True to their brazen nature, the band hailing from California kicked off the night with their two biggest singles, in a reverse encore that even the surest of acts would not have dared. Opening with 'No One Knows' and bathed in a sea of red light, the atmosphere hit the roof, before an irresistible 'Lost Art of Keeping a Secret'.
Any thoughts that this would be a predictable set were soon quashed, and as the night progressed the absence of some key tracks - 'Millionaire', 'Feel Good Hit of the Summer' - showed that Josh Homme and co would continue to confound expectations. With a career filled with gems however, it scarcely mattered.
Continuing with a duo of cuts from 2013's '...Like Clockwork' in a hypnotic 'Smooth Sailing' and a riotous 'My God is the Sun', the quintet that include ever-dancing multi-instrumentalist Troy Van Leeuwen, seemed to be enjoying the show as much as the enraptured audience.
Greeting the crowd, Homme declared; "Dublin motherfuckers, I see you dancing in the aisles and dancing on the floor, and being the goddamn mother fuckers that you really are!"
Echoing a comment made when he last played in the Irish capital, he continued; "Tonight's the last night of this tour, and I could think of no better place in the fucking world to have it it. You know I'm not talking shit; you know I love it here."
Touching on latest album 'In Times New Roman' with single 'Emotion Sickness', as well as the preceding, Mark Ronson-produced 'Villains' with the disco grooves of 'The Way You Used To Do', QOTSA mixed up the set to give something to fans of all eras, with the sole exception of their 1998 self-titled debut.
Returning to '...Like Clockwork' with a sultry 'If I had a Tail', Homme was clearly relishing the vibe in the room, with playful back and forths with various members of the audience resulting in him commenting; "holy shit you guys are fucking nuts!"
With a celebratory atmosphere throughout, things took on a more serious air ahead of 'I Sat By the Ocean'. It was here that Homme paid tribute to ailing Pogues star Shane MacGowan, saying; "I've got to tip my hat to one of my heroes, and one of your own. He's in a tough way. When the poets are gone, you're left with a bunch of cunts. So this song is for Shane McGowan."
With the night ending, the overawed front man said; "It's been a wonderful tour, but this has been a special night. Thank you so much. We'd be nowhere without you."
Closing out with an extended tribute to former member Mark Lanegan, who passed away in 2022, Homme said; "One of our band members moved to Ireland because he was a poet, and he knew this was where he wanted to be, so we're going to play a couple of songs that he sang." What followed was a dizzying 'God is in the Radio', and a truly incendiary 'A Song for the Dead',
It's been a long six years since the desert kings last played in Ireland, but given the response they received, they'll doubtless hurry back. In the meantime, the band are scheduled to headline Download Festival in Donington Park, U.K. on14 June 2024, with an appearance at Hellfest in Clisson, France during the weekend of 27th - 30th June 2024.