Queensryche in Phoenix w/Photos

By CrpnDeth, Staff Photographer/Writer
Monday, October 9, 2006 @ 7:39 PM

The Complete Mindcrime Story a

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At last – the night that Queensryche fans in Arizona have been waiting for – Operation Mindcrime I & II in their entirety! The Dodge theater was buzzing before the show began. Eager Queensryche fans preparing for what proved to be an awesome show.

At 8:00 pm, the house lights went out and the crowd goes wild. The animated video of the nurse from Mindcrime I walking down the hall begins. The ENTIRE crowd mimics all the lines word for word…. “sweet dreams, you bastard”! The band appears and launches into the all familiar drum cadence of Anarchy X and again, the crowd goes crazy!

Finally Geoff Tate emerges atop the theatrical stage set carrying a sign reading “US Out of Iraq!” on one side and “War is Terrorism” on the other. If you didn’t already conclude, these albums are clearly political in nature dealing with real life news topics within the story. When Mindcrime I leaves off with Nikki incarcerated for a murder he does not remember committing, George W. Bush (the first) was in power. Eighteen years later when the band picks up with Mindcrime II coincidentally George W. Bush Jr. is at the reigns. Geoff picks up another sign that reads “Somebody Give Bush a Blowjob So We Can IMPEACH HIM!!”

The band continues telling part one of the story both musically and theatrically and did an amazing job of it. They sounded perfect and the vocals of Geoff Tate and Pamela Moore were dead on! There have been several reports in the past of Geoff Tate not being able to hit the higher notes he was once able to when he was younger, however, this night was to the contrary. His voice soared to those notes and sounded fantastic and was beautifully complimented by Pamela Moore. The crowd also lent a hand by singing every song as loudly as possible! Needless to say, they were excited to be a part of this performance.

The setlist for Mincrime I was I remember Now, Anarchy X, Revolution Calling, Operation Mindcrime, Speak, Spreading the Disease, The Mission, Suite Sister Mary, The Needle Lies, Electric Requiem, Breaking the Silence, I Don’t Believe in Love, Waiting for 22, My Empty Room, Eyes of a Stranger.

After the completion of Mindcrime I there was a short 20 minute intermission – which is great because truthfully, nobody wanted to leave the theater to use the restroom or get another beverage.

The setlist for Mindcrime II was Freiheit Ouvertüre, Convict, I’m American, One Foot in Hell, Hostage, The Hands, Speed of Light, Signs Say Go, Re-Arrange You, The Chase, A Murderer?, Circles, If I Could Change It All, An Intentional Confrontation, A Junkie’s Blues, Fear City Slide, All the Promises.

The Mindcrime story embodies love, sex, power, religion, death, greed, corruption, betrayal, religion, politics and insanity. Mindcrime II resumes the story of Nikki being released from prison. Unable to release his hatred for Dr. X , the man responsible for his plight, he seeks his revenge. The “ghost” of Mary is throughout this entire second set lending her vocals and playing heavily in the mind of Nikki who is conflicted about whether to seek revenge after so many years or to follow his conscience and seek salvation.

Vocalist Ronnie James Dio was the voice of Dr. X in Mindcrime II, but was unable to appear personally. His vocals were apparently pre-recorded and he appeared faintly in the background of the video playing on the screen above the stage. The crowd loved the Dio performance!

As the epic continues, Nikki does finally find Dr. X and although conflicted, does shoot and kill him. This action does not, however, bring him the peace of mind he was in search of. The ghost of Mary still haunts him and Nikki has thoughts of suicide. As he contemplates this act he picks up a gun, then a noose and finally settles on what actually got him to this place originally – heroin. He injects a lethal dose and dies and finally is reunited with the spirit of Mary on the other side. Finally together, they are able to continue their evolving love story.

Having the theatrics with the live musical performance really made the performance of both albums seem to fly by! It certainly did not seem like 3 hours worth of show. Mike Stone and Michael Wilton and their dual guitar harmonies sounded impeccable and the hard-hitting, animalistic playing of Scott Rockenfield and complimentary bass playing of Eddie Jackson rounded out the metal sounds of the night! The band did offer up an encore of Walk in the Shadows and Jet City Womanwhich were received with open arms by the Phoenix crowd.

Other Vocals:

  • Sister Mary – Pamela Moore
  • Dr. X – Ronnie James Dio
  • I have tried to do some research and obtain the names of the actors in this performance but I have not been able to come up with any. I think it would be nice to applaud these folks for a fabulous performance rather than keep them unnamed.

    Finally, I have one last thing to comment on this show and it is not regarding anything on stage as it pertains to the crowd. While most of the Phoenix crowd was ecstatic to be there to witness this excellent performance by Queensryche, there seemed to be a couple that were not. There was a man behind me about 2 or 3 rows that heckled the band the entire show and grew more and more loud and irate as the night continued. I have no idea what his problem was because he kept shouting even as the band was gone, the house lights were up and he was leaving the venue. My main question to this jackass would be why would you spend your money to go see a show if you didn’t like the band? The only thing you did was ruin the show for those around you. Next time, do us a favor – save your money and stay your ass at home!

    To Queensryche and Cast - Excellent job! Thank you for a great performance and I can’t wait to see the screenplay (which I understand is completely written now!?) To anyone who has yet to see this show – Signs Say Go!

    All Photos (c) 2006 Lauri Svendsen
    Click on any image to enlarge

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