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Queensryche Live in Minneapolis

By Tokemaster General, Contributor
Monday, February 7, 2005 @ 12:05 AM

Queensryche Live at First Ave.

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Talk about the Indian Summer of discontent -- we had a lot of great bands working their first -- and a few, second -- album coming through town, but the cornerstone groups seemed to have taken the last half of the year off. Sure Vince was in town sober… great, except his concert ended at 10:30 and I showed up at 10:10. The Dokken tour was great, but that was the first half of the year. I'm used to at least a few shows a month and it's been pretty sedate lately, except for the incredible Joey Belladonna Experience last month -- see this guy if you can, one of the best three-pieces on tour. I think they would have played all night if they could; every song was great, along with a few Anthrax tunes thrown in for good measure.

So very little snow and no shows makes for a boring winter in Minnesota. Luckily, Queensryche decided to start their tour close by and we got the third date at the famous First Avenue venue, one of the all time great places to see any band. How can you go wrong when they serve 22 oz. "bomber" beers in glass bottles. First off, it was sold out, attesting to the fact that I keep saying about older groups just need a little promotion and people will show up. The opening act was Ashley Simpson, another incredible live performer, with that voice she's going to go far but unfortunately we were all there for the headliners. Settling in right off their last album they opened with, I think it's called "Open." This has been on KNAC, and no where else around here, but a great live song, Geoff Tate's voice was in perfect form and the rest of the band was top notch, the following first set included almost all of their songs and while there were some notable exceptions it didn't matter. They played some new stuff and everything in between, including just about every song from Empire and the one or two really good songs off the other albums, except for Operation: Mindcrime. It must have been at least an hour and a half before the band took an intermission (great idea, I wish more bands would do it). Next up was Operation: Mindcrime song-for-song with video and some hot women thrown in to complement the story. These guys ripped through every song, like they had a date with the Dahm Triplets earlier. This was a once in a lifetime event, one of the best concerts I've seen in a long time… Beware, you must pace yourself with the bombers… it must be a little over three hours, but these guys take the stage and it feels like ten minutes. I've never seen them before live but I won't miss them again...

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