QOTSA played a sold-out House of Blues in Boston Saturday, playing the reissued album from top to bottom. QOTSA is infamous for its rotating lineup, but the band has been relatively stable of late: Homme on lead vocals and guitar, Troy Van Leeuwen on guitar and assorted other instruments, Dean Fertita on guitar and keyboards, Michael Shuman on bass and Joey Castillo on drums. The band relied on tight precision as it churned out the jagged riff-rockers of the debut album, including standout tracks "Regular John," "Avon," "If Only" and "Mexicola." Homme took most of the guitar solos, but occasionally traded leads with Van Leeuwen, while Castillo was his usual monstrous pounding self.
Despite the rather obscure nature of the album, the diehards in the audience knew the songs well, and a healthy mosh pit was roiling throughout most of the show. The songs combined the psychedelic sludginess of Homme's first band, Kyuss, with pop hooks to reveal the blueprint for QOTSA's later albums. At one point, Homme recalled the band's first visit to the area, playing the Middle East and cranking the fog machine so much that nobody could see much of anything.
As the set wound down, Homme joked that the band would come back to play Journey's first album. Instead, for the encore, QOTSA delved into songs from its catalog, breaking out "Sick, Sick, Sick" and "Into the Hollow" from 2007's Era Vulgaris, "Little Sister" and "Burn the Witch" from 2005's Lullabyes to Paralyze" and "Go With the Flow" and "No One Knows" from 2002's Songs for the Deaf. The latter song was deconstructed a bit, as each musician dropped off until only Homme was left singing, before the band kicked in again.
Alas, it was one of HOB's early Saturday night shows, meaning the concert was over by a shockingly early 9:30 so the rock crowd could clear out and the disco crowd could arrive a while later. Still, it was a rousing night of rock that had fans excited to hear what Homme and the band will come up with on the next QOTSA album.