Alpine Music Theater
July 11, 1997
Story by Tony BonyataLast Friday night Queensryche, a Seattle based band best described as progressive art-metal, proved that being talented musicians does not necessarily make a great band, or even a mediocre one for that matter.
Photo by Phil Bonyata
Flanked by a ridiculous looking huge, pink, veiny ear as a cheesy stage prop, which actually looked more like entrails than an auditory organ, the band opened with "The Voice Inside", a song from their latest studio album, Hear In The Now Frontier. They also performed "Cuckoo's Nest" and their latest single, "You", from that album, as well as songs from their previous five studio releases.
Far from looking like a typical heavy metal singer, lead vocalist, Geoff Tate actually more resembled a Beverly Hills accountant, with his black tailored suit, casually unbuttoned shirt and G.Q. haircut, as he primped and posed across the stage. While Tate's voice was dynamic in range, it lacked any true spark of uniqueness, and reminds us why we don't hear big-hair, baby-metal bands like Ratt, Poison and Cinderella anymore. ( Do you think a band like Motley Crue would still be in the spotlight if it weren't for drummer Tommy Lee's wife, Pamela Lee?)
Guitarists Michael Wilton and Chris DeGarmo admirably traded off guitar solos while the rhythm section of bassist Eddie Jackson and drummer Scott Rockenfield provided a rich backdrop of sound with dramatic tempo changes, but this was not enough, however, to offer any credibility to this tepid, pretty-boy musical genre.
Although their performance was uninspired and predictable, songs from their platinum selling album Empire, such as "Jet City Woman" and "Another Rainy Night" as well as numbers from, arguably their strongest album, Operation: Mindcrime, brought the small crowd of about 3,000 fans to their fist-pounding feet (the pavilion was not quite filled and there was only a couple of dozen people peppered throughout the lawn).
It seems that in this fast moving era of current rap-infected, alternative-festive, post-punk, grunge rock, it's hard for a band like Queensryche to fit in.
Thank goodness for these fast moving times.
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