Coming to Chicago fresh off their new DVD release Queensryche: Mindcrime at the Moore, there is no question about it – the progressive rock band that thrilled music lovers throughout the 80’s and 90’s is still to be reckoned with. Known for the experimental metal, Queensryche has always been years ahead of their time with their futuristic sound and challenging political lyrics, written by front man Geoff Tate. And for Queensryche fans, they got exactly what they hoped for last month at the Sears Center – precise, driving instrumentation accompanied with Tate’s powerful, operatic vocals.
Sharing the “Heaven and Hell” bill, along with Alice Cooper and Black Sabbath featuring Ronnie James Dio, Queensryche rocked their faithful minions, blasting out such notables ranging from “Empire” to Operation Mindcrime’s “The Needle Lies”. Guitarist duo Michael Wilton and the more recent Mike Stone battled across the stage, exchanging riffs while complimenting each other nicely over bassist Eddie Jackson, who plowed away amid the intricate changes that gave fame to the band. Not to be lost in the shuffle was drummer Scott Rockenfield, one of rock’s greatest drummers to date, and as a fan put his playing afterwards was truly “awesome to the last drop”. Still, it was Tate’s diverse vocal range and commanding presence that put it all together, forming the perfect rock show.
Queensryche is currently touring their new DVD release, which contains a performance of Operation Mindcrime I & II in their entirety live at the Moore Theatre in Seattle, where the band originated. Pamela Moore, though she did not perform with the band, was on hand at the Sears Center to watch as Queensryche once again conquered Chicago. Moore was featured on Mindcrime and is best known for her duet with Tate in “Sister Mary”. The two-disc DVD is a theatrical version of the two albums in which Tate does a very nice job adding dramatics while singing, giving fans another reason dub him as brilliant. Ronnie James Dio can also be seen on the DVD where he is featured in “The Chase”. If you are already a Queensryche fan, Mindcrime at the Moore is a must have, but if you are not familiar with the band, the DVD will certainly draw you into and you will be fascinated just the same.
Though touring their new DVD, Queensryche is also promoting their November 2007 release Take Cover. Unlike past albums, Take Cover is a collection of cover songs done in the style of Queensryche. Show-goers were given a preview to the album when the band performed a very inspired version of Pink Floyd’s “Welcome to the Machine”. Not to fall in the category of most cover albums, Queensryche selected a very unique compilation of songs staying away from the ever-popular, over-covered hits that most bands seek to do like “Your Mama Don’t Dance” or “Smokin’ in the Boy’s Room”. Instead, and far more appealing, are versions of the Police’s “Synchronicity II”, Black Sabbath’s “Neon Knights”, Peter Gabriel’s “Red Rain”, and even Jesus Christ Superstar’s “Heaven on Their Minds”.
Queensryche will remain on the road to complete the Heaven and Hell excursion, but will then headline their own tour beginning in January when, according to guitarist Michael Wilton, they will most certainly make a stop in Chicago. Keep checking www.Queensryche.com for upcoming tour dates. Also look for our interview with Geoff Tate coming this winter.