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Queensr˙che: The Art of Live (DVD)

Queensr˙che appears to be a band desperately seeking to separate itself from the past. The set list for The Art of Live — a play on "The Art of Life," one of the songs on the band's 2003 album Tribe — draws heavily from that disc, with only a smattering of tracks from the band's best three albums, Operation: Mindcrime ("Breaking the Silence," "The Needle Lies"), Empire ("Della Brown," "Best I Can") and Promised Land ("My Global Mind").

What's more, Queensr˙che doesn't even look like Queensr˙che anymore. Singer Geoff Tate appears to be U2's Bono in shades and a beret, while new guitarist Mike Stone sports an evil-looking goatee and a skullcap more suited to Superjoint Ritual. Tate even indulges in a bit of embarrassing rap-metal in "Desert Dance" while inciting a startled crowd to jump up and down and "keep reachin'."

Filmed in grainy black-and-white film by members of Queensr˙che's road crew on last year's co-headlining tour with Dream Theater, the footage on The Art of Live can be shaky, with bizarre angles and abrupt cutaways. And like Operation: LIVEcrime, The Art of Live is plagued by shots taken from different gigs, giving band members alternating clothes throughout the set.

To its credit, though, Queensr˙che approaches the disc's bonus material from a different angle, using backstage and offstage footage shot by the band as the basis for interviews with Tate about touring, filming and playing studio gigs at local radio and television stations.

Despite Queensr˙che's direction in recent years, these guys remain consummate and confident players, a fact magnified during a three-song acoustic segment ("Rhythm of Hope," "My Global Mind," "Roads to Madness") and an immensely entertaining encore with Dream Theater featuring "Comfortably Numb" and "Won't Get Fooled Again." In fact, those two songs alone are worth the investment in The Art of Live, and they made me regret missing this tour when it rolled through Wisconsin.

Track Listing:
1) Tribe
2) Sign of the Times
3) Open
4) Losing Myself
5) Desert Dance
6) The Great Divide
7) Rhythm of Hope
8) My Global Mind
9) Roads to Madness
10) Della Brown
11) Breaking the Silence
12) The Needle Lies
13) Best I Can
14) Comfortably Numb (with Dream Theater)
15) Won't Get Fooled Again (with Dream Theater)

Added: September 20th 2005
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Official Queensr˙che Web Site
Hits: 2629
Language: english

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Queensr˙che: The Art of Live (DVD)
Posted by Ken Pierce, SoT Staff Writer on 2005-09-20 19:48:37
My Score:

It is seldom that I am unimpressed with a DVD that gets released by Queensryche but that was the case when I began to watch the release The Art Of Live. Perhaps I was spoiled by the releases Live Evolution or Operation: Livecrime DVD releases or perhaps this was just so lacking that it did not do much more than disappoint. Queensryche is one of the most exciting of the Progressive Metal bands to have existed but this live DVD is so toned down and unlive in its overall sound that you might has well watch a filmed and scripted video. The movie is shot entirely in black and white and while it looks cool for a little while I would have preferred to see some color. The light show that the group uses during their performances is lost entirely as a result of this filming method. Sound wise it seems to have been channeled right out of the soundboard and there is very little audience reaction heard. It's practically a whisper and for a recording of a live show you want a little more on that end when possible. The band sounds top notch in their musicianship as they normally do but this recording method makes them sound more canned than I would have preferred.

The song selection was okay on this release and a number of tracks are missing from the set. This seems to have been recorded from the tour with Dream Theater which supported the Tribe CD. The tracks missing are clearly from the bands earliest years but those were featured on the Live: Evolution release and it avoids duplication too soon between the products by leaving them out. There is a fair amount of Tribe songs which were co-written by former member Chris DeGarmo. The long time Queensryche fan in me expected these tracks to be better as a result but they are merely ok. The membership roster on this DVD has changed from the last one with Mike Stone replacing Kelly Cray on guitar. Everyone else is the same core of original Queensryche band members as DeGarmo did not return to tour for the record he helped to create.

Bonus Features

The features on this DVD are on the limited side with only a photo gallery, three interviews and behind the scenes footage. Releases like this could have included some backstage bantering or set up stuff to add to the appeal. Perhaps even videos shot for the album Tribe which this show supported. Alas that was not considered.

Overall, this is a DVD that is more for the diehard Queensryche fan/collector of all their work. The casual fan is better served by looking into the other two referenced DVD's before giving this one a shot. The DVD Medium offers so much in the way of sound and picture and this release made sure to give you neither.

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