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What The Ryche Is Going On In Queensryche Land?

I flipped a coin when it came to commenting on this recent bit of news and it landed on the “OK dude toss your views into the mix” side so here we go.  Over the last few weeks I have been reading a number of different posts about the band Queensryche and what was transpiring in their camp.  One website reported in that in April the bands singer Geoff Tate assaulted two of the members of the band prior to taking the stage in Brazil when he was informed that he was being “dismissed” but since I was not there to witness the exchange, I can only imagine what led to the statement or its real deal outcome.  No one ever publicly came out and said that this was happening after all, unless I missed a post on Bravewords somewhere along the line.  Moving on, there was also a back and forth with Tate during the Queensryche set at the recent Rocklahoma event.  As the main spokesman during a show, Tate is tasked with periodically trying to stir some response from the crowd but he was not appear to get much love back from them.  So what does he do?

Well, he tells the audience that “They Suck” or “You Guys Suck” in more clear terms and while everyone was up in arms with this statement since it was captured for all eternity on YouTube, he was very clearly being sarcastic. Come on, we see shows all the time and that is what you tease an audience with when they don’t give you anything back. It’s the whole “do you hear me?”, “hey is this microphone on? Do you hear me!!!!!” kind of thing. I am hard pressed to think that after three decades that anyone in Queensryche think that their audience sucks. This next bit of news sort of surprised me and in some sense it did not. Geoff is touring as a solo artist doing some acoustic tunes that feature Queensryche numbers, solo material and tunes that he likes as a musician. I missed the show that came through NYC based on bad timing but friends went and said it was a good time. Queensryche, who are now signed to Roadrunner Records, only recently had completed their 30th Anniversary Tour and one side of my friends loved it, while the other side said it was less than exemplary. I would have given you my own thoughts on it but I was on vacation and not even in the city when they played. Sorry about that. Even the Metal Media needs a day or two off. The surprises continued when the rest of the members of Queensryche announced that they would be touring and recording with Crimson Glory’s new singer Todd LaTorre. I do have a few thoughts on this since they said the band would be playing the first five albums level of QR tunes and doing some new originals. I admit that the name doesn’t “catch me” right away but there is a saying that goes “what’s in a name” so I will leave that alone for now.

Todd joined Crimson Glory I guess a little over a year ago now and was the perfect replacement for the now deceased Midnight. He can hit all of those stratospheric notes that the former singer hit so it would be really interesting to hear him doing some Queensryche numbers as well. The guys are calling this side project “Rising West” and I will admit to some curiosity about seeing it in action since like some other fans I have found myself being a little left for want with recent Ryche sets. I admit that this is my own fault for wanting so much of the old, old stuff though because that material still floors me to this very day. Back to the point, let’s not be alarmed here. The bands publicist Jeff Albright sent out a statement to that proper industry resource Billboard Magazine and said that all was fine in the bands camp. Geoff is working on his solo material and the rest of the guys just need to keep busy and who can blame them for that. Perhaps some time away from Queensryche as a band is what everyone needs anyway. It let’s them come back fresh and armed with some hopefully killer stuff.

I am appending these thoughts because when I learned that LaTorre had uploaded a sample of him doing some Queensryche classics onto his YouTube page I knew that I had to share it with you readers without a doubt. I was already a fan of what he brought to the table with the Crimson Glory material but just wait until you hear him do this stuff. It brings you back. One has to only hope that this all gets recorded and released to the fans as we deserve to own historic moments like this. Maybe this will even reach NYC.

Now back to our regularly scheduled blogging after a word from our sponsor……..

Official Website: http://www.queensryche.com

“Mindcrime At The Moore” (Blu-ray) by Queensryche

Artist: Queensryche
Title: “Mindcrime At The Moore” (Blu-ray)
Label: Eagle Vision
Release Date: 10/18/2011
Genre: Progressive Metal
Rating: 4.5/5

Queensryche’s “Mindcrime At The Moore” was originally released by Rhino Entertainment back in 2007 and this film captured for all time the stunning presentation of their “Operation: Mindcrime” saga which had been toured for in 2006. I was fortunate enough to catch that concert when it came to NYC and believe me it was one for the record books. The Blu-ray edition of this film is something that all of the bands fans will enjoy as it brings this incredible show to a bigger and brighter life. My views on the release remain the same, so with minor edits to reflect the higher definition version I am re-presenting them for your perusal below.

“When Queensryche chose to follow their masterpiece “Operation: Mindcrime” with a sequel, the aspect of this was the source of much debate between their long time fans and the Hard Rock/Metal community as a whole. The album while good suffered comparisons to the original which was never its intent but was to be expected even though this piece was set 20 years into the future lives of the characters we met on the original. Not long after its release the band went on tour and presented both albums from beginning to end in two incredible acts, and as you might have expected these shows were nothing short of blockbusters. It was the kind of concert that after you saw it you would muse to yourself about how excellent it would be on DVD. Fortunately for us the guys in Queensryche had the very same thoughts on their mind when they were doing this tour and as result we get the explosive DVD “Mindcrime At The Moore”. The film presents the entire concert as it was delivered on the stage and it was so massive an undertaking that each “Mindcrime” gets its own DVD. Many of you already own the first DVD that Queensryche delivered for the original “Mindcrime” tour, but outside of a couple of dramatic poses and one guest appearance on it was strictly a concert film.
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Queensryche “Cabaret” @ Nokia Theatre Times Square (8/20/2010)

Logo - Queensryche

Artist: Queensryche
Venue: Nokia Theatre Times Square (New York, NY)
Opener: n/a
Date: 8/20/2010
Label: Rhino Entertainment

Wow, so where do I even begin with this one. I guess I will just have to begin at the beginning and hope that all of you can make a decent mental picture from the words that I am about to deliver because this managed to even throw my very open musical mind for a loop. I’ve enjoyed the band Queensryche since I first caught them as an opener for KISS’ “Animalize” tour back in 1984 and while it took me until the bands return with Iron Maiden for their “Powerslave” run I have stood by them with album after album even though at times they have left me scratching my head with the output. That brings us to 2010 and the show I am reporting on. It’s pretty safe to say that the last thing people associate with the band Queensryche is the seductive art of burlesque but despite that viewpoint, here we were at the Queensryche Cabaret concert. It was a show that had posters that broadcast its being an “Adults Only” gig that would feature Go-Go and Burlesque dancers, aerialists, contortionists, professional ballet dancers and drag queens. Yes, you did read that last one correct and I did not make a typo. Clearly we were in for something different but still something that I hoped would be entertaining. The show begins with Geoff Tate reflecting on a couch that looked like lips and during this he is flanked by a Go-Go dancer and a Drag Queen and from here he seems to be setting up the tale that will unfold over the course of the night.
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PiercingMetal Spotlights: Queensryche

My interest in Queensryche goes a pretty long way back and I can say to the readers that the first time I ever caught them in concert was when they were opening up for KISS on the bands “Animalize” tour. They were supporting their soon to be released masterpiece “Warning” and believe it or not, I couldn’t have cared less that night. This was based on the KISS mania setting in and my not being open to this obviously rising star in the Metal world. I was not alone in this view and that was just how a KISS show worked. You often were bored at any opening band while you waited for the Kings Of The Nighttime World to come out and dominate the stage. Moving ahead a couple of years in time, the chance to see Queensryche again happened when Iron Maiden was on their legendary “Powerslave” tour and for me this was a match made in heaven. I say it like this because the band was winning me over note after note and had the many thousands of fans in Radio City Music Hall pushing their fists into the air as singer Geoff Tate told us to “Take Hold Of The Flame” with a soaring and commanding register. I’ve been a fan ever since that time and have followed them as a band in both my personal life and as that of a music journalist. They pushed the envelope a number of times in their releases and we have reviewed many of their recordings and video films on the site as well as supported their touring efforts. To see any contest that features Queensryche just click their logo below to launch the query that will present all that is resident on the PiercingMetal.com website.

Logo - Queensryche
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“Empire” 20th Anniversary Edition (remastered) by Queensryche

Artist: Queensryche
Title: “Empire” 20th Anniversary Edition (remastered)
Label: Capitol Records
Release Date: 9/14/2010
Genre: Hard Rock/Metal
Rating: 4.5/5

What a great year for important Metal anniversary releases. I mean let’s look at what’s come out so far. We had Judas Priest celebrating thirty years of “British Steel” a few months ago and now its time for Queensryche’s stunning “Empire” to get its due. Believe it or not my friends, the pivotal album in the bands career is now officially twenty years old. When the band issued remastered releases a couple of years ago we offered up some thoughts on this album and I am presenting them to you all again to refresh your memory (I’ve modified this text only slightly to be a little more current). After you catch up, we will examine this edition a little more. Please read on.

After extensive touring in support of “Operation: Mindcrime” the band was able to call more of the shots when it came to delivery of the next album. Geoff Tate was largely the creative force behind Operation: Mindcrime and now the task would fall to guitarist Chris DeGarmo who would have a writing credit in every song except for the title track. “Empire” would also be the bands biggest commercial success due to the fact that many tracks were considered “radio friendly” to what was on the airwaves at the time. The 1990 release would find an incredibly heavy rotation on the MTV network with their videos and the then strong rock radio empire as well. Songs like “Empire”, “Best I Can”, “Jet City Woman” and the crossover hit “Silent Lucidity” were staples and could be heard every day and more than once to boot. The latter track was often referred to as Queensryche does Pink Floyd, for it held such a strong common feel to the psychedelic Rock giants own “Comfortably Numb”. The band surely deserved the larger critical acclaim which would arrive seven years after their debut EP but the strong commercial angle of the recording would lose some of their heavier music fans. In the end there were more who would stick with the band as their audience itself was growing older and finding expanded musical interests themselves. Queensryche seemed to be a band that matured along with their audience and that is never a bad thing. The remasters of the Queensryche back catalog are impressive not only in sound but in the inclusions they offer. Expanded artwork and liner notes are par for the course in this release as with the others as well as unheard or rare tracks. This album features an amazing cover of Simon and Garfunkel’s “Scarborough Fair” as well as a track only heard in a movie before (“Last Time In Paris”). Okay so “Scarborough Fair” is not a track actually penned by the Folk Rock duo, but one cannot argue how they are probably the ones that made it most popular. With “Empire” it was safe to say that this would be the album for you if you had moved on from the blistering displays of Metal and wanted a little more Progressive nature added to your musical diet. Lyrically it has some bright spots and while one or two moments are uninspired, there is some great stuff on the album. Favorites besides the tracks referenced above would be “Anybody Listening?” which sounds like it was something that should have been on “Operation: Mindcrime” but for some reason was left off. “Empire” is in a lot of ways the first album that people learned about Queensryche on, and that is another reason it is such a hallowed piece of music.
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