I've been a Queensryche fan since 1991 when a pen pal of mine from the Netherlands sent me a tape of Empire. Back then all the bands for me that came from Seatle were either Heart or Grunge, but I loved Empire.
I read Raw Magazine back in those days before it went all Indie and all but disappeared. It spoke of the amazing Operation Mindcrime concept album and I finally found a pen pal with it and received another tape. I loved it! I quickly collected all of Queensryche's albums and have bought them all (with the exception of live albums and greatest hits) since. It's just a shame they haven't done a decent album since the follow up to Empire, Promised Land.
In 1995 I was seeing a girl in Bradford and much to my dismay, Queensryche played the week before I went to visit her, so I missed them. I finally got to see them on either the Q2K or Tribe tour, I can't remember which. I was quite disappointed with the run of poor albums, but wanted to see them anyway. They absolutely blew me away and they played so much from Operation Mindcrime.
So, now it's June 2008 and Queensryche have release Operation Mindcrime 2, which I thought was rubbish and are playing both albums all the way through on tour. Not only that, they're playing in Norwich! When Andy and I got there the queue was tiny and even as the band hit the stage the place was nowhere near capacity, but gigs are better like that. You can get closer to the band and we did get very close.
The band brought a full theatrical show. The original Operation Mindcrime was superb. They played it brilliantly. I sang until my throat was sore and then kept singing anyway. It may be twenty years old, but it's just as good today as when I first heard it in the early 90s. The second half was the second Operation Mindcrime album, which was also played very well, but I just can't get excited about it. Still, it was better than expected.
The encore almost couldn't have been better. Three tracks from Empire: Another Rainy Night, Empire and Silent Lucidity. Superb!
Queensryche are out of my system now. I don't think I'd see them again unless they do Operation Mindcrime all the way through again, play significant parts of Empire or Promised Land or release a superb album of new material (unlikely).