Feeling the cold? At Logan Campbell Centre last night, even with 3300 fans squished together, it felt colder inside the chilly Greenlane venue than out.

Last time Josh Homme and his Palm Desert pals in Queens of the Stone Age played the same venue in the summer of 2011, the front man complained about the heat and cleared off after just an hour.

But overheating was never going to be a problem tonight. Waiting for Homme and co to emerge, crowd members stuffed hands into jacket pockets and huddled together, trying to keep warm.

Homme found his own way to build up some heat too. After a shimmy and a bit of a jive, Homme wiggled his hips and got straight into it, with Queens ripping through monstrous versions of My God is a Son and Monsters in the Parasol early in the set.

Advertisement

There was little sign of the nearly two years off the band's had in preparation of Villains, their seventh album due for release next month.

This was just their third show since 2015, and yes, that their new album isn't yet out might have been some odd timing. They played just two new songs: Underfuelled recent single The Way You Used to Do, delivered as a mid-set pause for breath, and The Evil Has Landed, a twisted slow-burner that morphed into a stampede and was a late set highlight.

That meant a show heavy on hits, with Feel Good Hit of the Summer and No One Knows delivered as early crowd pleasers, and Smooth Sailing and Make It Wit Chu becoming mid-set singalongs. It's pleasing to report that Homme's falsetto is in as good condition as it's ever been.

But the show really got going in its last third. Any Queens setlist that includes First It Giveth, Sick, Sick, Sick and Little Sister back-to-back isn't going to disappoint, with Homme hollering, "I'm gonna change / I don't wanna change," during Sick, Sick, Sick soundtracking the first moshpit and crowdsurfing action of the night.

After a bonkers Big Day Out in 2003 when they suffered a powercut and ended the night on a completely different stage, their overheated 2011 show, and playing undercard to Smashing Pumpkins and Nine Inch Nails in 2009 and 2013 respectively, seeing Queens in this kind of ragged and rowdy form was the treat Kiwi Queens fans have been waiting for.

With his swagger, slicked back hair and shimmying hips, Homme seemed to know it. One last shake and he and the rest of Queens were off, leaving fans to stuff hands back into their pockets and head out into the cold.

Who: Queens of the Stone Age
Where: Logan Campbell Centre, Auckland
When: Thursday, July 13