Queensryche At Jillian's

By Eddy Metal

October 16 brought the Eighties and early Nineties big-time rockers Queensryche to Jillian's. I had high hopes for this show, but the evening ended up being a bit of a disappointment.

I was wrong and I admit it. Being a Queensryche fan, I was stoked at the thought of finally seeing them live. Upon their entrance I was thinking "Is there any original members left other than the singer Geoff Tate," because they all looked so different. No more puffy curly hair? Whoa.

I was relieved to learn all the original members were there except one vital person: Chris Degarmo, whose crystal clear-clean guitar work and songwriting made Queensryche what it is. Replacement guitarist Mike Stone was there to fill his shoes, or at least try to,

The first fifty minutes was all-new music that no-one was familiar with. Some of it sounded pretty cool, but to be honest, it wasn't very memorable. The crowd of four hundred people was starting to get restless. Finally, they played something people had heard: "The Lady Wore Black" from the Queen Of The Ryche EP. Personally, I would have chosen "Queen Of The Ryche," which is something with a bit more balls.

Then I got what I wanted to hear - at least some of it. From the band's best and my favorite release, Operation Mindcrime, came "Breaking The Silence," "I Don't Believe In Love," "Operation Mindcrime" and "The Needle Lies." Then they played "Walking In The Shadows" off of Rage For Order. They topped off the night with music from the Empire CD, their most successful and commercial album, including the ever-so-mellow radio hit "Silent Lucidity" (which I hate), "Jet City Woman" (a cool tune), "Empire" and the final song of the night, "Best I Can," also from Empire.

The band played pretty well through the whole set, but Chris Degarmo's absence was a bummer. The guitars seemed muddier and slightly less precise than Degarmo would have allowed, but the other long-time guitarist Michael Wilton kicks butt, too and took up the slack, so it was acceptable. Other than that, the band sounded good. Drummer Scott Rockenfield and bassist Eddie Jackson are the bomb(!) and, of course, Geoff Tates' vocals were impressive, as always. I thought he might be slacking a bit, as he is getting up there age-wise, but he was in good health and right on the money.

The mix inside Jillian's could have been better, though. It didn't seem that loud and at times, I was straining to hear vocals. That's not good. I think it's the echo off the concrete walls that Jillian's has that contributes to the poor sound there. Some soundproofing would help a lot.

Still, thanks to Jillian's and everyone who came out to support these guys. They are a really dedicated band and deserve much praise.

Queensryche fans may want to purchase the new CD Tribe, or perhaps pick up a copy of the Operation Mindcrime Live DVD, it's great.

My thanks to 100.5 the Fox and Jillian's for putting on this type of show. Queensryche is a band I thought the Fox would never be interested in.