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The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world Queensryche-San-Francisco-2-Oct-2011

Regency Ballroom, San Francisco, California
October 2, 2011


By Robert Kitay



I’ve been a Queensryche fan from the very beginning and have seen Queensryche concerts in just about every format from an opening band to a festival headliner. Quite honestly, I think I’m going to remove them from my “must see every time they come around” list and put them on my “see them every once in a while if it’s convenient” list after seeing this show.


On the positive, Geoff Tate’s voice sounds great, as good as ever really. He looks healthy and moved around the stage making dramatic faces (eyes bugging out at times). I’m still getting used to the bald head and goatee look, but it does look very rock and roll. The rest of the band also appeared healthy and played well, but they stayed in the background for the most part other than stepping forward for guitar solos.


The staging was also impressive with screens on both sides of the stage showing videos rather than close ups of the band.


Unfortunately there was quite a bit I didn’t like about the show. First was the setlist. This was their 30th Anniversary tour and they played songs off all their releases. Unfortunately this meant that they played a lot of songs off their later, weaker albums. In fact, if you look at the setlist, there were very few hits played and of the more obscure songs, they didn’t play the ones I would have preferred. Further, it seems like during some of the songs they sleepwalked through and they felt rather uninspired. One example of this is “The Lady Wore Black.” Can’t quite put my finger on it, but it just didn’t sound strong or powerful to my ears.


Probably my favorite song of the night was “Around the World” which felt strong and sincere, but that was more the exception rather than the rule. And then there was the shortening of the setlist, “Empire” and “Eyes of a Stranger” were printed on the setlist and have been played on this tour, but were not played at this show.


The sound was also a bit muddy, which was probably due to the venue and not the band as I’ve noticed this problem at the Regency Ballroom before, but it certainly didn’t add to my enjoyment of the concert. It also made listening to Geoff’s talking between songs difficult. I think that Geoff made an effort to tell some jokes that got no response from the crowd. Was it because he was hard to understand or was it because the jokes fell flat? I’m not sure, but Geoff certainly noticed. At one point he said that the people on the right seems to know all the words so they must be the intellectual side and the other side must be the spaced out stoners. Um, yeah…if you say so Geoff. One nice thing was that he said they visited Bryan Stow, the San Francisco Giants fan who was beaten up and almost killed while attending a Dodgers game in Los Angeles. Apparently Bryan Stow is a Queensryche fan and he dedicated “Jet City Woman” to him.


Overall, it wasn’t a bad evening, but in my opinion not worth price paid for the concert ticket. The setlist was as follows:


Getting Started
I Don’t Believe in Love
Hit the Black
I’m American
My Empty Room
A Dead Man’s Words
At 30,000 Ft
Desert Dance
Real World
NM 156
Screaming in Digital
The Lady Wore Black
Walk in the Shadows
The Right Side of My Mind
Around the World
Silent Lucidity
Take Hold of the Flame


Jet City Woman