TVD Live Shots:
Queens of the Stone
Age with Phantogram and The Armed at the Anthem, 8/14

On the heels of a sold-out performance at The Anthem in Washington, DC on August 9th, Queens of the Stone Age returned to kick DC’s ass in a second round on August 14th on the band’s The End is Nero tour. 

Hardcore punk outfit The Armed kicked off the night. They’re an interesting bunch. The band formed in Detroit back in 2009 as a “functionally anonymous” collective. The band omitted the names of its members from albums and would employ varying lineups when playing live, which fueled speculation about the band’s makeup. However, the band has recently come clean about itself, revealing its six current members: Kenny Szymanski, Randall Lee, Urian Hackney, Patrick Shiroishi, Cara Drolshagen, and Tony Wolski.

On The End is Nero tour, the connection to QOTSA is Troy Van Leeuwen, who produced The Armed’s newest album, Perfect Saviors, slated to be released at the end of August. Taking the stage at 7pm, The Armed blazed through the roughly half hour set—eight songs, split right in half between their 2021 release, Ultrapop, and Perfect Saviors. It was hard to know where to look as vocalist Tony Wolski’s tornadic presence fueled the punk rock energy.

After a quick turnover, Phantogram, took the stage. The “street beat, psych pop” duo of multi-instrumentalists and vocalists Sarah Bartel and Josh Carter formed in 2007 in Greenwich, NY. The friends met as children and, around 2007, reunited and formed Phantogram. Over the course of seven songs, the crowd got acquainted with Phantogram’s swirling guitars, spacey keyboards, echoes, and airy vocals. The setlist was pulled from across the band’s discography but was weighted toward songs from Three and Voices, including bangers “Howling at the Moon” and “You Don’t Get Me High Anymore.”

After a 35-minute turnover, Queens of the Stone Age finally take the stage at 9:05pm. Prior to this month, the Queens hadn’t stopped in DC since 2017. However, DC evidently has a plentiful enough supply of “the obscene and the clean, the outcasts and the weirdos, and anyone and everyone in between,” as the band put it when this tour was announced, to justify a second date. DC’s appetite for the band hadn’t waned either; the August 9th date was a sell out and the show on the 14th sure looked like it.

Underneath an incredible pyramid of lights—honestly some of the best I’ve seen in recent years and gorgeous especially from a bit of a distance—Queens of the Stone Age treated the DC crowd to a setlist slightly altered from the previous week’s show. “Go With the Flow” started the festivities off this time and frontman Josh Homme let the crowd choose between “Paper Machete” and “The Evil Has Landed” to hear (the crowd went with the latter).

Other songs remained, such as “Make It Wit Chu,” getting the collective horniness of the crowd up while the charismatic Homme admitted he was singing to the ladies in the audience. Four songs from In Times New Roman slid easily into place among the older material. Homme admitted to the crowd he was “sick as a dog” that night and by the time the night wound down, he had the crowd singing most of “No One Knows.” They did not mind one bit.

Throughout that Monday night (“the Queens decree it’s Saturday”), Homme engaged and flirted with the crowd while his bandmates delivered pounding rock and roll: “Frankenstein’s monster” Dean Fertita (keyboards/guitar), “vampire” Troy Van Leeuwen (guitar), “wolf man” Jon Theodore (drums), and Michael Shuman (bass), the “Dr Jekyll” to Homme’s “Mr. Hyde.” Despite being evidently quite ill, Homme vowed to burn the place (he used a more colorful term here) to the ground anyway, giving the crowd his all that night, consequences be damned. QOTSA made good on that promise.

The US run of The End Is Nero tour wraps up with an October 8th date at the Aftershock festival in Sacramento, California. From there, Queens of the Stone Age stop for a gig in Guadalajara, Mexico before heading over to Europe.



Go With the Flow
Do It Again
Smooth Sailing
My God is the Sun
Emotion Sickness
If I Had a Tail
The Way You Used to Do
Time & Place
Better Living Through Chemistry
The Evil Has Landed
Make It Wit Chu
Straight Jacket Fitting
Little Sister
In the Fade
No One Knows

A Song for the Dead

Black Out Days
Cruel World
I’m Still Yours
Fall in Love
Howling at the Moon
You Don’t Get Me High Anymore
When I’m Small

Where Man Knows Want
All Futures
Everything’s Glitter
Sport of Form
An Iteration
Modern Vanity
Big Shell

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