Thursday, May 24, 2012

CONCERT REVIEW FLASHBACK: Qeensryche (5.20.09)

House of Blues / Orlando, FL 

They’ve sold millions. They’ve
racked up numerous mega
monster hits. They’ve earned 
legions of fans. Their records 
are legendary rock epics. Their
caliber of musicianship is 
unparalleled. But as a live
band, I found Queensryche
to be about as compelling as
an artichoke documentary!

I realize that I lack the social and artistic sophistication necessary to grasp the group's brilliance. However, the sign posted at the Will Call window tonight announced that the group would be performing “Suites” from the albums, Rage for Order, Empire and American Soldier. “Suites?” Huh?

Suite [sweet]  plural - suites  /  n
- A set of instrumental works performed together.

Oh, I see. Well, why the heck couldn’t they just have said that in the first place? FYI, Motörhead doesn’t perform “Suites!”

A) Shouldn’t a live rock band at least look like they’re having fun? (Queensryche didn’t.) 
B) And if the vibe onstage ain’t even moving the band, what kind of party is the audience having?

I heard an old hippie guy next to me actually yell out, “rock and roll!” as the band came onstage. I hope he wasn’t terribly disappointed to learn that there would be relatively little “rocking,” “rolling” or fun allowed tonight.

Not even a cast of onstage extras and Pink Floyd-type pre-recorded sound effects could bring this show to life. In fact, those “whistles and bells” were actually more of a distraction.

When I go to church I expect to be surrounded by kindhearted, loving Christians. When I DJ in a club I expect to deal with obnoxious drunkenness. However, when I go to a rock show I don’t expect (or desire) to be lectured — about anything — by anybody — not even the legendary Geof Tate. And despite the tie-ins with the group‘s new record, American Soldier, Tate’s long-winded disserta- tions became mind-numbing and, at times, nearly inaudible.

However, Queensryche did “rock” a bit towards the end of the show when they unleashed such early ‘90s favorites as “Another Rainy Night,” “Jet City Woman” and “The Best I Can.” Now, that was a sweet “Suite."

But the good times were short-lived as fans attending the after-show meet-and-greet were instructed by beefy security guys to NOT shake hands with ANY Queensryche members — fist bumps ONLY — as the band feared contracting Swine Flu.

In short, a delightful evening was enjoyed by all!

-Christopher Long
(June 2009)

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