Sick with I Think I Lost My Headache and A Song For The Deaf. Second encore set consisted of Feel Good Hit Of The Summer, Go With The Flow and A Song For The Dead which was supposed to have been No One Knows but Josh could tell this crowd didn't just want to hear the radio songs so he gave the crowd a choice and A Song For The Dead was voted rather overwhelmingly.

It was a great show. Being a longtime fan of the band, it made me very happy to hear their older/better material. Well worth the 7 hour drive. Especially since it looks like I would have been somewhat disappointed with their set here past the first album.

Shawn
Shawn

The debut material was presented as a special treat for the hardcore QOTSA nerds that have been around since day 1 (an 'employee pick' listening station in the Watson Rd. Streetside Records in 1998 for me). All of those songs were tight and loyal to the album, with particular highlights being Mexicola and How To Handle a Rope. I'm hoping the crowd will come around on this classic album thanks to the reissue, since most people seemed far more interested in the encore songs that were more familiar.

As far as the encore went, I felt a little gypped. Very heavy on Lullabyes to Paralyze material and not some of the more obscure gems other cities have been getting like The Bronze or The Fun Machine Took A Shit and Died. Still can't complain too much since this is the first proper QOTSA show we've had since the QOTSA/Trail of Dead show in 2002.

Ikn226
Ikn226

To be honest I heard more people singing wanna make it wit chu instead of their older songs. Also, I noticed that a lot of people didn't even know they were playing the first album all the way through and/or hadn't heard any of the songs. I even saw some guy near me start yawning during the show. Man that really pissed me off because he was in the front row and Josh might have seen that. So he decided to play the radio friendly crap instead of the hardcore oldies. Fucking St. Louis. I'm never going back there for a concert ever again. Damnit this was the last queens concert I was going to go to and now it leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Brian
Brian

Like others said, the crown was shitty last night. Josh even made a comment midway through asking if anyone in St. Louis liked to dance or if everyone just liked to watch. It sucks that we got such a short set with the encore being filled with some of their shittier songs, but hopefully they will be back when their next album comes out and St. Louis will have another chance to show then that some of us really do like their songs that haven't been featured on guitar hero.

meszaro1
meszaro1

Agree with you on both points. I saw QOTSA play at a few clubs back in 1999 when Nick and Alfredo were still there with Josh (nerd alert!). I was really excited to hear the first full album played in its entirety and they delievered. However, I was kind of bummed about the length of the encore. Also, they did play The Bronze in the first set...

no
no

ha, you guys paid... then watched the crowd. cool life.

Shawn
Shawn

Why did I type The Bronze when I meant Born To Hula? (nerd fail)

Ikn226
Ikn226

The reason why they didn't play for too long was because the crowd was absolute shit. There was no energy at all in the audience so queens just decided to play the minimum. St Louis fans are absolute crap, they ruined it for us hardcore fans. I went to the Chicago show and they played such a good encore because people were actually into it. Someone's in the wolf was epic but too bad st Louis fans were such zombies. Thanks a lot Missouri.

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