These people want you to be calm, but I don’t want you to be calm – I want you to take your fucking trousers off” lead singer Josh Homme’s Californian drawl crooned to the 20,000 strong crowd at the O2 Arena last Tuesday. Queens of the Stone Age, the legendary heavy rock band, embarked on the UK leg of their Villians worldwide tour this month, with two nights in London last week.
Some recent hits started the show off, with the 5-piece band strutting about between wobbly light sticks that littered the stage. However, the band felt uneasy when they moved onto their newest songs, including ‘The Way We Used To Do’, the first single off the Mark Ronson-produced album, released in August of this year. The bluesy performance didn’t seem to resonate with QOTSA’s diehard audience. This was short lived though. The band hit back with two classics off their acclaimed 2002 album Songs for the Dead; perhaps their most famous song, ‘No One Knows’, got the crowd going again (although no trousers were removed). This also marked the first of drummer Jon Theodore’s solos, with the new drummer proving his worth whilst Homme had a cigarette break on stage. By now the show had warmed up, and the second single from Villians was well received. This hype continued through the nautical themed tracks from 2013’s …Like Clockwork and into the _Villians_’ track ‘Domesticated Animals’.
Pink lighting bathed the stage as Homme swooned his way through the closest thing QOTSA has to a love song, ‘Make It Wit Chu’, which brought a close knit comforting atmosphere to the cavernous O2 arena. This juxtaposed the eerie and wistful ‘I Appear Missing’ and ‘Villains of Circumstances’, performed in a near operatic manner with soft blue lighting centring in on Homme as the songs drew out. The audience was lulled with this sense of finality, but luckily, the end was not yet in sight. Snapping back into some QOTSA classics, they finished the show with ‘A Song for the Dead’. This melodic track showcased the renowned skills of all five band members, whilst they kicked the wobbly lights left, right and centre. The O2 arena was left reeling, but with trousers still intact.