Queensryche -- San Francisco, CA -- February 10th, 2005
TOUR: Queensryche / “One Foot In Hell”
VENUE: The Warfield—San Francisco, CA
DATE: Thursday, February 10th, 2005
ATTENDED W/: Bouville, Lokia
GEAR WORN: Megadeth Peace Sells Shirt; System Has Filed Hoodie
MERCH PURCHASED: None
MOSHING REPORT: None
EDDIES AWARDED: 8.25
REVIEWED: February 13th, 2005
My bass teacher, Glenn, introduced me to the music of Queensryche several months ago through a borrowed copy of Operation Mindcrime. Before returning it, I purchased the re-mastered edition and two others, Empire and Greatest Hits. Overlooking Queensryche’s original political target, Ronaldo Maximus (Ronald Reagan, God rest his soul), the album spoke to me in 2004 as it did to others in the late 1980’s although for different reasons. When Queensryche announced their next tour would deliver a fully staged production of Operation Mindcrime, I was fucking stoked. Bouville and I even considered flying to Seattle for the tour premiere last October. A staged Mindcrime production is to a Queensryche fan as is a return to the Long Beach Arena for a World Slavery show to a Maiden fan.
Before I begin, I’m going to whore for the Queensryche fan club. For $20, you get the normal goodies in the mail. In my case, Queensryche’s package arrived just days after I signed up. Most excellent! You get immediate online access to a very friendly fan forum and can apply for post-show meet & greets. I tried for San Francisco and won two passes. Sweet! When I thought I would need an extra pass, the fan club graciously supplied another. Schwing! I applied for the after show party in Los Angeles (the final show of the tour) and won again. OUT-FUCKING-STANDING! How cool are the Queensryche people? When I picked up the passes in San Francisco before the show, someone placed only two passes in our envelope by mistake. A very nice lady took all of five minutes to fix it. If you’re a Queensryche fan, spend the $20. You won’t be sorry. Tell them we sent you. That’s it for the whoring.
Bouville and I left the South Bay for San Francisco around 3:30 because Iota from the Queensryche board PM’ed me about a pre-show get together at the 4th Street Bar & Grill at the Marriot Hotel just down the street from the Warfield. On the way, I pulled off an extremely dirty trick on Bouville. I told him that I had some old pre-Leviathan Mastodon and was going to play it. He fucking liked it until James Hetfield began singing. The track in question was Sweet Amber from St. Anger.
Once in San Francisco, we parked at our regular Warfield garage and walked down Market Street past all the street merchants and chess hustlers to the Marriot. We never found the Queensryche folks, so I initiated an experiment: How much scotch can one Peruvian graduate student consume? Before we left for the show, Bouville casually finished off four while I polished off two pints of Bass. All bass players drink Bass, right?
After we fetched his tickets and my passes from will-call, Bouville’s main squeeze met us in line. Lokia is really cool and you will all enjoy meeting her. She can probably kick most of your asses in the pit, so watch out. When you’re about to lose consciousness, just remember she will be the pretty one smiling and standing over your broken body. Welcome aboard, Lokia!
Once inside the theater and two double scotches later, Bouville started with the “Blaze is the Messiah!”s. One person actually responded and it wasn’t me, I swear. Minutes later, he tested for the presence of Slayer fans with a few “Hail Satan!”s and a single “Satan has possessed my body!” He could not get a witness! The crowd was definitely on the mature side. For the first set, we were third off the rail almost center-stage but still had plenty of elbowroom. People were actually saying “Excuse me” as they moved about the pit. Our Dream Theater crowd last year was rambunctious in comparison.
Queensryche was twenty to thirty minutes late for their first set. The band sans Geoff Tate was clearly going through the motions. Rue, the opening opening support for Black Label Society in Hollywood last month, showed more life. Geoff Tate’s singing was fucking superb, although his winking and pointing reminded me of a hipster lounge singer. At the intermission and after the concert, I asked many Queensryche fans what they. Consistently, their answers were variations of “Geoff sounded ok but the rest of the band just looked bored.” Guitarist Dave Meniketti from Y&T made a special guest appearance during "Take Hold Of The Flame", and the band feigned an excited game face for their old friend.
Queensryche’s first set in San Francisco was as it has been for sometime:
Another Rainy Night (Without You).
Take Hold of the Flame
When the Rain Comes
Jet City Woman
Last Time In Paris
During the intermission, I met Chris Kontos, the former drummer for Machine Head. He saw my black notebook, and I explained about our site. He thought it was a cool idea and told me he had a ton of old set lists. On the subject of the first Queensryche set, Chris thought Geoff Tate was (paraphrased as he was talking to someone else after me) spot-on and that he hadn’t sounded this good in a while.
I was extremely disappointed in Queensryche. The first set just wasn’t very long; combined with Mindcrime, Queensryche was on stage as long as a normal headliner -- not what you expect from an “Evening with…”. More importantly, Queensryche didn’t put their heart into it and that’s unforgivable. If I had to rate them on their first set alone, Queensryche would get no more than 7.25 Eddies, one of the lowest scores in The Permanent Record.
But then there was Operation Mindcrime. You’ll notice I awarded Queensryche 8.5 Eddies up top for their San Francisco show. The implied Eddie for their second set is well over 9, and that’s almost all I’m going to say until I write up the final show on the tour in Los Angeles. Folks, if you haven’t seen this show, you need to fly to California this week. This tour’s production of Mindcrime is one we will talk about for years. I’ve used an adjective offline that I rarely use in describing a show: important. Don’t fuck around; see Queensryche this tour or you’ll be sorry.
Unfortunately, time escaped us and I was unable to participate in the meet and greet after the show. For better or worse, the luxury of Los Angeles afforded me one missed opportunity in San Francisco. When I initially received the passes, I saw the list; only 25 passes were issued. Karma probably got even with me for something I did. At least, I have another pass for my black book.
Lest I forget, Queensryche announced before the show that they would be supporting Judas Priest this year. I stopped at the office, posted the news here, and shot off a note to Blabbermouth who published our story by the time I got home.
Jaco died for our sins so that modern bass players could be free to play more and be heard.