Queensryche - Wolverhampton Civic
- Wednesday 18th June 2008
The full American production finally hits the
UK. Hit or miss?
No support band tonight, basically this was an evening with Queensryche
showcasing Mindcrime 1 & 2 with a theatrical staging. Thanks
to the sound engineer, Alan, for the setlist - cheers fella. Good
to meet the lighting engineer too.. Houselights fade and "Anarchy
X" introduces "Operation:mindcrime".
I still maintain that this is a wonderful album, and an essential
in any rock fan's collection. Fantastic to hear it played in entirity
and with the added bonus of Pamela Moore playing Mary. No point
in me listing the tracks, you all know them. Musically incredibly
tight with a crystal clear sound quality, although I would have
liked it to have been louder. Of course it could be that I was
still deaf from having my head in a bass bin at Origin a couple
of nights before! "Eyes Of A Stranger" obviously
closed set one and the band trooped off.
Twenty minutes or so later "Freiheit Overture"
started the second set. "I'm American" is a
class song, but really Mindcrime 2 never matches the original's
overall quality and cohesion. The staging was interesting enough,
but this section dragged for me. Still at least it has prompted
me to play Mindcrime 2 again so I suppose it did its job. "All
The Promises" rounded off set two to rapturous applause.
The crew stripped the stage down and the band returned for the
encores. This then became like a gig instead of a stageshow and
the band attacked the material with increased aggression. Encores
surprisingly all off "Empire" - "Jet
City Woman", "Empire" and an unusual, but
effective, rendition of "Silent Lucidity" completed
Hit or miss? Both really. Let's start with the positives. Loved
Geoff Tate's placard early on in the evening ("Someone give
Bush a blowjob so we can impeach him"! Quality but unfortunately
wishful thinking..). Musically stunning, some unusual arrangements
especially during set one. The vocal displays from Geoff and Pamela
were amazing. Lengthy set and you certainly got your money's worth.
Negatives? Bit too clinical and overproduced. Geoff Tate first
addressed the crowd before the first encore and the audience never
really got involved. This probably had something to do with it
being all seated - presumably to make it more like a theatre show.
I hate seating at gigs with a passion. My tastes have got a lot
more extreme over the years, having witnessed Origin/Impaled/Hour
Of Penance pulverise me into submission two nights before, this
one seemed pedestrian. Unfortunate timing I guess... Nothing wrong
with the musicianship just not brutal enough for me any more.
Operation:mindcrime is a seminal album and will always
sound good live. The first set took me back a few years I can
tell you and I was grinning inanely through most of it. It remains
one of the best rock concept albums ever recorded. No arguments
necessary. An entertaining evening and lots of fans will love
it - just not for me these days. I like a lot more intensity from
gigs, and good as this performance was, overall it felt a bit