"It came from the desert," the Queens of the Stone Age website reads.
"Whatever kind of strange and terrible mutation slouched out of the irradiated California wasteland in 1996, it's evidently still around. It lives. It breathes. It can't be stopped."
The website for the band does a fair job of simultaneously arousing interest while perfectly summing up the impressive array that is Queens of the Stone Age.
Parallel to their evolving sound, the roster of musicians to play in or with QOTSA has enjoyed a sustained metamorphosis.
Though rock luminaries, such as Dave Grohl (Nirvana, The Foo Fighters) and Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top) have influenced and recorded with QOTSA, the one constant is front man and visionary Josh Homme.
With Homme leading the way, the current band roster – Troy Van Leeuwen on guitars, Dean Fertita on the keyboard, Michael Shuman pounding out bass and drummer Jon Theodore – descended on Knoxville, bringing with them hot desert wind that blew away the cold.
Whatever "it" is wrought rock devastation upon the venerable Tennessee Theatre Saturday night.
The entranced crowd comprised an eclectic assortment pulled from nearly every walk of life in Knoxville. This spoke of QOTSA's broad appeal and in line with their mission statement to "make music heavy enough for boys, but sweet enough for girls."
The opening act was Chelsea Wolfe, whose song "Feral Love" is featured on the new Game of Thrones trailer. Like a great opening band is supposed to do, she prepared the audience for the two-hour rock apocalypse that was to follow.
QOTSA hit the stage near 9 p.m. and immediately took the audience's breath away. Burning through old favorites and titles from the band's current album, "Like Clockwork," QOTSA had the audience's attention from the minute it took the stage to when the group finished its set two hours later.
The timing was tight, and QOTSA played with swagger indicating the group is at the height of its rock power.
Homme worked the crowd with the same deft skill as his guitar, whipping them into a raucous metal frenzy from song to song in the epitome of a rock concert. The audiences only qualm may have been that it was over too fast.
By 11 p.m., QOTSA had performed only one encore and had headed off to its next venue.
Though the band was in it until the end, the audience gave up too early. With the first hint that it might be over, the concert-goers started filing out. If they had kept to their seats and thundered their wish to the heavens, the rock gods would have smiled down on us from an a irradiated California wasteland and granted one or two more encores.
If you weren't there, it's good that you don't know what you missed. The next time QOTSA comes within 100 miles of Knoxville, go see this band.