The Queens of the Stone Age Held Court at the Palace

Albany rocked on Sunday, July 13 when Queens of the Stone Age rolled into The Palace Theatre. Nearly 2,000 fans of diverse ages were remarkably well behaved while entertained by this band that has performed together since 1996. The average rock show typically captivates with BIG personalities who look or behave in striking or outlandish ways. They generate audience excitement by talking to fans between songs or with an elaborate stage. Not QOTSA. (Or their opener, Brody Dalle, for that matter.) The Queens’ frontman, Josh Homme came across as somewhat unassuming. He definitely does not look like the average modern rock star, he appears clean cut with his short hair, simple clothes and lack of obnoxious tattoos. (Apparently he has 17 of them, but they aren’t the focus of his on-stage appearance). He had very little to say to fans during the show — most of what came out of his mouth were lyrics. The visual focus of the show was definitely NOT on Homme or any other member of the band — it was on the light show. These guys have invested in great lights and a brilliant lighting tech. All this to take the focus off the band? I don’t know, but it worked. The lights were impressive. And, of course, the music was good. While their grunge roots run deep, this group’s talent lies in their ability to successfully incorporate a variety of styles. Lots of strong, cool bass backed by deep drums, screaming guitars and strong vocals. In their music you can hear The Ramones and Alice in Chains. Unfortunately, Homme’s great voice seemed somewhat hollow or muffled, and while that could have been an equipment issue, you couldn’t help to wish for more clarity so the lyrics could be clearly heard. QOTSA’s opener shared a somewhat reserved stage presence. Brody Dalle, who is also Homme’s wife, led the group that warmed up Albany’s fans. Dalle’s fast, hard sound and “bad girl” appearance are reminiscent of Joan Jett, but like QOTSA, there’s not a lot of ego-mania going on. Dalle seemed almost uncomfortable on stage — rarely looking in the direction of the fans and taking a head-down type of approach. That didn’t bother the Albany crowd though, they were enthusiastic and maybe a bit surprised at how hard the lady played. She succeeded in getting fans psyched; they were on their feet from QOTSA’s first song to the last. Set List: Keep Your Eyes Peeled, You Think I Ain’t Worth a Dollar, but I Feel Like a Millionaire, No One Knows, Avon, My God Is the Sun, Smooth Sailing, In the Fade, Hangin’ Tree, The Lost Art of Keeping a Secret, If I Had a Tail, Like Clockwork, I’m Designer, Make It Wit Chu, Fairweather Friends, Little Sister, I Sat By the Ocean, Sick Sick Sick, Go With the Flow Encore: The Vampyre of Time and Memory, Monsters in the Parasol, A Song for the Dead