Words by Bill San Antonio | Photo Credit: Nora Lezano

The performance was supposed to be hush-hush, its knowledge confined to a handful of indie record stores in Brooklyn, New Jersey and Long Island, but in the proverbial eleventh hour, mere hours before Queens of the Stone Age were to take the stage at Brooklyn Masonic Temple Friday for a “secret show” days after a blistering run of songs from their new album “…Like Clockwork” at the Late Show with David Letterman, the flood gates opened online and anyone who wanted their fix of the desert stoners’ return following a six-year hiatus certainly had their opportunity to join in the festivities.

Small factions of fans began setting camp outside the temple roughly two hours before doors were opened at 9:30 p.m., and four hours before Josh Homme & Co. strummed the opening chords of “Keep Your Eyes Peeled,” awaiting the band in the torrential downpour that hit New York City as Hurricane Andrea made its way through the northeast.

The Queens became Kings of New York this week, spending the album’s release in the Big Apple for a set at the Letterman show’s “Letterman Live” concert series as well as a host of guest performances on the late-night host’s talk show, in addition to an in-store appearance at Vintage Vinyl Records in Fords, New Jersey.

Just after the band’s “Letterman Live” performance wrapped, a cryptic message appeared on the Queens’ Facebook page, telling their fans in New York City to “keep your ears peeled tomorrow, may have something else for ya. I’m looking at you Brooklyn.” Several indie record fans had already learned what that “something else” was, though, a secret show somewhere in Brooklyn slated for some time on June 7, a highly exclusive ticket-stores allegedly received somewhere between 20-30 for distribution-that could have been yours with the purchase of “…Like Clockwork” and just the right amount of social networking sources employed during lunch hour.

When those tickets sold out-and they went fast, according to managers at Looney Tunes Records in West Babylon, Long Island (where I very luckily scored mine)-the rest went online, in a free-for-all that ended less than 10 minutes later, according to fans who, unfortunately, missed out on the performance.


The band took the stage at around 11:30, playing through the entirety of “…Like Clockwork” in a manner that seemed…well, like clockwork. The album clocks in at 45:59, but the Queens didn’t seem to spend too much time taking in the moment with their loyal, rabid army of drenched, drunken headbangers at the Brooklyn Masonic Temple. The band worked efficiently and methodically, sounding as crisp, proficient and decadent as it does on “…Like Clockwork”’s studio cut.

But Queens of the Stone Age just wouldn’t be Queens of the Stone Age without a surprise or two. Homme acknowledged the band hadn’t yet performed “Fairweather Friends” live, either in concert or during rehearsals before nervously looking over at guitarist Troy Van Leeuwen, dressed elegantly in his trademark black suit, white tie and white tipped loafers, for encouragement, and apologizing in advance if the rendition fell apart.

Homme also took a seat behind the keyboard, a spot generally held by utility man Dean Fertita, who labored on guitar, keyboard and maracas-at times simultaneously, for “The Vampyre of Time And Memory,” maintaining the somber melody filled by the legendary Elton John on the studio version.

The new cuts “If I Had A Tail” and “My God Is The Sun,” each released as singles in advance of “…Like Clockwork”’s release, drew the biggest response from the crowd, though it was likely even more satisfied when the band returned for its encore, and Homme flipped his cigarette over his shoulder before the Queens returned for “You Think I Ain’t Worth A Dollar, But I Feel Like A Millionaire,” “No One Knows” and “Song For The Dead” off its breakout “Songs For the Deaf,” a secret explosion of rock and roll power that penetrated the dreary Brooklyn night.

Set List

Keep Your Eyes Peeled

I Sat By The Ocean

The Vampyre Of Time And Memory

If I Had A Tail

My God Is The Sun


Fairweather Friends

Smooth Sailing

I Appear Missing

…Like Clockwork


You Think I Ain’t Worth A Dollar, But I Feel Like A Millionaire

No One Knows

Song For The Dead


TheWaster.com | Brooklyn