Queens of the Stone Age Concert Review — LastNight: Nicotine, valium, vicodine, marijuana, etc.

Categories: Music

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(click on the pick for a larger version with Craig and Homme. Or go to the QOTSA at Warfield slideshow.)
Warfield, San Francisco, CA.
Better Than:
Having your hearing.
Download: Some Qotsa-space.

"Shit, nigaa, they rock. They rock! I like that drug song!"

You know you're onto something when Craig, the brother with the grill guarding Queens of the Stone Age is nodding his head to the act. Judging from the black beanie and silver teeth, this guy would rather go "18 Dummy" with the Federation in Oakland on most nights. But Josh Homme converted em.

"San Francisco, I always loved you," says lead singer Homme — tall, symmetrical, knowing. Never gonna give you up / Never gonna let you down / Never gonna run around and desert you / Never gonna make you cry / Never gonna say goodbye / Never gonna tell a lie and hurt you, he sings, quoting Rick Astley. The bizarre intermission cuts back into "Feel Good Hit of The Summer's, "c-c-c-c--cocaine!!!!" Cue buzzsaw guitars.

Homme and his latest A-team tore through 20 songs and five albums last night at the Warfield, earning a standing ovation from the sold-out crowd, and capping a year of triumph for the 12-year-old idea from Palm Desert.

It's an idea more than band, because 32-year-old father and husband Josh Homme has cycled so many men through QOTSA that the term band just doesn't really apply. I think he'd say the people serve the music, which in this case combines pile-driving guitar riffs and the sweet Homme melody like crunchy peanut butter and silky chocolate.

There's more to the mix, but it's QOTSA's core that reaches into the hearts of blues-wired hyphy kids as well as veteran cougars. A pack of them destroyed the last of the their hearing prowling in front of the speakers toward the stage. Their fur was less svelte than their groupie heyday in the '70s, but the predatory stare remained the same. "We must get closer to this man!" A sentiment echoed by the bird-flipping ladies in the balcony, and hessians semi-pitting in the scrum.

"We're such fucking whores," says Homme after a 20-second encore wait. "We'll come back on if you just say our name."

The tight team pounded out three more songs, pivoting on nanoseconds, more aggressive than the albums, with Homme holding down the high notes like a vet saving his voice for one last show of the tour. Which happens to be tonight, and that shit is probably sold out too.

Critic's Notebook:
Previous Experience:
Santa Cruz at the Catalyst. My ass. Rocked off.
Personal Bias: Heavy.
Random Detail: Homme substituting "O'Douls, cutters, Tylenol PM, wheat grass, jamba juice and crystal meth" during "Feel Good Hit ..."

—David Downs

SETLIST:
1. You Think I Ain't Worth A Dollar, But I Feel Like A Millionaire Lyrics

2. No One Knows.

3. 3's and 7's

4. "Feel Good hit of the Summer"

5. "Do It Again"

6. "Misfit Love"

7. "Into the Hollow"

8. "Hanging Tree."

9. "Turnin' on the Screw"

10. "Little Sister"

11. "Battery Acid"

12. "in the Fade"

13. "Burn the Witch"

14. "You Would Know"

15. "Mexicola"

16. "Sick, Sick, Sick"

17. "Era Vulgaris"

18. ??? (Off of older album.)

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