at Rockefeller, Oslo, Norway, June 11, 2006

What could possibly be the worst day of the year to book a show in Oslo? Except for the days where everyone with a little leather and spikes in the CD collection is down at the Sweden Rock Festival, the following Sunday, when everyone returns to Vikingville, exhausted and in need of a nice shower, is your answer. If a band wants to have an intimate affair, musically speaking, with their fans, and sort of rehearse and get ready for the important shows, they should book the Rockefeller venue on this day. Now, hopefully the ‘rÿches, also known to deliver “Thinking Man’s Metal,” realized that this show had an icecream’s chance in hell of selling out, and remember not to turn their backs on the Norwegian audience in the future.

First playing the Sweden Rock Festival, then Arrow Rock in Holland, then back up for a small show in Oslo – you’d think that whoever booked this run must be bad at playing darts when using the European map as a backdrop. But, that’s how it goes in the festival season, at least for bands willing to work, and though this might have been Queensrÿche’s smallest headline show since more than 20 years back, you would have considered yourself lucky to have been there.


The Metal God says: “You don’t have to be old to be wise!” Rightfully so, why not put a gun (even a genuine-looking plastic gun would do the job) on the artist rider? Bands have all kinds of shit on their list of demands: Clean tennis socks to prevent malodorous scents in the tour bus after the show … you name it … so why travel with a gun when you’re flying around Europe doing shows? You’d think this was done just to make the headlines … if so, it worked!

Being a headline show, with no support acts, and given the promises to play Operation: Mindcrime Parts 1 and 2 back-to-back in recent interviews – that’s indeed what most fans expected this night. What Seattle’s finest (along with Nevermore, of course) delivered, was nothing but their festival set – in fact the very same set they had played at the Sweden Rock Festival two nights before. That being said, there was really not much else to complain about, as the band put on a great show despite the poor turnout.


Starting with “I Remember Now” on tape, the band took the stage one-by-one, and finally launched into “Revolution Calling,” leaving out (at least not playing it like you’d expect to hear it) “Anarchy X.” For the first part (also missing from Operation: Mindcrime Part 1 were “Speak,” “The Mission,” “Electric Requiem,” “Waiting For 22,” and “My Empty Room”), Sister Mary (Pamela Moore) assumed the roles of the prostitute, and later on of the nun, but also served as a back up singer when needed, even performing a duet with Tate while “Spreading The Disease.” This worked really well, while the band, as usual (now that Kelly Gray is gone), delivered the music with surgical precision. Eddie Jackson on bass and Scott Rockenfield on drums comprise the mother of all rhythm sections, and Michael Wilton knows how to make love to his ESP. Mike Stone is a much better fit for the band than someone mentioned earlier, and … he seems capable of reproducing Chris DeGarmo’s guitar parts – so why not do just that?

A few things just have to be addressed here: First of all, you don’t add a guitar solo at the end of “Suite Sister Mary.” A concept album is a concept album, not a jam. And, the duel solos in “Breaking The Silence” and “I Don’t Believe In Love” should be performed exactly the same way as on the CD, like DeGarmo played them. Operation: Mindcrime Part 1 is sacred to its fans, not an outlet for musicians to improvise – regardless if they created the masterpiece or not.


“I Don’t Believe In Love” led into “Convict,” and a nice run through Operation: Mindcrime‘s sequel. Here, Geoff Tate, who once again showed that Rockefeller brings out the best in him, got even more theatrical. “I’m American,” “One Foot In Hell,” “Hostage,” “The Hands,” and “Signs Say Go” followed, building up to a climax in “Murderer?,” where Nikki has chased down Doctor X and finally serves him justice. (Here’s where that gun in mention finally came into the picture …) “Murderer?” and the next song, “If I Could Change It All,” made for the highlight of the sequel, being its two best tracks. For the latter, Tate was again joined by Pamela Moore, this time as Sister Mary’s ghost. Kudos to Geoff Tate, not only for singing his heart out (this was the third show back to back), but for succeeding in his acting role as Nikki. He sure is one of the most stellar frontmen live music has to offer. (A lot more could be said about the show, but it’s best to leave a few surprises untold, agreed?).

The band rocked out in “An Intentional Confrontation” before ending it all by going back to Part 1 with “Eyes Of A Stranger.”


The ‘rÿches returned to the stage with two of their hits from Empire, “Jet City Woman” and its title track, and ended the show after 85 minutes – told you this was just the festival set …

Lastly, just to have mentioned it – the sound was perfect. Expect nothing less from the thinking men and their Metal …


Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.