July 22, 2010
The Grove of Anaheim
In truth, the idea itself--Queensryche hosting a cabaret to perform their music to--was admirable, and seemed, in all ways, to merit a new look at Geoff Tate & co.'s songs. Featuring burlesque and go-go dancers, ballerinas, drag queens, jugglers and contortionists, the story line sets Tate as the protagonist, a man losing his mind, and a cast of characters that are either hallucinations or images from his memory. Songs from various albums in their catalog illustrated moved the story along, aided by Tate's monologues, that took the place of stage banter.
However, the hodgepodge of visuals, crammed onstage with the rest of Queensryche, seemed really awkward. Added to that was the fact that the linear progression of the story and its visual interpretations were pretty sophomoric and literal. For example, the monologue introducing "Jet City Woman" had Tate talking about traveling the world looking for something--or someone. For "Another Rainy Night," five scantily clad dancers pranced around stage using glittery umbrellas as props. In the drum solo "Tribe," a man in an overdone Native American costume that was like a throwback to the 1930's--feathers and facepaint--danced around stage.
The good part is that the band was tight. Tate's voice soared and never faltered, hitting every high note to perfection. He also played the saxophone a lot! The problem was with the show's cabaret aspect. Last night, at the Grove, the jugglers and contortionists weren't bad ass enough or cool enough, the girls weren't wild enough or sexy enough (I've seen better costumes at Burning Man), and the band wasn't...metal enough. I kept looking for the element of danger and edginess throughout the show, and there was none. It was all glossed over with glitz, which may have been what Queensryche wanted.
During one of Tate's monologues, he said, "I can't take it any more...I expected something more." So did we, Geoff. So did we.
Personal Bias: I've haven't been a Queensryche fan since 1990.
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The Crowd: Mostly 40something diehards, which would make sense because the tickets were pretty expensive--$45, $65 and $80.
Overheard in the Crowd:
"Well, it's either this or the state fair circuit."
"This is the weirdest calamity I've ever seen."
Random Notebook Dump: During one of his spiels, Tate said, "Who here is from Anaheim?" No one in the crowd replied, and he continued, "No one? I don't blame you, I wouldn't want to live here either!" What a hater!
Hit the Black
I am I
Art of Life
Jet City Woman
Lady Wore Black
Road To Madness
Til There Was You
Right Side of My Mind