As the sold-out crowd anxiously awaited the arrival of Queens of the Stone Age (lovingly known online as QOTSA), it was met with a stellar and diverse iTunes playlist, which included Dean Martin’s “Mambo Italiano” followed by “Afternoon Delight” (a crowd favorite, which inspired the song to be repeated once more).

A fog machine on a black stage and full lights against the crowd set the scene as the anticipation built with a slow and methodical stage set. The stage lights went up as the crowd effortlessly multitasked clapping and recording THAT moment when QOTSA hit the stage.

From the concert opening with “If I Had a Tail” all the way through the double (yes, double!) encore, the electricity in the crowd continued to build. They were encouraged by the senses-inducing set, which played off the musical beats to amplify what was being heard into what was being seen and felt. (Kudos must be paid to the stellar sound/light engineer who at times was just as mesmerizing in the back of the house as the band was on stage.) The set played homage to the title of the new album, Villains, enthralling the crowd in lights of red and white throughout the night.

While the band highlighted their new album, including hits like “The Way You Used to Do,” they also made sure to include songs from earlier albums including “Go with The Flow” from their 2002 album Songs for the Deaf. The mixture of old and new provided the crowd with an energy of expecting the unexpected, and kept fans on their feet all night, finding places throughout the venue to stand and experience the sights and sounds from the stage.

The tour was originally set to wrap up in a few days at Madison Square Garden, but has now been extended through mid-February with the addition of numerous West Coast dates. (Though, it’s hard to imagine another stop on the tour having as much energy as the crowd at The Anthem did last night.) Here’s hoping that The Anthem will be a stop on the next QOTSA tour.

By: Katelynd Mahoney Anderson

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