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LIVE! | Queensryche

by Deb Rao
– Senior Columnist —

April 13, 2013 at Santa Fe Station in Las Vegas, NV

QueensrycheIn celebration of the 25th Anniversary of Operation Mindcrime, Queensryche made a special stop in Las Vegas for a sold out performance at Santa Fe Station at the Chrome Room. These days it seems the growing trend for ’80s bands to have two versions of the band but in this case it is all for the best. Singer Geoff Tate has assembled top-notch musicians to launch the re-birth of the band. This stellar line-up featuring Geoff Tate on vocals, veteran bass player Rudy Sarzo, Robert Sarzo on guitar, Kelly Gray on guitar, Randy Gane on keyboards and Simon Wright on drums, all gave an outstanding performance. Singer Geoff Tate commented, “Las Vegas was the 5th show of this line-up. The tour has been very fun so far and they were working out all of the kinks.” He also wanted to thank the fans at Hardrock Haven for all of their support.

Kicking off the Operation Mindcrime set with “I Remember Now,” the new line-up of Queensryche were ready to rock in all their glory. The band roared with “Revolution Calling.” Geoff Tate who is possibly one of the ’80s greatest singers sounded amazing. He took full command of the stage and sang with much passion and conviction as they played one of the top albums of the metal genre in its entirety.

Guitarist Robert Sarzo was excellent changing from electric to his acoustic Ovation, the intricate guitar work he performed was precise and sizzling. There was also a special appearance by Nina Noir as Sister Mary on “Suite Sister Mary.”

Perhaps one of the most captivating moments of the set was when Geoff appointed the audience with water during the song “I Don’t Believe In Love,” then launched into “Eyes Of A Stranger.” This song stills sends chills down my spine. I love the haunting vocals and chord changes during this song. The rhythm section of Rudy Sarzo and drummer Simon Wright was ferocious. Both Rudy and Simon have such a long list of musical accolades. The talent that is in Queensryche is mind boggling.

The show didn’t end there. The 90-minute performance of Operation Mindcrime was capped by a 4-song encore that included such hits as “Silent Lucidity.” It was great to watch the fans sing along to this song. Robert Sarzo again displayed some fancy acoustic guitar picking on his Ovation. Queensryche then launched into “I’m American,” “Jet City Woman” and ended with “Empire.”

Be sure to catch Queensryche when they come to a city new you. The last time I had seen the band was in 2008. In comparison, I really enjoyed the new line-up. The high quality display of musicianship was ever so compelling to envision. There seems to be a new found enthusiasm. Geoff Tate seemed really happy to be back onstage. Queensryche will without a doubt build a new empire of fans with this line-up and the ever so stellar vocals of Geoff Tate.

Set List:
I Remember Now
Anarchy X
Revolution Calling
Operation Mindcrime
Spreading The Disease
The Mission
Suite Sister Mary
The Needle Lies
Electric Requiem
Breaking The Silence
I Don’t Believe In Love
Waiting For 22
My Empty Room
Eyes Of A Stranger

Silent Lucidity
I’m American
Jet City Woman

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4 Comments on LIVE! | Queensryche

  1. I’ve seen both bands live in the past few months
    And as a longtime musician myself i can confirm Geoffs version is sloppy like they don’t rehearse and they didn’t have enough time to learn their parts.

    If Geoff truly wanted to celebrate OMC wouldn’t you think he’d want his band to get it right?
    Nina Noir is a shocking replacement for Pamela Moore

    Hours before the gig I saw Geoff hanging out free tickets in a bottle shop
    It’s just sad

    The other band are playing tight, and are exciting to watch
    Todd La Torre may miss some of the notes but who wouldn’t
    Geoff set the bar incredibly high with those first four records
    But at least Wilton, Rockenfield, Edbass et al seem sincere and wanting to prove themselves

    Geoff is just phoning it in

  2. The real sad part of this is, people will show up for nostalgia they hear Queensryche and think Geoff Tate. Fortunately there are only 300 people per city that think this. Of course, there are reports which say Tate is giving away a great deal of tickets for free as complimentary so to say these early shows are 100% sellout is rather misleading. Just like Tate misleading fans for years about his band members contributions.

    Lets face it. Geoff Tate is a solo artist first and foremost and any idea of a “band” is almost foreign to him. The credits on the album, Frequency Unknown more or less confirm this. The man has changed for the worst sadly, a great many years ago. Even Chris DeGarmo couldn’t save him.

    And that was the point of no return.

  3. I can’t speak about the NV show, but I just saw TateRyche at the Fillmore in San Francisco and was far from impressed. The venue was maybe half full and it wasn’t the best first impression when you see a tour bus towing a tiny trailer.

    From the opening song, Geoff’s vocals were very good. He actually strived to hit some high notes that I haven’t heard him hit in a while. However, the mix was a little poor and Geoff’s vocals were way out in front.

    Throughout the show, the few background vocals I actually heard were so buried in the mix, I wondered why they even did them. I was also left wondering a few more things…

    – Is it a requirement to wear a black hat to play in this band?
    – Is the keyboardist, who looked like the biker from the Village People, doing anything other than triggering samples?
    – Does Rudy Sarzo know what year it is? Is there an over/under for how many times he licks his fingers, plays the bass vertically, or acts like he’s jerking it off? I lost count after 57.
    – Is this the best drummer Tate could find?

    Simon Wright is great for AC/DC or Dio. Queensryche proved to be more than he could handle. He came in too early on Speak and missed a few cues. He slowed down Spreading the Disease, blew 3 cues on I Don’t Believe In Love, and flat out played Eyes of a Stranger completely different than Rockenfield.

    Finally, what is with Geoff’s dramatic entrances at ever opportunity. Halfway through the show, we started laughing every time Geoff would leave the stage during a guitar solo or segue just so he could slowly walk out again.

    I know this was the 25th anniversary of Operation Mindcrime so they were performing the entire album. Isn’t this like the 5th time Queensryche has done that on a tour? The encore could have been great had he touched on previous releases… perhaps playing Lady Wore Black, Warning, Walk in the Shadows, or even, Promised Land. Instead, he follows up all of Mindcrime with half on Empire.

    I saw the other Queensryche in LA last November and it was a vast contrast. The other Ryche has video imagery, and fantastic setlist, and much more energy. TateRyche played in front of a black curtain to an audience that, for the most part, seemed as if they had nothing better to do that night. I know half way through the show I was thinking I should have just stayed home and done laundry.

  4. We must be living in the actual OMC universe where Geoff Tate can control the media because anyone who thinks there’s a high quality of musicianship and that this assembly of music “scabs” is going to build a new Queensryche empire has certainly been arm twisted into saying this because 90% of the QR fanbase is sickened by this lackluster imitation. I wasn’t there Deb so you can hold that over me to support your review but I’ve seen every live video post and it’s amazing how bad the band and the vocals are. Compare that to how good the REAL QR is with Todd LaTorre singing (and how classy as well)

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