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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews


The Art of Live

Review by Josh Turner

The production is crisp. Their performance is spot on.

There is both good and bad in the song selection. They choose mostly lesser-known songs. This is great, because concerts should give their fans a new experience. A band should not merely rehash the same tired material repeatedly. While their radio singles are awesome, how many times can one hear "Jet City Women"? Likewise, the song selection is one of the weaker points of the album. These are not entirely their best songs. While a couple cuts are weak selections, most are enjoyable nonetheless. This probably says more about the greatness of the band than the shortcomings of the album.

All in all, this is a good attempt at a live album. It is fun to see them in concert. They are a recommended act. This album captures some of that essence. If you are a fan of Queensryche, it is essential to see them live.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2004 Year Book Volume 2 at

Track by Track Review
It carries a nice beat, but is not terribly inspirational. It goes on with the same mundane chant for much too long. The song is satisfactory, but there could have been a better choice for the start of this album. In some ways, this is nothing more than a warm-up and should have been left off the album. On this particular tour, they did some sets with Dream Theater. It would have been a better choice to move something else in this place and put one or two of those shared sets with Dream Theater onto this album. Since this is a Queensryche album, their choices are understandable. If you did not catch them on tour, the good news is that you can find two of these songs, "Comfortably Numb" and "Won't Get Fooled Again", on the corresponding DVD.
Sign of the Time
This is a nice ballad. Picture a sweaty steamy crowd holding their lighters overhead and singing along to the chorus. The drawback is that it comes too early in the album.
Here we arrive at a reasonably good song. Geoff Tate's unique voice and harmonies from the rest of the band work well here. This has the live feel without losing its precision. The short jam towards the end is the best part. This is classic Queensryche, and it is one of the better songs on the disc. It is here that the rock begins to get rolling.
Losing Myself
Like the track "Tribe", this is mostly filler. It is easy to lose yourself during this song. It lacks motivation. The band is obviously preoccupied with getting to the next song.
Desert Dance
The song starts with a tambourine and then builds with their patented double-guitar sound. The vocals are off kilter in a few spots, but the instrumentals hit with complete accuracy. This is a great song. The crowd shares their approval at the end.
The Great Divide
his carries a good beat. It features Geoff's patented chant. Like the song Tribe, it might go on a little too long without introducing any new hooks. It does have a dreamy bridge section that offers variation, but probably puts those at the back of the lecture hall to sleep.
Rhythm of Hope
They bring out the acoustic guitar. It works very well with the synthesizers. There are many different effects going on at many different levels. This is a decent song.
My Global Mind
The acoustic guitar remains out in front. It borders on flamenco. This has a catchy beat. The band is starting to get into the groove of the concert. It is like a hot room. You crack open the windows and along comes a breeze. This spells relief. The band is finally relaxed, having fun, and performing good music. Like a class of ice-cold water, it brings refreshment to parched lips. This is one of the highlights of the album.
Roads to Madness
This is the last song that centers on the acoustic guitar. It is a simple and relaxed ballad. It is a timely interlude and executed with finesse. The bridge is stellar. The guitars are flawless throughout the piece.
Delia Brown
This is a song that radiates coolness. It is a quiet evening in a fancy hotel room. There is not much to do. There are also no pressing responsibilities. It is a good time to chill with a mixed drink on the balcony. The lights from the city below shine ever so brightly in the night. The song has panache.
Anybody Listening?
This is an oldie, but definitely a goody. They had to play at least one of their popular songs. This was a great choice and it is performed in an impeccable manner. It is obvious this track has been performed countless times. Aside from a few crackles here and there and the whistles from eager fans, this is faithful to their studio work.
Breaking the Silence
This is a number off their finest album, which is none other than Operation: Mindcrime. I am sure this opinion is shared by many fans. It is an interesting choice, because this song does not necessarily come to mind when you think of that album.
The Needle Lies
The song opens with a sound byte and ends with some menacing laughs. It is short, racy, and gets the crowd singing briefly. Overall, this is fun track with some great guitar riffing.
Best I Can
The band is really soaring on this one. Unfortunately, this is at the end of the album. It is too bad that they did not reach this energy and pace earlier. This is the peak of the album. They perform the song in an impressive manner. Everyone is in top-notch form. They put all they can muster into these final moments.
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