full sets: queens of the stone age

queens of the stone age“full sets” is a new bi-weekly series we’re trying out, one that will run opposite of our bi-weekly mixtapes.  while we do our best to present a weekly video of live music from either kexp or kcrw, we are also entirely aware of the vast amounts of concert footage that exists in the bowels of the youtubes.  so, twice a month we’ll dig up a performance with both gorgeous audio and video and present it to you.  overall length may not be consistent, but these videos will always be best experienced in a single sitting.  we’re setting the bar high with our inaugural installment.  check it out.

queens of the stone age changed dramatically over the course of three very short years.  up until 2004 the josh homme-led project had felt decidedly collaborative, as homme and bassist nick oliveri had shared songwriting duties and had divvied up lead vocal chores between the two of them and mark lanegan.  but an ambiguous falling-out between homme and oliveri precipitated major changes to the band’s sound, ironically seeing a decline in lanegan’s gruff, growling presence as their material turned darker.  homme became the principal songwriter, the band’s sole lead vocalist, a de facto frontman if there ever was one.

after 2005’s murky, self-examining lullabies to paralyze, homme and tenured live members troy van leeuwen and joey castillo reconvened to cut era vulgaris, an almost industrial-sounding record that was as indebted to synthesizers and dance grooves as it was to homme’s signature meat & potatoes guitar riffs (more on that in an impending segment.)  for the inevitable tour homme enlisted the services of michael shuman on bass and dean fertita as a multi-instrumentalist, and thus the most stable queens of the stone age line-up was born.  the performances felt invigorated, too; watch any set from between 2007 and 2009 and you’ll find energy, momentum, and downright finesse, as many of the older songs in the band’s catalogue are revived and reworked thanks in part to a new supporting cast.

this first installment of this series features queens of the stone age performing at the fifth birthday party for gonzo, an mtv2 show hosted at the time by none other than zane lowe.  most likely due to sleek editing, the show moves along nearly devoid of stage banter as homme and company cruise through era vulgaris material interspersed with throwbacks to the band’s rated r days.  cinematography for queens of the stone age shows has always been commendable, but it is this site’s opinion that their gonzo set might just be their best that’s ever been captured in high definition.  you can watch it in full below.



sick, sick, sick

feel good hit of the summer

the lost art of keeping a secret

misfit love

in the fade

little sister

make it wit chu

3’s & 7’s

go with the flow

a song for the dead


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