I was surprised to hear Queensryche decided to make a sequel to their 1988 concept album OPERATION: MINDCRIME. The first one was so good how could OPERATION: MINDCRIME II ever hold up? It turned out to be a pretty good record. My surprise turned into shock when they decided to tour and do the complete Mindcrime works. I was left with one thought how could they bring the story to life with out losing it's power? Their second stop in the last two months would tell us at The House of Blues in Las Vegas.
The show's tone was set by new guitarist Mike Stone. Stone powered Queensryche on "I REMEMBER NOW" and "ANARCHY-X'. By "REVOLUTION CALLING" singer Geoff Tate was interacting well with both the actors and the audience. "OPERATION: MINDCRIME" just made this whole extravaganza even better.
Vocalist Pamela Moore added her talents to "SPREADING THE DISEASE". Pamela and Geoff really played with you emotions during the beautiful "SUITE SISTER MARY". Queensryche kept up the intensity throughout their set. Tate gave a tremendous performance all set and added another highlight with "I DON'T BELIEVE IN LOVE". The band thundered on with their flawless musicianship and finished up the set with "EYES ON A STRANGER" and our hero Nikki aka Tate being lead away in a straight jacket.
We couldn't wait for the MINDCRIME II act to start. "FREIHEIT OVERTURE" got the show back on it's red hot pace. "By I'M AN AMERICAN" Tate was freed from his straight jacket. "ONE FOOT IN HELL" was much better live then on the CD. "THE HANDS" was an instant classic with the duel lead runs of Wilton and Stone. "SPEED OF LIGHT" lead the way for "SIGN SAYS GO" and "RE-ARRANGE YOU" to make you think about what's happing on stage and in the world today. By the time Nikki kills the hostage and laments "IF I COULD CHANGE IT ALL". You forget that you're at a concert and not a play.
"A JUNKIE'S BLUES" is a gripping song about the downward spiral of most junkie's. "FEAR CITY SLIDE" keeps us in the back alley of Nikki's life. Moore returns to help the band on the set closer "ALL THE PROMISES". This spellbinding concert must be released on CD and DVD as soon as possible.
After this emotional rollercoaster Queensryche returned for encores. The guys launched into "EMPIRE" as the crowd went wild. They finished up with the fans singing along to all the words of "JET CITY WOMAN". This was the best concept concert that I have seen since Styx played their KILROY WAS HERE tour over two decades ago. if you'd like to see photos go to www.jazzinternet.com/boulderblues
the caughtlive too page.