Friday, March 14, 2014

Queensrÿche (Tateryche) / Hurricane @ The State Theater 3/13/2014

I went to see Queensrÿche /Tateryche for the Operation Mindcrime 25th Anniversary Tour  last night ($36) with Hurricane opening at the State Theater (VA). I met up with Ariel y su mujer, James, Dwayne, Tom, and Brian. Now I was def on the fence about this for a while, due to price and the whole Geoff Tate/ Queensryche  drama in the recent past. Geoff reportedly being the most bitchy of drama queens-allegedly pulling a knife on bandmates,  throwing cell phones of fans, complaining about fans, releasing a shitty album (or few), publicity stunts about bad album, questionable vocal range, the 2 Queensrÿches, vague advertizements about which version of Queensrÿche was playing where, vest controversies, and I'm sure there are more- had me expecting a shit show. So basically I was very skeptical and  borderline hating.

The turnout was a bit lower than I was expecting- there were about 200 people there. I def could have got up to the rail if I really wanted to. I was really close for Hurricane and still within like 10-15 ft for Tateryche. The Theater has a lot of seated areas, and those were pretty full, but the floor was not that full at all. The State Theater was accepting only cash at the bars, for some reason- and the ATM was down at the beginning of the night for some reason.  There were a few Queensryche shirts, and maybe their latest CD. I heard there was a Hurricane shirt, but I didn't see them at the merch table.

Hurricane (Robert Sarzo- Guitar, Tony Cavazo - Bass, Mike Hansen- Drums, Andrew Freeman- vox) came on to mild applause. I last saw Andrew Freeman sing for Lynch Mob in 2005 at Jaxx (Pat Travers headlined), and he was kind of spotty then, he was more Linkin Park than Hard Rockin' rockstar. But this performance was pretty spot on- Kelly Hansen who? Robert Sarzo (brother of Rudy of Quiet Riot and more fame) reminded me a lot of Mick Mars (with more colour and more energetic!) in his garb, mannerisms, and guitar playing. Tony Cavazo (brother of Carlos, ALSO of Quiet Riot fame) was pretty solid too. There was a binder on the stage that Mr. Freeman flipped after every song- it LOOKED like there were lyrics on those pages, but he didn't seem to be looking down at them, so I'm not sure what purpose that served.  Regardless, Hurricane sounded pretty tight, albeit all their songs were a bit less energetic than other hair bands of that era- not that they weren't good, they just weren't GREAT.  They could have played another original instead of their Alice Cooper cover (which sounded very close to the Kelly Hansen sung one actually), IMO.  Other than that, Robert's guitar playing and Mr. Freeman's very rockin' performance really impressed me. I cannot stress enough that I thought Mr. Freeman was going to be flaky.

There was a little wait, and I noticed that the first few rows near the stage filled up, but I still got pretty close. Then the lights went down and then over the PA... I remembered ....Tateryche came on around 9:30! I immediately noticed that Robert was back and Rudy was with him! Then Kelly Gray (guitar) looked like the 4th member of ZZ Top and Simon Wright (drums- remember him from AC/DC and Dio?) was manning the skins, and Randy Gane (Keyboards) was hidden in the shaaaaadooowwwss (hide with me).  "Anarchy-X" was building up to the star of the night- Geoff Tate- taking the stage.  And the energy of band and the crowd really fed into his almost diva- like entrance. And I was eating it up!

Vestryche- Tate initially was in a leather jacket, sunglasses, wallet chain, jeans, some sort of leather shoes, skull and crossbones belt buckle, and shiny bald head. He eventually took off the sunglasses and jacket to reveal no shirt- just a vest, concealing a slight gut and some guyliner. He did not have the dress slacks and shoes that I so vividly recall when they opened for Judas Priest (also in 2005 I think).  He also changed his vest later on at this show (paling to Rob Halford's constant costume changes), which I thought was a little silly.  Regardless of the outfit, Tate looked and acted the part. And he sang very well, which was the most important.

So the only real complaint I have is that after "Speak," there was a short drum solo. I don't know if Geoff needed a break, like one friend mentioned, but looking at the setlist right now, every 4 songs there would be a break (instrumental or encore break)... coincidence? I think not- but I would have preferred a bass solo instead.  Regardless, not a bad break up if he needs it (no problem with taking a break). There were some high notes that Geoff simply couldn't hit, but for the most part he tried. For "I Don't Believe in Love," Tate spread his arms out, beckoning, and the crowd basically sang the refrain- which I don't think anyone minded.  Much better than his lackadasical performance at M3 (tho it sounded good then), def more intense and more effort. There was only one part where I noticed what looked like disdain on his face- near the beginning he was trying to get the crowd to yell loud- but I guess they weren't loud enough for him!  Band-wise, they were very tight and only a few notes sounded off, sloppy, or muffled (tho I was very close... too close?). I will have to look if anyone has any better footage, but  Geoff had this spin move that was kind of silly as well.

Sass Jordan sang the part of Mary- I don't know who she is but the writeup says she has sold a ton of albums O_O;  She sang decently well and seemed excited to be on stage too.  Hell, everyone (well I couldn't really see the keyboardist) seemed pretty happy on stage.  I couldn't believe the performance Tate and co put on- I think the ticket was well worth it, I hate to say. Whatever Tate allegedly did as a person and with all this band drama is one thing. But if you judge him by his performance, he's totally worth seeing and is not fooling around with a set like this- All of Mindcrime and some of Empire. I would have liked to hear "Walk in the Shadows" or some older stuff (but that's what the Other Queensryche is for?), but this set was amazing.

As great as the Mindcrime songs sounded, the Empire material sounded about 1.5x better- I was astounded. I don't understand what it was, but the encore had maybe even more energy around it and I think people were singing along even more!

Overall, my Hateryche was turned into Loveryche. Say what you will about the man, but Tate pulled out a complete win this night. If you like Queensryche, GO see this tour. Now I would be cautious after this tour, depends on what material he wants to do next time..

Next Show: Destruction, Krisiun, Widow at Empire

Queensrÿche  I
Queensrÿche w/ Dragon Ball Z
Queensrÿche- Sass Jordan and Geoff 
Queensrÿche random shots
Queensrÿche rocking out
Queensrÿche- Empire ending


Hurricane (8:27- 8:57)
  • Hurricane
  • Take What You Want
  • Insane
  • I'm Eighteen (Alice Cooper Cover)
  • ?
  • Over the Edge
  • I'm on to you

Queensryche (9:26- 11)
  • I Remember Now (Queensrÿche cover)
  • Anarchy-X (Queensrÿche cover)
  • Revolution Calling (Queensrÿche cover)
  • Operation: Mindcrime (Queensrÿche cover)
  • Speak (Queensrÿche cover)
  • Drum Solo
  • Spreading the Disease (Queensrÿche cover)
  • The Mission (Queensrÿche cover)
  • Suite Sister Mary (Queensrÿche cover)
  • The Needle Lies (Queensrÿche cover)
  • Electric Requiem (Queensrÿche cover)
  • Breaking the Silence (Queensrÿche cover)
  • I Don't Believe in Love (Queensrÿche cover)
  • Waiting for 22 (Queensrÿche cover)
  • My Empty Room (Queensrÿche cover)
  • Eyes of a Stranger (Queensrÿche cover)

  • Silent Lucidity (Queensrÿche cover)
  • Best I Can (Queensrÿche cover)
  • Jet City Woman (Queensrÿche cover)
  • Empire (Queensrÿche cover)