01 Empire
02 Anarchy-X
03 Revolution calling
04 Damaged
05 Promised land
06 Disconnected
07 Killing words
08 Della Brown
09 Bridge
10 Silent lucidity
11 The lady wore black
12 My empty room
13 Real world
14 I don't believe in love
15 Eyes of a stranger
Queensryche - London Astoria sold out

The Astoria, London
Thursday, October 20 1994

THE PLACE is packed with folk who'd gladly have paid 50 quid instead of 10 to be here tonight. We are quite simply gagging for this, the first UK Queensryche gig in aeons. The lights, the action, the majesty of Seattle's finest!

Queensryche take the stage amid applause normally reserved for royalty. Singer Geoff Tate smiles. He addresses the crowd with the level-headed cool of a lawyer outlining a case. "This may be insane, but we're recording tonight," he announces, and 'Empire' towers over us.

Or at least, we expect it to. In truth, the sound is a let-down, and the situation isn't improved by the song's unsuitability as an opener. It's almost surreal watching Queensryche perform this one, rooted to their respective spots, with zero lighting or pizzazz. What's happening?

'Anarchy-X' sees the lights flash into action, and the thrill of 'Operation: Mindcrime' buzzes through the venue. This obviously leads into 'Revolution Calling', also sonically wonderful yet visually flat. The key to enjoying this set soon becomes apparent. We're not going to see Tate prancing about on ramps, or Sister Mary crooning in front of video screens. This is not 1987, and the set partly echoes the more reflective nature of new slow-burner 'Promised Land'. The key is to concentrate on the strength of the musicianship and songs.

'Damaged' is the first new track, and the first which Tate physically embellishes. Later, we get the LP's title track and 'Disconnected' both with Tate playing sex - plus the excellent 'Bridge'. Things begin to gel. 'Silent Lucidity' is an incredible watershed moment, and the sound has improved by now. Tate comments that the crowd has relaxed. A percussive reworking of 'My Empty Room' leads into 'Real World' from the 'Last Action Hero' soundtrack, and then we're finally allowed the chilling release of 'I Don't Believe In Love' and 'Eyes Of A Stranger'.

Even when Queensryche frustrate, they remain outstanding. A fascinating first step out of hermit-hood.


Queensryche - Inside picture from Astoria bootleg CD