Written by Eddie Ferranti
Feb 15, 2008 at 08:00 PM
ImageA longtime Houston favorite, Queensryche, rolled into town recently, billing the stop as a must see event for long time fans. Overall, I was not disappointed.

They played the Warehouse Live venue which is one of my favorites in town. Always providing upper echelon lighting, which was even better this evening because the band brought along a lot of their own. It was lucky for the venue this night that the fire marshalls decided to stay away though! A virtual flesh farm of mostly black t-shirted males were elbow to elbow from front to thee rear of the place. No way heavy beer drinking was being done! You could not get one to your lips even if you were lucky enough to get to the bar in the first place. But don’t get me wrong-this evening belonged to the fans of a band that I cannot believe started back in 1981!

Of course, it was not all the original members and even the mainstays, ala Geoff Tate especially, are not in their prime by any means. From the time the tarps were removed revealing one bad ass drum kit including a variety of shiny chains, the excitement was fever pitch. The show went on LOUD and proud! As I mentioned, Mr.Geoff has 25 years or so under his belt, so the vocals were a bit lacking. But the guitar power of Michael Wilton and Mike Stone more than took up the slack. Tight and very nice timing prevailed through out the set. Eddie Jackson provided able bodied bass back-up. Not to be left out, Scott Rockenfield was a monster on the skins as well. I don’t know if momentum is a good word, but the group seemed to gather it as the night went on.

They charged thru tunes “Burning Man”, “NM 156”, “Screaming in Digital” and from the latest cover CD “Welcome to the Machine”! Other gems that hit home were “Bridge”, “Gonna Get Close to You” and the always badass “Jet City Woman”/”Eyes of a Stranger”……….Not to nitpick, but I guess due to Geoff’s sickness this evening or just lack of pipes as previously mentioned, they did not do “Silent Lucidity” among others. This song WAS Queensryche to this reviewer. Oh well. I have to give nothing but respect to a band that can have their start in 1981 and STILL pack the freakin’ house in 2008! Come on folks-name bands who will have this kind of following from today’s lame music scene 25 years down the road. Can you name 2?! I didn’t think so…

As for the opener, Don Dokken was just along for the ride. Coming out playing an acoustic set was weird at best.

Dude looks road weary for sure. Hearing “Into the Fire”, “Just Got Lucky”, “Breaking the Chains” and “In My Dreams” was okay, but just did not have the bombast of the past. Kelly Keeling was an able twelve-string sidekick, but to say these 2 went thru the motions in a 35 minute “who cares?” set would be putting it mildly! Plus, Dokken was bitching at his guitar the whole time, too! What are roadies for, dude? Weak…