In the ever-evolving landscape of music, there’s a topic that sparks both debate and disappointment among fans – the selective avoidance of an artist’s biggest hits during live performances. This has been the case from Nirvana in the past, Smashing Pumpkins over time, and countless others. The frontman of Queens of the Stone Age, Josh Homme, recently addressed this issue, shedding light on his approach to crafting setlists and the importance of cherishing the songs that made a band famous.
During a candid chat on the Tuna on Toast With Stryker podcast, Homme expressed his belief in the power of playing beloved classics. While he prides himself on mixing up setlists to keep things fresh, he understands the significance of including fan favorites, such as their 2002 breakout hit “No One Knows.” To him, it’s not just about playing the songs he enjoys, but also a pact with the audience who expect to hear those timeless tunes. Radiohead has joined amongst the stars who refuse many hits – with some fans stating that ‘Creep’ is rarely played.
As reported by Ultimate Classic Rock – With a touch of candor, Homme didn’t hold back from calling out other artists who opt to shun their most iconic tracks. In his view, it’s rather “c*nty” to dismiss songs that have resonated with a vast number of people. He questioned the notion of artists viewing their own hits as burdens, seeing it as an odd reaction to the immense gift bestowed upon them by their loyal fans.
While he empathizes with those musicians who face the challenge of overshadowing success with a single song, Homme staunchly believes that refusing to perform these crowd-pleasers is not the solution. In his years of experience, he has witnessed artists becoming disgruntled with their own successful music. But to him, having devoted fans is a blessing, and catering to their desires is an integral part of the artistic exchange.
As Queens of the Stone Age prepares to embark on a North American tour, Homme’s commitment to pleasing the crowd shines through. While the band will undoubtedly showcase material from their latest album, “In Times New Roman,” the setlist will also pay homage to the earlier songs that have left an indelible mark on their career. For Homme, the goal is to create an unforgettable experience for both new and longtime fans alike.
In his words, the heavy and dark themes of their music transform into a collective effort to have a good time and elevate the concert experience. Playing those crowd-pleasing classics becomes the essential tool in this endeavor – like a hammer at hand when you need it. Homme firmly dismisses any notion of refusing to play a song again; after all, he loves performing “No One Knows” and relishes the energy it brings to the stage.
So, as the music industry continues to evolve, let’s heed Homme’s perspective – let’s embrace the hits that defined bands and shaped our memories. A shared experience between artists and fans, these classics form a vital connection that fuels the magic of live performances. After all, music is about celebration, and denying those cherished songs would be nothing short of missing the mark. So, here’s to relishing the classics and reveling in the joy they bring, as we celebrate the power of music that stands the test of time.