Queensrÿche and Dream Theater @ Humphrey's

It has been awhile since Queensrÿche has toured and since their recent release “Tribe” included original guitarist Chris DeGarmo, I was even more excited about this show. I was also looking forward to Dream Theater because I always heard great things about them but for some reason I never seemed to find the time to investigate their music.

Dream Theater hit the stage with the force of thunder (that is saying a lot for playing at Humphrey’s)! They very quickly impressed me. Though the bass player was not turned up high enough in the mix, they sounded great… I guess it helped I was sitting in front of the drummer and guitarist. The drummer is a mad man! His drum set looked like it consisted of two entire sets someone melded into one… very impressive. I believe they beat Tool for length of songs! I was amazed on how they could even remember that many notes for even a single song let alone over an hours worth of them! My only issue was by the end of their set my brain was turning into gelatin… the constant barrage and speed of the notes flooding into it was more than I could take I guess.

One note about the stage setup… both drummers (especially Dream Theater) had massive drum kits on risers (which were on stage during the entire show). Behind them was a video screen that both groups used (mostly Queensrÿche). The problem was that depending on the group on stage, the other drum kit had the typical black cloth covering it that blocked over a quarter of the video screen from my vantage point. I’m sure for many more people most of the screen was blocked. The Dream Theater kit was so big that it left very little usable space on stage left. All but one member of Queensrÿche were bunched up on stage right.

What can I say about the “thinking mans band”, it’s always great to hear them play! Queensrÿche did songs from all of their albums (I think) including “Tribe”. I was glad they played quite a few songs from “Tribe” because I for one really like it. I was a little bothered by their “mystery” guitarist that replaced Chris DeGarmo. They never introduced him and he played the entire site with a hooded sweatshirt on with the hood up.

I think a lot of us were let down that Chris was not there and Queensrÿche did not make that abundantly clear beforehand. Also, the band seemed very stiff and tired. Except for Geoff, they guys pretty much stood in one spot. Their mood did not seem to me to be upbeat. Is this the end of Queensrÿche? Seems most of them have side projects. Chris wrote and played on the new album but then decided not to promote it (I just read he is flying planes most of the time and quit the band one week before the album was done)? I sure hope they will continue as a band. I look forward to seeing them again… soon!

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