Queensrÿche concert - Sept 23, 2005, Winnipeg, Manitoba
venue: Burton Cummings Theatre, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Making their first appearance in 15 years, Queensrÿche 's first set was comprised of their "hits" (with some noticeable exceptions), followed by the Operation Mindcrime album played in its entirety, complete with actors and footage on the big screen. Notable tracks played included "Take Hold of the Flame","Walk In The Shadows", "Jet City Woman", the massive hit "Silent Lucidity", "Empire", "The Whisper", " Last Time In Paris" and a few others.
Singer Geoff Tate was very intense and used his instantly identifiable operatic voice to its full potential. During intermission, as we queued for the bathroom, I overhead guys discussing how wowed their were with Tate's voice
The second set began with what appeared to be a fan taking to the stage and ranting away, and then being acosted by security. One of the bouncers on the floor lept onto the stage to stop this guy, who turned out to be the actor portraying Nicky, one of the main characters from the Operation Mindcrime album. The story behind Operation Mindcrime involves a mysterious and brilliant geneticist, Dr. X, who develops a compound that he tries to sell to the military for mind control purposes. He experiments on junkies like Nicky. Nicky meets up with and falls in love with one Dr. X's former patients, Sister Mary, a nurse who used to be a junkie and prostitute, but Mary gets killed off. We finally get to see who killed Mary. I've never seen a concept album performed live by any band, let alone a metal band, and I have never seen a band live perform with actors. It caught my attention, although I was happy when it was over. More music and less acting, guys!
At the end of the show, some people were moaning about how they weren't into the dramatics and wanted to hear more of the superb old material instead of all of Operation Mindscrime. The band are currently recording Operation Mindcrime II, due out in February. You've got to wonder if they are running out of ideas to cause them to milk a concept that is about 17 years old now. Tracks that I would have enjoyed seeing live from the "hits" opening half of the show include "En Force", "Screaming In Digital", "I Dream In Infrared", "Surgical Strike", "Screaming In Digital", "I Will Remember", "Deliverance", "No Sanctuary", "NM 156", "Before The Storm", and "Queen of the Ryche."
Sitting in the fourth row, I had a great view. My ear plugs weren't fully inserted but I was glad I had them. While not virtuosos, the musicians in Queensrÿche have such well-crafted and complex but not overly-so material that I had no complaints whatsoever about the playing. The songs I knew were outstanding while the couple that I didn't know didn't strike me as being anything special.
The roar of approval from the audience at the end was deafening, but like on all their tour dates, they played a promo video with the new song "Hostage" from their upcoming album instead of playing an encore. This disappointed me and no doubt many others.
I always try to buy a t-shirt but they had either 3X size option, which would comfortably fit a 350lb person or some other incredibly lame shirt. There's no way fans should be expected to pay anything for t-shirts with really poor graphics. I opted not to buy a shirt.
Michael Wilton and Mike Stone
When they are firing on all four cylinders, Queensrÿche are like fast and intricate rolling thunder. This was one of the most intense and enjoyable metal shows that I have seen in a long while. At the end of show, I was almost tackled by some guy behind me, as he saw a drum stick flying right for me. I didn't see it until the last moment when I almost fell over and it magically disappeared on the floor. I also ran into one of my co-workers who probably suffered through the second half, not recognizing anything, even though I played the Operation Mindcrime album practically non-stop at the office today and her office is right beside mine.