Queens of the Stone Age had just released their first new album in six years when they took the stage at The Ed Sullivan Theater for their Live on Letterman webcast. Like Clockwork had only been out for one day, but it was already topping charts and garnering countless rave reviews.
The inspiration for Like Clockwork was pulled largely from frontman Josh Homme’s near death experience during a medical procedure and the unraveling of his life around it. The album and the fan support surrounding it is quite literally a rebirth ”a dark rebirth, but one just the same."
The excitement for the band and the new material was a given, but how would it all play out live with the world watching as Homme and company took over the legendary stage? We knew QOTSA would be playing some new material, but no one was quite ready for what followed: a nearly hour long of set of brand new songs.
Queens of the Stone Age entered the theater like no one has before: animated by Boneface, the artist behind the album art. As the doors swung open, Queens of the Stone Age flipped from the magnificently macabre characters to their human selves and took the stage.
Queens kicked it off with the first track of Like Clockwork, “Keep Your Eyes Peeled.” It opened heavy, yet pensively waiting to pounce, before it sprung open and poured down upon the crowd, raining a fury of drums and fuzzed out bass on the Ed Sullivan Theater.
After finishing the song, Homme looked over the crowd and commented on how great it was to “have the whole building to ourselves,” as they launched into “My God is the Sun.”
Homme continued to reflect on the unique position the band was in, playing a live webcast from the historic venue, before he announced, “This is a little dance number. It’s called “If I Had a Tail.’” Throughout the show, the performance was complemented by more animations of Boneface’s art, which matched the dark and perplexing mood set by the music. The two media fit perfectly, each enhancing the other.
Sitting behind the keyboard, Homme said, “Let’s see how this works. I’m Elton John, everybody,” as he played Sir Elton’s part from the track, “Fairweather Friends.” There may only be one Elton John in the world, but Josh Homme pulled it off and nailed the track live.
From there, Queens of the Stone Age continued with new material from Like Clockwork but changed gears with “Kalopsia,” which played out live like a manic, opiate dream, in all the best ways possible. “Smooth Sailing” and “I Sat By The Ocean,” followed, as the sixth and seventh straight songs off the new album, before Queens tore into the title track.
While one might expect “Like Clockwork” to be the song that tied the whole show together, it was actually the final track, “I Appear Missing,” beautifully illustrated again by Boneface’s art, that seemed to punctuate the entire experience and illustrate the mood, message, and impetus for the entire album.
Many bands perform Live on Letterman to promote new material, but few others have been brave enough to stand on that legendary stage and play only new songs. Queens of the Stone Age were that brave and they pulled it off with style. After making a powerful statement with a nearly hour show of all new material, QOTSA left the stage. Still, the crowd wanted more, so Queens returned, and for the first time that evening, dipped into their back catalogue to perform “Little Sister” as their encore.
Critically acclaimed, GRAMMY Award-nominated, gold and platinum arena/stadium/festival vets Queens of the Stone Age “ consisting of founder and lead vocalist Joshua Homme, Troy Van Leeuwen, Dean Fertita and Michael Shuman will release Like Clockwork, their sixth studio album, on June 4. The album marks Queens of the Stone Age's first full length offering of new material since 2007's Era Vulgaris and boasts an impressive roster of collaborators, including Elton John, Dave Grohl and Trent Reznor, new Queens drummer Jon Theodore, among others. The band has built huge cadres of fans among critics and consumers alike with its eclectic, hypnotic and relentlessly intense brand of desert rock, with many already hailing ...Like Clockwork as the finest Queens effort to date. Queens of the Stone Age has already embarked on an extensive tour of theaters, arenas and festivals all over the world to support the album's release. Their LIVE ON LETTERMAN webcast will be an intimate and unforgettable stop along the way.