Queens Of The Stone Age Play Hard And Loud At Roy Wilkins Saturday Night


Saturday night was a sonic maelstrom at the Roy Wilkins Auditorium in St. Paul as Royal Blood and Queens Of The Stone Age rattled the rafters in the old venue.

As hard as it is to call them supporters, openers Royal Blood showed no mercy as they unleashed their unique brand of rock and roll on the packed venue. These guys should definitely be headliners. How just 2 guys can make such a huge sound is astounding. 5 of the nine tunes they played this evening came from their debut album, the self titled Royal Blood. Opening with “Where Are You Now” off of their latest release How Did It Get So Dark, bass guitarist Mike Kerr and drummer Ben Thatcher had the arena head banging hard. Kerr is phenomenal out front, often rocking power chords with one hand. He delivered the goods with filling rattling rifts from a large wall of amps.  Thatcher beat the drums like he caught them with his wife, his solo during “Little Monster” was epic.  The biggest audience reaction came with the final tune, “Out Of The Black”

Set List: Where Are You Now? – Lights Out – Come On Over – I Only Lie When I Love You – Little Monster – Hole In Your Heart – Loose Change – Figure It Out – Out Of The Black

Queens Of The Stone Age came out right around 9pm. They opened with “If I Had A Tail” off of ..Like Clockwork. It had a suspenseful, spacey intro and with the backlighting accentuated the gyrating man buns of front man Josh Homme.  His rock god status was cemented Saturday night, the energy this snarling, ginger Elvis exudes is palpable. “Feet Don’t Fail Me” and “The Way You Used To Do” are so much better live than the studio versions, taking on a life of their own, destine to become QOTSA classics. Josh burned a heater on stage for “Make It Wit Chu”, and this live version was a Prince worthy metal sex grind. The audience needed a cigarette after Homme’s sensual performance. While a lot of the night’s music came from their last 2 releases, the band did dig deep, with “No One Knows’” from Songs For The Deaf, and “I Think I Lost My Headache” from 2000’s R, 3’s and 7’s from Era Vulgaris and “Little Sister” from Lullabies To Paralyze.

The light show was incredible, especially the strobe effects during “Sick, Sick, Sick” If you were an epileptic and forgot to take your meds, you may have had problems. Homme and the band powered through song after song, playing a massive 21 song setlist. The strenuous level of energy Josh delivered running from end to end of the stage seemed to take its toll, and Homme appeared to be limping toward the end of the set. After a short break, the band came back on for the encore and played a face melting, power cord driven version of “A Song For The Dead”. With an extraordinarily class of cool, Homme burned another heater while he played the lead laying on his back on the stage. The band exited the only way you can after a performance like that, dropping their instruments to the stage floor, leaving them to vibrate and feed back into the psyche of the ecstatic crowd.

With two headliners rocking it hard Saturday night, it’s a miracle the roof is still intact on the venerable old Roy Wilkins Auditorium.

Setlist: If I Had A Tail – Monsters In The Parasol – My God Is The Sun – Feet Don’t Fail Me – The Way You Used To Do – You Think I Ain’t Worth A Dollar, But I Feel Like A Millionaire – No One Knows – 3’s And 7’s – The Evil Has Landed – I Sat By The Ocean – Smooth Sailing – Domesticated Animals – Fortress – Make It Wit Chu – I Appear Missing – Villains Of Circumstance – Little Sister – Sick, Sick, Sick – Go With The Flow – Encore: Un-Reborn Again – A Song For The Dead