just saw queensryche with mike tonight...great show! this was my 4th time seeing them within 13 years, and the 2nd time getting to see them play 'Mindcrime' in its entirety. The first time was in 1991 (10th grade)...second in 1995....third in 1998. All of those times, the members of the band were head-crushing size, as I was faaaaarrrr awaayyyy from the stage in these big arenas. This time, I was only but 10 feet away from them. Very surreal. When they opened up with 'The Whisper' off Rage for Order, and Geoff Tate stepped out in his red & black outfit, looking debonair and creepy as usual, I was speechless.....like I said before, they're like old friends up close and personal, playing the soundtrack to much of my life. And they sounded incredible, even better than I thought they would. I do miss Chris DeGarmo though...he also had quite the stage presence; the new guitar guy seemed out of place, but his playing was adequate.
The first set was made up of the following songs, in something close to this order, from what I can remember: The Whisper, Empire, Another Rainy Night, Open, Take Hold of the Flame, Jet City Woman, When the Rain Comes, Last Time in Paris, The Lady Wore Black, and Silent Lucidity. (no songs from Promised Land, unfortunately...)
The second set, of course, was the good ol' Operation Mindcrime show, with some added twists and theatrics...live actors and more video footage, and an extra "Mary-suicide" scene which filled a gap in the original story and was quite chilling to watch. After seeing this show in a huge arena setting, it was a little strange seeing it played on a small stage that close, but it brought back lots of memories and was still as powerful as ever. I found it amusing to watch the crowd, which was full of hard-core fans, bouncing and singing along to the songs and going absolutely bug-nuts. It's not really a 'sing-along-with-Mitch' kind of record! It's extremely dark and scary! More of a 'thinking' album that looks at the underbelly of society and exposes the darkness of a bizarre crime story, and shakes you up to think 'something's going on, what should we do about it?' Oh well, I guess when you're drunk enough everything's a party. :)
While part of me felt like I was enjoying a nostalgia trip back to high school, which would afterwards be left behind in order for me to come back to being almost-30, another larger part of me continues to carry the torch of my love for this band into my present and future. Viva la Ryche, and good night folks. Tomorrow is another work day.