Monthly Archives: October 2006
You haven’t heard it until you’ve heard it live. I have a whole new perspective of Queensryche’s ‘Operation: Mindcrime II’ after seeing the band play live October 12, 2006 in Portland, Oregon.
It’s no surprise the sequel to Operation: Mindcrime hasn’t received praise like the original, but geez, the first album was one of the best in rock history – for any band. That’s a tough act to follow, but played live, and in context with the first album, this Queensryche concert put it all together and brings closure (R.I.P. Nikki).
Standing center-stage, about 10 feet back, I had a great view of the show as Queensryche opened with ‘I Remember Now/Anarchy X.’ This is such a killer opening and with Scott Rockenfield’s drumming felt through my entire self, I was ready to rock with bassist Eddie Jackson and guitarists Michael Wilton and Mike Stone. Then Geoff Tate hit the stage and the band was off with the blistering ‘Revolution Calling’ complete with Geoff holding a handwritten sign that read ‘U.S. Out of Iraq.’ He brought another handwritten sign out later in the show that read ‘Will Someone Please Give George Bush A Blowjob So We Can Impeach Him’ – damn funny, unless you support W.
With actors playing the parts of Nikki, Sister Mary and Dr. X from Operation: Mindcrime, it really brought the album to life. However, with the stage in the middle and your attention drawn there, it became clear to me that the band was literally, brushed to the side of the stage. I’m not sure if they cared, but they did appear a little more excited during the encore – more on that coming up. With ‘Eyes of A Stranger,’ Queensryche ended their first set… highlighted by an electric performance of ‘Spreading the Disease,’ where Pamela Moore as Sister Mary was introduced.
After a 20 minute intermission, the band returned with ‘Operation: Mindcrime II.’ You’ve heard some of these songs on METAL SHOP – ‘I’m American,’ ‘The Hands,’ ‘Hostage’ and ‘The Chase’ with Ronnie James Dio as Dr. X. These are great songs, but they sound so much better live. ‘The Chase’ highlighted this set and it would have been amazing to witness a Dio cameo like they did in L.A. this past weekend, but the band played live with a pre-recorded Dio on video and it still kicked ass.
Like the album, the show really slowed down after that, but at least we got to see some closure… Nikki offed himself and joined Sister Mary in the afterlife and that’s the end of the Mindcrime story. When the ‘Mindcrime II’ set ended, the fans in Portland were not going to go home quietly, and Queensryche returned for an encore.
With the acting scenes behind them, they got to be just a band again and we were blown away by ‘Walk In The Shadows’ and ‘Jet City Woman.’ On Jet City, the crowd say the chorus with such passion, I think Geoff was taken back a little… that song did really well here back in 1990 and he may have been reminded he was only 170 miles from home – Queensryche played Seattle the very next night.
The tour continues through the end of November with stops in Canadian cities, East Coast USA, Texas, Arizona and Vegas. If you haven’t seen ‘Mindcrime’ live, you should go – they may never do it like this again.
Special thanks to Queensryche publicist Jeff Albright at The Albright Entertainment Group for making this happen. Here are some pictures of the show, enjoy -Rich Rock (Review) -Ralph Cartel (Photos).