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Metal/Prog Metal Concert Reviews

Queensr├┐che

Live in Hoffman Estates, IL, September, 2007

Review by Greg Olma

Queensryche stepped out of the studio to be special guest on the second leg of the Heaven and Hell North American Tour. Being in the studio must have given them the itch to go out and play live in front of an audience because the original boys from Seattle looked and sounded great. The set may have been short but they still made the most of it. They opened with “The Whisper” from their totally under-rated Rage For Order LP. Even though they have used this song as an opener for a while, it hasn’t lost any of its ability to get the crowd going. Next up, we got “Damaged” which is one of the better tracks on Promised Land. The heaviness of the tune fit the show perfectly since the crowd was looking for the more metal side of the band. Not to disappoint the fans, the band went back to 1988 and delivered a perfect version of “Speak.” I don’t think Queensryche will ever be able to play a show without including any material from the prog metal masterpiece Operation Mindcrime. “I’m American” was given an airing next. The first hit single “Jet City Woman” got the one of the bigger applauses of the night. While I was watching the show, I noticed how tight the band was playing, not that they are ever sloppy, but they had that extra spark and you can tell that the Queensryche machine was firing on all cylinders.

More Operation Mindcrime was brought up next in the form of “The Needle Lies” which is one of those tracks that begs to be played live. Not letting up one bit, the band then launched into “Empire.” Those two songs back to back are quite the powerhouse one-two punch. I had read that the band was going to release a covers record so they decided to play “Welcome To The Machine” (Pink Floyd natch) complete with Geoff Tate on the saxophone. The cut was reworked and “Queesryche-ized” which is good because a faithful rendition would have been cover band territory and Queensryche is no cover band. The show ended with “Eyes Of A Stranger” which was the perfect way to close their brief metallic set. If you are going to one of the Heaven and Hell shows, do yourself a favor and get there early enough to catch Queensryche. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

     
This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2007 Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.
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