WORDS BY DAVID TAYLOR AND PHOTOS BY PAM WHISENHUNT | Go Venue Magazine
On Tuesday, September 19, Queens of the Stone Age made their miraculous return to the Omaha metro area, being ten years since they played in the metro and twenty years since their first-ever gig in Omaha opening up for Red Hot Chili Peppers at the now-teared down Omaha Civic Auditorium, which was just up the street. So many people packed the Steelhouse, probably the most I have ever seen since it opened in May of this year. They all wanted to hear rock n’ roll music and got it.
Jehnny Beth, a French musician whom you might know from the band, Savages, started off the show. She was backed by only two members, Johnny Hostile on bass and EREX on programming. What came out was an industrial-sounding trio that was out for blood. The Steelhouse was turned into a nightclub for thirty minutes and the rave was alive. A couple of times during the performance, Jehnny would stand on the shoulders of some security guy. There was pure musicianship on stage. It was very reminiscent of early Nine Inch Nails. It was primal, femme, and awesome. Go check out her latest release which is a live EP featuring live recordings of her tracks, simply titled, Live EP.
The direct support of the night came from Viagra Boys, a six-piece punk rock band from Stockholm, Sweden. These punk rockers for sure know how to have a fun time on stage, with some of their members either shirtless or wearing skimpy clothing. Lead vocalist Sebastian Murphy, in all his shirtless tattoo glory, was such a fun presence while performing. I love it when a certain style of punk rock music can make people dance, and that is what Viagra Boys played. They even have a saxophone player, shout out to Oscar Carls. Every band member had their own personality, which was fun to watch on stage. The crowd seemed to really dig it. Their tongue-in-cheek lyrics also made their set really enjoyable. Check out their latest album, Cave World.
Finally, the crowd was ready for some Queens of the Stone Age. Josh Homme knows how to put on a rock show. Whether it is the lighting production or his band members, he just has it down. Also, what an incredible musician he is, not just his singing, but his guitar playing. I love it when a lead vocalist can rip a guitar solo, which was the case with Josh. He also had a fun time talking with the crowd. They kicked off their set with probably their signature song, “No One Knows”, which is pretty ballsy to start off with your biggest hit. I was really impressed with Jon Theodore’s drumming and Troy Van Leeuwen’s guitar playing. The whole band was tight rhythmically, add in bassist Michael Shuman. They played five songs off their latest album, In Times New Roman…, including the lead single, “Emotion Sickness”, which signifies to me Josh and co. are proud of this record. There was no encore from this band, which I love when headlining artists do that, so they ripped right into “A Song for the Dead”, which started a mosh pit once the song fully kicked in. The Steelhouse couldn’t have been a better venue for these guys’ return to the metro area, and I hope they tell all their musician friends (which I know they have a ton) that they should stop at the Steelhouse in Omaha. Overall, couldn’t have asked for a better first time seeing Queens of the Stone Age.
Queens of the Stone Age