TVD Live Shots:
Queens of the Stone
Age and Royal Blood
at The Anthem, 10/20

PHOTOS: RICHIE DOWNS | Not everyone can play so loud that they shake the windows in a 6,000 person venue, but then most everyone isn’t Queens of the Stone Age. It’s really good that DC’s newest venue, The Anthem, is built like a brick house because between the sonic boom of the Foo Fighters, who opened the place with a sold out show on the 12th, and then QOTSA who sold out last Thursday, any structure less secure would have toppled by now.

QOSTA, out supporting Villians, their first record in four years, haven’t hit DC much, so Loud with a capital L didn’t come just from the stage, it was also from the crowd. This was never more apparent than when QOTSA lead singer/guitarist Josh Homme sauntered and sashayed to the stage which created a deafening noise. The Hold Steady’s Craig Finn often locked in to his audience in record time when playing the 9:30 Club, but this audience with Homme was there even before the band hit the stage. It was electric.

When you’re rocking people’s faces off, playing a two-hour set is not an easy task, and we’ll admit there were a few lulls towards the middle of the set, like with “Make It Wit Chu.” I mean was it sexy? Sure, Homme could sing the phone book and it would be sexy. But it just seemed to drop the set between the funk-tastic “Smooth Sailing” and Bowie-like killer hooks that make up “Domesticated Animals.” But perhaps a rest is necessary when you start a set as strong “If I Had a Tail,” “Monsters in the Parasol,” and “My God Is the Sun” beforehand.

It was altogether clear though that the band came to play heavy. Homme’s guitar playing is always a joy to experience, and his mastery of bending notes was pretty wild to witness. He was in good form, light-hearted, and his vocals never sounded better, in spite of some rather muddy amplification mid-way through. A room that’s not a club, but also not an arena, can lose its sound in spots; how can it all be perfect? But thankfully, the maestros behind The Anthem’s creation saw that a 6,000 capacity venue kept the sound quality of the 1,200 capacity 9:30 Club, while allowing a band to carry out a show as big as they’d do in an arena like the Verizon Center which can hold 18,000. It’s like the 9:30 Club, just wider and taller, with a way bigger light show.

A band that plays loud can either fill a room or just be loud; at The Anthem, QOTSA filled the room and beyond. One of the show’s highlights came when they belted out “I Never Came”—a tour debut at the top of their encore. Their T-Rex meets Joshua Tree ’70s arena cock-rock never sounded so pure.

To open the evening’s performance, QOSTA sought out the sounds of the biggest two-man band in the business today, Brighton, England’s own Royal Blood. A headlining artist on their own, Royal Blood served as a perfect match to prime the QOTSA crowd. Think The Black Keys with more punk and less distortion—with a Queen’s English sneer.



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
Misfit Love
The Evil Has Landed
I Sat by the Ocean
Smooth Sailing
Make It Wit Chu
Domesticated Animals
I Appear Missing
Villains of Circumstance
Little Sister
Sick, Sick, Sick
Go With the Flow

I Never Came
Un-Reborn Again
A Song for the Dead

Where Are You Now?
Lights Out
You Can Be So Cruel
I Only Lie When I Love You
Little Monster
Hook, Line & Sinker
Hole in Your Heart
Loose Change
Hole in Your Heart
Figure It Out
Out of the Black
Fawlty Towers

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