ACL Live Shot: Queens of the Stone Age

Josh Homme and company by the metric ton

Homme sweet Homme
Homme sweet Homme
photo by Sandy Carson

Josh Homme spent three months bedridden from complications of a knee surgery that nearly turned fatal in late 2010. The experience clearly awakened something inside him.

Queens of the Stone Age’s first album in six years, ... Like Clockwork, is a near masterpiece: a coiling epic with the sort of vulnerablity only afforded through a hospital gown.

At the band’s Austin City Limits taping Thursday night, QOTSA stormed the Moody Theater like it was the Bastille, playing with the rabid intensity of a band out to define its legacy. Homme and his current bad company – the most dialed-in backing band he’s had since Kyuss – plowed through a 90-minute set of voltaic blues that burned like the Allman Brothers at Fillmore East.

On a stage far too small for their catalog, Queens opened Friday night's ACL Fest set where the censors would have cut them off: Rated R’s “Feel Good Hit of the Summer” and its timeless narcotics rap sheet, “nicotine, Valium, Vicodin, marijuana, ecstasy, and alcohol ... c-c-c- cocaine!”

Homme kept the hits coming, chasing a double shot of Songs for the Deaf’s “You Think I Ain’t Worth a Dollar, But I Feel Like a Millionaire” and “No One Knows” with a menacing “My God Is the Sun,” while “Go With the Flow” charged like a highway chase scene.

These days, QOTSA has swagger measured by the metric ton, as the more glam numbers like “Smooth Sailing” and Era Vulgaris' “Make It Wit Chu” demonstrated how Josh Homme could play sleazy and sexy at once.

For more ACL Fest coverage, see For photo galleries from the fest, see

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