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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

In photos: Queens of the Stone Age, Royal Blood

Josh Homme at Live Oak Bank Pavilion in downtown Wilmington on Tuesday, May 7. (MoonFrog Media/Tom Dorgan)

WILMINGTON — Downtown’s Riverfront Park was on full blast last Tuesday, May 7, as Queens of the Stone Age amped up the sound during an almost two-hour set.

READ MORE: On self-reflection and hitting the road: Cody Jinks chats new album, latest tour

The Seattle, Washington, band — Josh Homme, Troy Van Leeuwen, Michael Shuman, Dean Fertita and Jon Theodore — played for the first time in town as part of their current The End is Nero Tour. More than a dozen tracks where played, “a night of greatest hits,” as coined by one fan, but it didn’t stop Wilmingtonians from soaking up the riffs.

When not dancing during songs and hip-swinging with his guitar, Homme was quite loquacious with the crowd. A 12-year-old named Jackson became Homme’s number-one fan for the night, suggesting the band play “Straight Jacket Fitting” after Homme announced he wanted to to stray from the prepared setlist.

The frontman had been engaging with Jackson throughout the night, offering life advice — “right now is all that matters.” When he wasn’t talking to Jackson, Homme encouraged the crowd to shed their fears.

“Don’t be afraid to sing. Don’t be afraid to dance. Don’t be afraid to love the person next to you. Don’t be afraid,” he said.

The band played more than a dozen songs, pumping out heavy rock, embedded with blues, punched-up pop sensibilities, funk and a lot of fuzzy reverb. Favorites included the David Bowie-esque tracks of “Smooth Sailing” and “I Sat by the Ocean,” as well as the penultimate setlist track, “Make It Wit Chu,” which ventured into a cover of The Rolling Stones’ “Miss You.”

They also had an incredible triangular light show, similar to that of Ministry crossing Nine Inch Nails.

Homme re-directed his attention to the Cape Fear River at some point in the night, calling it out for its beauty and pollution. “Don’t drink it, but f*ck beside it,” he suggested.

He also engaged fans on his surroundings, particularly the renters and owners in nearby condos and apartments. Their walls now insulate the outdoor amphitheater’s sound from all angles; music bounces off the walls, which seemed to make the show even louder.

“I love that we’re keeping these people in their apartments awake,” Homme stated.

The setlist and photos by Tom Dorgan are below; British Rock band Blood Royal opened.

No One Knows
3’s & 7’s
Paper Machete
Smooth Sailing
My God Is the Sun
Emotion Sickness
I Sat by the Ocean
Made to Parade
Burn the Witch
Carnavoyeur
Straight Jacket Fitting (Fan request from Jackson, a kid in the audience that had multiple conversations with Josh)
Better Living Through Chemistry (Fan vote between “Better Living Through Chemistry” and “I Think I Lost My Headache”)
Make It Wit Chu > Miss You (Rolling Stones)
Little Sister

Royal Blood


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Shea Carver
Shea Carver
Shea Carver is the editor in chief at Port City Daily. A UNCW alumna, Shea worked in the print media business in Wilmington for 22 years before joining the PCD team in October 2020. She specializes in arts coverage — music, film, literature, theatre — the dining scene, and can often be tapped on where to go, what to do and who to see in Wilmington. When she isn’t hanging with her pup, Shadow Wolf, tending the garden or spinning vinyl, she’s attending concerts and live theater.

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