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Concert Review: Queens of the Stone Age with Royal Blood at Express Live

Queens of the Stone Age: Josh Homme


In the first single off of their brand new album, Villians, “The Way You Used to Do,” Queens of the Stone Age implores “Just come and love me how // Like the way you used to do.” From the near sellout crowd on a wet, chilly Tuesday night outdoors at Express Live, it was clear that Columbus loves Queens of the Stone Age just as much as they ever have. Fans lined up well before doors opened, standing in the pouring rain to ensure their prime viewing position in the pit, and many more crammed into A&R Music Bar for a pre-show beverage.

Queens did not disappoint the faithful, through a 20 song set, Josh Homme (vocals/guitar) and company rocked with little pause, powering from old to new and in between, proving that they are still one of the absolute top rock acts today. The band opened the show with “Go With the Flow,” off of the band’s 2002 seminal album, Songs for the Deaf, setting the tone early as to the kind of night they were hoping the crowd would have.

Despite Villians being released just over two weeks before the show, the band relied heavily on the new material, playing seven out of the nine songs that comprise the album. It can often be a debate among fans as to how much newer versus older material a band should play, but on this night the bulk of the crowd seemed just as happy to dance and sing along to newer tracks like “Fortress” and “Feet Don’t Fail Me Now,” as they did to older tracks like “Leg of Lamb” and “Little Sister,” off of Rated R and Lullabies to Paralyze respectively.

Perhaps in deference to the less than ideal weather conditions, Homme didn’t waste much time in between songs, pausing only to change guitars or briefly thank the crowd. What truly mattered on this night was the music - not the weather, the fact that it was Tuesday night, or any of the other worldly worries anyone might have brought with them. This concert, and the new album itself, were about showing that Homme and the current makeup of Queens of the Stone Age still played and were the masters of their original brand of hard-driving rock.

After concluding the main set with “I Sat By the Ocean” from 2013’s ...Like Clockwork, and the aforementioned “Little Sister,” the band took a short break before returning to the stage to close out the night. The two song encore began with “The Way You Used to Do” which, in its brief time out in the world, has clearly become a fan favorite, as the entire crowd was singing along to every word with Homme. Finally, the show drew to a close, fittingly perhaps with the powerful and haunting track, “A Song for the Dead,” reminding everyone that eventually all good things, and lives, do come to an end.

Royal Blood

Royal Blood - Mike Kerr

UK duo, Royal Blood, consisting of Mike Kerr (vocals/bass guitar) and Ben Thatcher (drums) opened the show with a fantastic 10 song set. Like Queens of the Stone Age, Royal Blood came into Columbus fresh off an album release, having put out How Did We Get So Dark? back in June. The duo opened their set with “Where Are You Now?” and then hit single, “Lights Out” off of the new album.

Despite the rain, many fans piled into the venue early to catch Royal Blood’s set, as the duo has been extremely popular here ever since their self-titled debut album was released back in 2014. With Thatcher pounding on his drum kit, and Kerr playing his bass more like a lead guitarist, Royal Blood produces an amazingly cohesive and powerful sound. Afforded a longer opening set than many acts, the band was able to cover their well known songs, like “Little Monster” and “Figure It Out,” but was also able to treat the crowd to some great album cuts like “Ten Tonne Skeleton” off of Royal Blood and “Hole In Your Heart” off of the new album. It’s easy to imagine a day in the not too distant future when the duo will be headlining this venue, instead of opening.

Setlist - Queens of the Stone Age Setlist - Royal Blood

Go With the Flow Where Are You Now? The Lost Art of Keeping a Secret Lights Out Feet Don't Fail Me Come on Over My God Is the Sun I Only Lie When I Love You The Evil Has Landed Little Monster Smooth Sailing Hook Line & Sinker Domesticated Animals Hole in Your Heart Avon Ten Tonne Skeleton No One Knows Figure It Out Fortress Out of the Black Make It Wit Chu Leg of Lamb Head Like a Haunted House I Appear Missing Villains of Circumstance If I Had a Tail I Sat by the Ocean Little Sister Encore: The Way You Used to Do A Song for the Dead

Check out the photo galleries below for both bands.

More photos can be found over on our Flickr page.

Queens of the Stone Age:

Royal Blood:

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