The Queensryche Lowdown (10/17/05)


Ok, so ya'll wanted to know about the Queensryche concert last Thursday night?  Well, simply put … it was GREAT!  I had seen them open for Judas Priest in Atlanta in June, and it was so obvious they underperformed then.  By contrast, I don’t think they could’ve done better this time around.


The first half of the show was a number of songs from across the range of the band’s career, such as “Empire”, “Last Night in Paris” and “The Lady wore Black”.  Geoff Tate started out strutting across the stage, black jeans, leather jacket and sunglasses, cool and confident, but gradually loosening up, conversing with the audience, and getting into the performance.


After a short break for the stage to be set, the band went into its performance of their legendary “Operation Mindcrime” album.  The album and the performance tell the tale of Nikki, a lost rebellious teen who is manipulated by Doctor X, a shady character peddling in drugs and preaching anarchy.  He seems to control Nikki through drug use, recruiting him as an assassin to unleash on religious leaders.  In the end, Nikki is arrested and hospitalized as insane, Doctor X presumably in the clear to continue his efforts.


The Mindcrime dramatic performance was woven into the band’s performance of the album sequence.   Several performers joined the band to help act out the roles of Nikki, Sister Mary, and hospital staff.  Widescreens also showed video segments with scenes helping the story along, as well as visual effects supplementing the performance.


The band’s performance, which started out as really good in the first set, was outstanding in the second.  Tate changed in and out of costume several times to better connect the characters and the songs through which their stories were told.  As an added bonus, they played a song from their yet-untitled sequel to the Mindcrime album, which is scheduled for release in January.


The last six months of my life has been quite the roller coaster.  While a number of my hopes and dreams have been shattered in that time, the opportunity to see this performance, as well as Rob Halford and the boys from Judas Priest in Atlanta, were long-time dreams come true.


LINX TO CZECH OUT:

Russell Glasser has a good description of the storyline in the Mindcrime album and performance at www.apollowebworks.com/russell/mindcrime.html


Rock Confidential interview about the Mindcrime sequel with Eddie Jackson of Queensryche: www.rockconfidential.com/EddieJackson.html


Check out Queensryche at www.Queensryche.com, and specific lyrics and video clips from the Mindcrime album at www.queensryche.com/releases/operation-mindcrime/index.html


House of Blues online at www.hob.com

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