“Live Evolution” (DVD) by Queensryche

Artist: Queensryche
Title: “Live Evolution”
Label: Sanctuary Records
Release Date: 10/9/2001
Genre: Progressive Metal
Rating: 8.5/10

Filmed at a comfortable sized theater in their hometown Seattle in 2001 this Queensryche DVD showcases the band not as aging rockers looking to cash in on a hits show but instead as mature and seasoned Elder Statesman of Progressive Metal. Queensryche has never failed to deliver to their fans a great live show and this DVD Film is a testament of that statement. The viewer can consider this a greatest hits show as looking over the set list; it is pretty much what it amounted to. Around this time, the group was on a tour that followed their appearance on a triple threat bill of Iron Maiden, themselves, and Rob Halford. That tour was in support of their ill-received CD “Q2K”. While I have long been a supporter of the bands efforts, this release was truly sub-par and perhaps one of the reasons was the fact that around the recording time for the record long time member Chris DeGarmo decided to leave. Replacing Chris on guitar chores for the DVD is Kelly Cray, a long time collaborator and friend of singer Geoff Tate.

As I watched this DVD, I was reminded of how much the theatre that they filmed at (The Moore) reminded me of the Beacon Theatre in New York City where I had seen this same tour of the hits performance. Queensryche is as good in an intimate setting as well as a big concert arena it would seem. Scott Rockenfield is still a major force on the drums but I am disappointed to see him using a double-bass pedal instead of the two kick drums and massive kit. While I know the times have changed and we mature with age & simplify I just always loved seeing a big drum set when he plays. When you also see that he no longer uses the chain link cymbal stands well then I just get too nostalgic. Overall Geoff Tate’s voice is pure and powerful as ever. He really has remained one of the best singers in modern Rock and Metal music and sounds almost as fresh some 15 years after the band first appeared on the scene. Eddie Jackson and Michael Wilton are as good as ever and play so tightly together it is amazing. This proves that you do in fact get better with age. It’s great also to see a band that’s performed almost continually and with only one member from the original lineup gone after so many years of being together. The sound and visual of this DVD are top-notch

On the DVD you will find a rich career spanning selection with few disappointments. There is even a treat during one of them on “Suite Sister Mary” when the guest vocalist Pamela Moore comes and duets the song with Geoff. Pamela was also the singer of this track on the original “Operation Mindcrime” CD. It made the song all the more appealing and was a nice touch. Since this was a hits release that covered a number of albums I was a little annoyed that it did not feature one of my favorite tracks “Walk In The Shadows” from Rage For Order. I also held affection for the track “Gonna Get Close To You” since it was so unique for its time in Metal and a band like Queensryche but that is not on here either. “I Don’t Believe In Love” is not on here either which I feel was a big mistake for a hits tour.

Bonus Features:
The features on this DVD are some biography and interview footage. Since this ended up being an almost all hits performance I think it would have been smart to include some archival footage as well. Perhaps it is being saved for an “early years” DVD. There is an Easter Egg that allows for a multi-angle performance of “Queen Of The Reich” but that’s about it.

It’s a worthy DVD to pick up for Queensryche fans new and old as it offers a good retrospect on their music and the efforts that they have made on behalf of Heavy and Progressive Metal. They are legends and this DVD reminds you of it with every song.

Song Listing:
1. NM156
2. Roads To Madness
3. The Lady Wore Black
4. London
5. Screaming In Digital
6. I Am I
7. Damaged
8. Empire
9. Silent Lucidity
10. Jet City Woman
11. Hit The Black
12. Breakdown
13. Right Side Of My Mind
14. I Remember Now
15. Revolution Calling
16. Suite Sister Mary
17. My Empty Room
18. Eyes Of A Stranger
19. Take Hold Of The Flame – encore
20. Queen Of The Reich – encore

Official Website: www.queensryche.com

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