If there was any doubt that Queens of the Stone Age is not your ordinary metal concert, that was erased as the band took the stage at the State Theatre Sunday to a cover of the Skatt Brothers’ disco classic “Walk the Night.” The drums thundered on the two and four, and despite the fact that the song is also anchored by trashy guitar riffs and haunted-house-like lyrics, it is clearly a song that’s intended to get your groove on. The same could be said for the band.

Queens of the Stone Age plays music that sounds like grunge and nü-metal never happened, and the sleazy, strip-club glam of 1980s hair metal was allowed to grow and mutate in new ways over the decades. This band takes the swinging, booming bottom end of Poison’s “Unskinny Bop” and adds in the sparkling textures of T-Rex, the downhill momentum of Motörhead, the sludge of Sleep and just a touch of Van Halen’s secret Motown influence. Adding these elements together, they then pummel you with sheer volume. The music was muscular, sexy and loud, and the audience was even louder.

Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme seemed to enjoy playing to a more intimate crowd at the State and addressed the audience between songs.

Even though the State Theatre is a fairly large venue, it is intimate by the standards of Queens of the Stone Age, which is accustomed to headlining major festivals and would decamp from the State to go play Madison Square Garden the following night. As expected, the show sold out within an hour of tickets going on sale, with fans traveling from throughout Maine and New England to attend. Josh Homme clearly had a blast playing in front of just a couple thousand enthusiastic fans, performing with gusto and beaming with joy as he addressed the crowd between songs.

Despite the fact that the band is touring behind a new album – the glitzy, Mark Ronson-produced “Villains” – it didn’t lean heavily on promoting it in the way that some acts do, but played a handful of numbers from the album (the nihilistic “Domesticated Animals” was a highlight) and complemented those heavily with songs that were more or less evenly weighted from throughout its discography, from 2004’s “Songs of the Deaf” onward (those hoping to see a generous helping of material from the band’s first two albums or Homme’s former band, Kyuss, were out of luck).

On two separate occasions, the band paired the first two songs of an album to replicate the one-two punch that it carefully sequences. Using the lead tracks of “Villains,” the band followed the room-rattling funk of “Feet Don’t Fail Me” with the classic-rock boogie of “The Way You Used To Do.” It replicated this feat with the first two proper tracks from “Songs for the Deaf,” letting the abrasive metal of “You Think I’m Worth a Dollar, But I Feel Like a Millionaire” give way to the spacious guitar chords of “No One Knows.” On the latter song, the band dropped out after the bridge, allowing for a drum solo and a pause before launching back into the muscular groove. It’s a trick used by funk bands as much as metal bands – something that James Brown used to do to work his crowds into a frenzy – and like everything Queens of the Stone Age tried, it worked.

Robert Ker is a freelance writer who lives in Portland.

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