Queens Of The Stone Age don’t exactly frequent Milwaukee. Since playing the Cactus Club way back in 1999, bandleader Josh Homme and regularly rotating supporting cast have made just a handful of stops in southeastern Wisconsin, with the latest being at Riverside Theater in early 2014 and the penultimate performance taking place down at Alpine Valley in support of Pearl Jam’s “PJ20” tour in 2011. Though the visits are somewhat rare, the veteran rock outfit makes them count. Months after the release of Villains, the band’s seventh (and most sonically disparate) album, Queens Of The Stone Age came to The Rave Sunday night and delighted a sold out Eagles Club with an outstanding 21-song set that dotted most of their discography and clocked in just shy of two-hours.

Before Queens took the stage, Royal Blood was tasked with preparing the brimming ballroom for the guest of honor. The British bass and drums duo turned in an enjoyable 45-minute set that was chock full of crowd-pleasing cuts from this year’s How Did We Get So Dark?, with a few distorted numbers off its self-titled 2014 full-length sprinkled in along the way. About half an hour after the opener finished setting the table, the main course was brought forth with incredible presentation and generous portions that satisfied even the most selective palates in attendance.

Homme and his collaborators navigated their way through a maze of tall illuminated pillars scattered about the stage and kicked off the set in unexpected fashion by playing a flawless rendition of “If I Had A Tail.” The …Like Clockwork deep cut, as well as Rated R’s “Monsters In The Parasol” and “My God Is The Sun” (another Clockwork song) quickly set the tone, assuring diehards the show was as much a victory lap for the seminal stoner rockers as it was a tour to support a recently released record. However, that trio of aged and underappreciated material was chased by danceable Villains opener “Feet Don’t Fail Me” and the months-old record’s leading single, “The Way You Used To Do,” that were both played to album-caliber perfection.

While QOTSA made sure to pepper a notable amount of new material into the set, the band offset those electronically-infused numbers with heavy standards and radio-ready fan favorites alike, such as “No One Knows”, “Make It Wit Chu”, “Go With The Flow” and “Sick, Sick, Sick.” All the while, Homme (in his rare between-song interactions during the rapid-fire set) seemed gracious and appreciative of the sellout crowd that remained standing and stayed excited for all 120 minutes. One part push for the band’s latest effort, one part thank you to those who have loved them for years, Queens Of The Stone Age gave everything they had—and played almost everything they had, too—at The Rave and undoubtedly left everyone in attendance happy. It might be 2021 when Queens Of The Stone Age returns to Milwaukee, but the few thousand people who spent a couple hours with one of the world’s premier rock bands were treated to a performance that should help sustain them until then.

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
3’s & 7’s
The Evil Has Landed
I Sat By The Ocean
Smooth Sailing
Domesticated Animals
Make It Wit Chu
I Appear Missing
Villains Of Circumstance
Little Sister
Sick, Sick, Sick
Go With The Flow

Un-Reborn Again
A Song for The Dead

About The Author

Co-Founder and Editor

Before co-founding Milwaukee Record, Tyler Maas wrote for virtually every Milwaukee publication (except Wassup! Magazine). He lives in Bay View and enjoys both stuff and things.