Queens of the Stone Age – A Slow Burn as The End is Nero

Queens of the Stone Age performing live at Tribute Communities Centre in Oshawa, Canada on 04/08/2024. Photo Credit: Jay Broderick

Oshawa, Canada – Approximately 40 miles east of Canada’s largest city of Toronto, sits the blue-collar city of Oshawa. The city first got its name in the mid-1800s as a native Indian word meaning “stream crossing” and is now often referred to as the town that General Motors built. The city is smattered about with live music venues, the largest being the 5500 capacity Tribute Communities Centre where the Ontario Hockey League’s Oshawa Generals call home.

For those living east of the big city of Toronto, it’s a fantastic venue for a more intimate arena setting, without the treacheries of navigating your way through the 401 freeway, the streets of the big city, and one of the worst traffic places in the world. Occasionally, the TCM hosts some amazing tours. On April 8, 2024, Queens of the Stone Age brought The Struts to the ‘schwiggity, and for those of us that call this place home, it’s simply perfect! But with April 8, 2024 being Solar Eclipse Day, and the fact that we are in Oshawa, I wonder what strange, glorious events will be afoot.

The Struts

Luke Spiller of The Struts performing live at Tribute Communities Centre in Oshawa, Canada on 04/08/2024. Photo Credit: Jay Broderick

The Struts are a British rock band that were formed in 2012. Having released their first album Everybody Wants in 2014 (WOW! I can’t believe this record is already 10 years old), the band has established themselves as a completely rocking, fun time. If this shit doesn’t put a smile on your face and get your toes tapping, then you may need to check your pulse.

Opening The End is Nero Tour for Queens of the Stone Age, The Struts come flying right out of the gate. Like their name, these guys are struttin’. They are full of energy from their opening track “Primadonna Like Me” and continue the power with “Body Talks” and Fallin’ With Me”. Such amazing stage presence, and you immediately think “DAMN! This is Rock and Roll!!!!”

One of the tracks that got me hooked on this band is “Kiss This”. Without a doubt, whenever I hear it, it gets cranked up, and literally makes me want to move. Such a great, driving beat. Needless to say, I’m thrilled to hear it in the middle of the band’s set.

While there is not a ton of interaction between frontman Luke Spiller and the crowd, he gets them joining the action with the 7th song of the set “Put Your Money On Me”, getting them singing the “OH YEAH”s and having a fun old fashioned competition between the different sections of the crowd. A very powerful opening set for the Oshawa crowd, that eventually even got them on their feet. I have seen some heavy concerts over the years here, and I’ve seen a ton of asses sitting in the seats during Megadeth and Judas Priest. Not sure if it’s an Oshawa thing, or what, but for The Struts to get these folks on their feet and dancing is a feat in itself! GREAT WORK BOYS!!

Queens of the Stone Age

Queens of the Stone Age performing live at Tribute Communities Centre in Oshawa, Canada on 04/08/2024. Photo Credit: Jay Broderick


QOTSA is a Seattle band that has been around the block for 27 years! Like my amazement with the age of The Struts’ debut record, I simply cannot believe this number. Seriously, where the hell does time go? Like, do you even remember Dave Grohl being in this band? That’s how long ago it’s been. Just crazy!

As we line up in the photo pit for the start of the show, the stage set-up becomes visible. The drums are off in the back corner, rather than in the back middle. It quickly gives a different vibe, as this is the first time I’m ever catching these guys live. As soon as the band hits the stage and blasts into the 1998 track “Regular John”, a smile befalls my lips. We’re off! Blowing into “No One Knows”, I get soaked with what I assume is beer, but I don’t care. I’m frantically trying to capture the action on the stage. This start is fire! Recency bias aside, have these rockers quickly become my favorite band?

After the band’s 3rd track, we depart the photo pit to go catch the rest of the show from our assigned seats. As I walk towards the rear of the venue, frontman Josh Homme greets the crowd. “Hello Oshawa! I hear this is a working-class town. Well, don’t be afraid to take your pants off. Let’s pretend it’s a Saturday night!” and with that, he’s got the crowd in his hands!

Mikey Shoes of Queens of the Stone Age performing live at Tribute Communities Centre in Oshawa, Canada on 04/08/2024. Photo Credit: Jay Broderick

By the time I get to my seat, I notice that the whole place is on their feet. WOW! Another insane accomplishment. I look down on the general admission floors and a small mosh pit has ensued. Yep, another powerful start. The band sounds amazing. Homme’s voice is so distinct, and they’re lighting the place up here on this night of their Canadian run. It’s only at this point that I think “Hmmm… I don’t smell like beer. What was that that got poured on me in the pit??”

With the energy of the band’s opening tracks, things come down some, as they roll into a middle section of the set that has a much slower, groovier, rhythmic vibe that is really more typical of their psychedelic, bluesy sound. Still, with tracks like “Emotion Sickness” a body surfer makes his way to the front, and during “I Sat By The Ocean”, a small group of young maniacs on the floor are hopping, dancing and desperate to get an eruptive pit going.

Lead vocalist Josh Homme takes opportunities between tracks to ask how the crowd is feeling and looks for confirmation that this is actually a Monday night. During the aforementioned “Emotion Sickness”, the house lights come on and we get another challenge to see which side of the arena is the loudest, and Homme comedically stating “I don’t have much to say tonight. I just like looking at you.” He even asks the crowd what songs they want to hear, telling them they’ll play whatever they want to hear. He holds up the set list taped at his feet, and rips it up. It’s some really great interaction, making it feel as through we’re in a much smaller venue, just chilling with the band.

A key moment during QOTSA’s set tonight is when the band performed their smash “Make it Wit Chu”. Homme “cheers” the crowd with his drink as they break the track down. “I wanna fucking hear you!” he calls out as the fans belt out the chorus. We get moments of only the women singing, then only the men. Funny man Homme congratulates the men stating “Guys, your muscles are so big!!” and then asks the whole building to belt it out. They graciously oblige, and Homme belts out himself “I FUCKING LOVE YOU GUYS!!” The breakdown here is a cool, long jam with the band as they even slide into a short rendition of The Rolling Stones’ “Miss You”.

Jon Theodore of Queens of the Stone Age performing live at Tribute Communities Centre in Oshawa, Canada on 04/08/2024. Photo Credit: Jay Broderick

The slow burn during this middle section starts to pick up heat again, and by the band’s 4 track encore, the fire is raging as it did during the opening 3 or 4 songs. Things get crazy by the last track “A Song for The Dead” as Homme climbs onto some equipment around the stage, ripping on his guitar. A crew member follows closely as a spotter for the singer’s safety. Homme climbs onto the drum riser, knocking over stands, and kicks over items on the stage as the band departs. Homme eventually disappears behind the drum kit, and the venue goes dark.

Chaulk it up as another winner!!

Set List

Regular John
No One Knows
The Lost Art of Keeping a Secret
Paper Machete
Smooth Sailing
My God Is the Sun
Emotion Sickness
I Sat by the Ocean
The Sky Is Fallin’
Villains of Circumstance
Better Living Through Chemistry
Sick, Sick, Sick
Time & Place
Make It Wit Chu (with The Rolling Stones’ ‘Miss You’ snippet)
Little Sister


God Is in the Radio
Go With the Flow (slow intro)
A Song for the Dead

Queens of the Stone Age Online


show date: April 8, 2024