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PiercingMetal Spotlights: Queensryche

My interest in Queensryche goes a pretty long way back and I can say to the readers that the first time I ever caught them in concert was when they were opening up for KISS on the bands “Animalize” tour. They were supporting their soon to be released masterpiece “Warning” and believe it or not, I couldn’t have cared less that night. This was based on the KISS mania setting in and my not being open to this obviously rising star in the Metal world. I was not alone in this view and that was just how a KISS show worked. You often were bored at any opening band while you waited for the Kings Of The Nighttime World to come out and dominate the stage. Moving ahead a couple of years in time, the chance to see Queensryche again happened when Iron Maiden was on their legendary “Powerslave” tour and for me this was a match made in heaven. I say it like this because the band was winning me over note after note and had the many thousands of fans in Radio City Music Hall pushing their fists into the air as singer Geoff Tate told us to “Take Hold Of The Flame” with a soaring and commanding register. I’ve been a fan ever since that time and have followed them as a band in both my personal life and as that of a music journalist. They pushed the envelope a number of times in their releases and we have reviewed many of their recordings and video films on the site as well as supported their touring efforts. To see any contest that features Queensryche just click their logo below to launch the query that will present all that is resident on the PiercingMetal.com website.

Logo - Queensryche
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Queensryche @ Nokia Theatre Times Square (2/8/2008)

It seems as though Queensryche is on a ride of renewed popularity and that’s fine by me since I have loved much of what they did over the course of their career. Tonight’s show found them back at The Nokia Theater delivering another exciting show and Dokken’s own Don was opening up acoustically. Those who have their hunger set on learning more should scroll past the logo below.

Logo - Queensryche

Artist: Queensryche
Venue: Nokia Theatre (New York, NY)
Opener: Don Dokken
Date: 2/8/2008
Label: Rhino Entertainment

If you thought that Queensryche would sit back and rest on their laurels after their blockbuster tour for the “Operation: Mindcrime” saga, the release of the double DVD and CD set “Mindcrime At The Moore” that captured it all on film and appearances on tour supporting Heaven And Hell then you would surely be mistaken. One could easily view the band Queensryche as one of the true energizer bunnies of Progressive Hard Rock and Metal with their whole “keeps on going” attitude and that’s fine by me since like many others out there I have been a fan for a very long time. The consistent touring appearances would lead one to wonder just what would lie ahead on this tour as “Mindcrime” had been done, and the tour with HAH found them on the release of their compilation “Greatest Hits”. When they announced their new covers release “Take Cover” it became clear that the Ryche would return to present us with a number of standards and a healthy compliment of the renditions delivered on this new album. The appearance tonight would be at Nokia Theater in Times Square and this is a perfect place to catch the band and joining them would be Don Dokken of the great eighties Metal band that bears the same name. Here is a little about how the evening progressed.
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“Take Cover” by Queensryche

Artist: Queensryche
Title: “Take Cover”
Label: Rhino Entertainment
Release Date: 11/13/2007
Genre: Progressive Hard Rock
Rating: 3.5/5

There is a part of me that grumbles every time I discover that a band is planning on presenting their fans with an album of covers because I look at the reasons behind the CD’s release with two different viewpoints. My first feeling is that of hesitation based on the thoughts that for some reason the band is copping out delivering original material and the second is that of overall curiosity about how it might actually turn out. It would seem as though cover albums have become quite the standard issue from established bands these days and sometimes they are quite interesting while at others are rather arduous listens. Over the past couple of years we have seen no less than eight such releases and I am only going by the ones I can name off the top of my head. One band that I felt would never do such a thing to their fans is Progressive Metal legends Queensryche – and yet here we are listening to “Take Cover”, the bands own hat tossed into the cover album mix. The Queensryche effort actually delivers some interesting tunes and the band explains each one out as to their reason for including it. Like the other albums of its kind there are some strong points and some weak ones and while we probably disagree on some of the points that follow here is my take on what I heard. “Welcome To The Machine” was a perfect opener for the release with the Ryche bringing additional mood to the Pink Floyd classic track.
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“Mindcrime At The Moore” (DVD) by Queensryche

Artist: Queensryche
Title: “Mindcrime At The Moore”
Label: Rhino Entertainment
Release Date: 7/3/2007
Genre: Progressive Metal
Rating: 4.5/5

When Queensryche chose to follow their masterpiece “Operation: Mindcrime” with a sequel, the aspect of this was the source of much debate between their long time fans and the Hard Rock/Metal community as a whole. The album while good suffered comparisons to the original which was never its intent but was to be expected even though this piece was set 20 years into the future lives of the characters we met on the original. Not long after its release the band went on tour and presented both albums from beginning to end in two incredible acts, and as you might have expected these shows were nothing short of blockbusters. It was the kind of concert that after you saw it you would muse to yourself about how excellent it would be on DVD. Fortunately for us the guys in Queensryche had the very same thoughts on their mind when they were doing this tour and as result we get the explosive DVD “Mindcrime At The Moore”. The film presents the entire concert as it was delivered on the stage and it was so massive an undertaking that each “Mindcrime” gets its own DVD. Many of you already own the first DVD that Queensryche delivered for the original “Mindcrime” tour, but outside of a couple of dramatic poses and one guest appearance on it was strictly a concert film. The difference here is that the dual presentation of the complete “Mindcrime” saga is as much a Broadway theatre experience as it is a Rock concert. Tate proves his salt as an actor as the band begins and he motions and gestures through every note like some seasoned Hollywood veteran. His vocals might no longer reach some of the shrieking high notes of the past but he still remains one of the best lead vocalists in the business today. I was impressed at how good he was able to handle this since two full albums that are loaded with lyrics is quite a task for any performer to do. The band is impeccably tight as always and sometimes are in costume that reflects the subject matter that they are performing. When the show begins we even find a marching band joining them onstage and it brings the energy of this dramatic album to life all the more.
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“Mindcrime At The Moore” by Queensryche

Artist: Queensryche
Title: “Mindcrime At The Moore”
Label: Rhino Entertainment
Release Date: 7/3/2007
Genre: Progressive Metal
Rating: 4/5

Before we begin, I need to ask the readers if there is really any need to waste valuable time debating about Queensryche’s absolute dominance over the Progressive Metal world and their ability to create music that would withstand the tests of time. I didn’t think so because when they first appeared on the scene they proved to many hardcore Metal heads that they far from your run of the mill act and instead something spectacular. Without question their signature release became the legendary “Operation: Mindcrime” and while this album is closing in on twenty years since it was released it still has held up and remains one of the most pivotal works in Heavy Metal music history. In 2006 they would offer up a sequel that brings us up to speed on the characters introduced on the first chapter and while this received mixed praise it was clearly an album that showed the world that Queensryche was as vital as ever and able to craft a tale that would always envelop the listener. “Mindcrime II” would make sure to answer some, but not all of the questions the fans were left with after “Mindcrime I”. The tour in 2006 found the band performing both albums from start to finish and the release “Mindcrime At The Moore” brings this right to you should you have not attended for any particular reason.
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