Friday, September 22, 2006

Queensrÿche Show Review

Handguns and heroin. Anarchy, religion and prostitution. Revolution, revenge and redemption. These are just a few of the elements that figure into Queensrÿche's Operation: Mindcrime and Operation: Mindcrime II. Lead singer Geoff Tate & Co. rolled into New York's Nokia Theatre in the heart of Times Square last night to perform both albums back-to-back -- a mammoth task that few bands could tackle. For anyone who missed last night's show, the group will be playing again tonight.

Half of the fun of last night's performance was seeing live actors up onstage fleshing out the storyline. The original Sister Mary -- singer Pamela Moore -- reprised her role and brought her usual thespian touch to the character. Tate, meanwhile, variously portrayed both Dr. X and Nikki at different points in the storyline. I'm not sure of the name of the fellow who also portrayed Nikki during other parts in the production, though I'm fairly certain the same actor also handled those duties in the Mindcrime tour of a few years ago.

As for the musicians, they were extremely tight and came very close to recreating the studio sheen heard on the Mindcrime albums. My only criticism would be of guitarist Mike Stone. While I've really come to appreciate Stone over the last couple of years, I can't help but think he's always a little off with his renditions of Chris De Garmo's guitar lines from the first Mindcrime album, but that's a minor quibble at best.

Following the performance of the original Mindcrime, Queensrÿche took a 20-minute intermission before returning to begin the sequel. The high point of the Mindcrime II set undoubtedly came during "Murderer?" as Tate wrestled with the agonies of a man torn between revenge and forgiveness. It is at this point that he must decide whether or not to slay the blindfolded and beaten Dr. X.

I won't ruin the surprise for those of you who have yet to see the show. However, if you listen to the track on the album there's a subtle audio clue as to the outcome of action at approximately 4:04 or 4:05. I had the good fortune to interview Tate about the album some months ago and he revealed that tidbit to me. At the time, it didn't make much sense. But having now seen the show, it seems almost obvious in retrospect.

Hearing both albums in their entirety was a real treat, but Tate & Co. also played a two-song encore featuring "Walk in the Shadows" and "Jet City Woman." How many bands half the age of Queensrÿche could deliver a 34-song set with such ease? And right about now they're getting ready to do it all over again tonight!

Check out some exclusive pictures from the gig below.


Mike said...

Dude, I can't wait to go Saturday now!! I know my review of the House of Blues show won't compete with yours, but I'll do my best.

Theodore said...

No worries, man. Just show your love for the band in the review and you'll do fine.

Bruce said...

Everything I've read about this tour has basically said the same thing you did. They're gonna be in DC in November. If I'm healthy enough, I'll try and get up there.