Queensryche

Concert Review: Queensrÿche, Regency Ballroom, San Francisco, CA, 07-25-10 (Saturday)      
  
             On July 25, 2010 Queensrÿche played San Francisco’s 1,050?seat capacity Regency Ballroom (RB) that was two?thirds full (approximations presumed throughout).  Queensrÿche played a 17?song, 120 minute set from 8:10 to 10:10.  The show was dubbed Queensrÿche Cabaret because it featured the band performing accompanied by go?go dancers, burlesque dancer, dominatrix, drag queen, juggler, ballerina/contortionist/aerial trapeze artist, psychiatrist and Native American Indian. 

            – Life is A Cabaret (Intro).  The show began with a pre?recorded, four?minute tape track of a Louis Armstrong (American jazz trumpeter, singer) song followed by background cabaret music. 

            1. Hit the Black (Hear in the Now Frontier record, 1997) began with rapidly flashing white lights atop the stage.  Geoff Tate (“GT,” vocalist), who was lumbering, was helped onto a red leather sofa shaped like female lips positioned center stage by two attractive female stagehands who wore very short black one?piece strapless outfits.  [GT’s lumbering reminded me of my inebriated state in high school after chugging homemade beer out of a gigantic peanut butter jar.  Fortunately, that pungent concoction did not cause blindness.]  GT wore black knee?high leather boots, tight black denim slacks, black blazer, black pin?stripe vest, and black sunglasses.  The stage floor near the sofa was littered with six empty liquor bottles.  GT lied in the middle of the sofa between the stagehands and rested his shaved head on the thigh of the stagehand to his right.  GT sang lyrics for 100 seconds in a monotone somber tone and at a slow tempo pace accompanied by Michael Wilton (“MW,” guitarist) and Parker Lundgren’s (“PL,” guitarist) melodic subtle guitar notes.  The lyrics are not part of the record version of Hit the Black.  One of the stagehands handed GT a mirror he used to admire his handsome facial features.  [Fortunately the stagehand did not hand a mirror to me as a similar act would have caused the mirror to crack and subsequently turn to dust.]  GT then five times repeated the phrase, “When you are going down.”   The stagehands got up and left the stage while a juggler walked in front of GT and handed him a black top hat and a microphone (“mike”) on a stand.  GT put the top hat on his shiny dome and grasped the mike stand as he got up, serving as the cue for Scott Rockenfield (“SR,” drummer) to strike his snare drums to ignite Hit the Black.

 

            Hit the Black is an up tempo rocker that began with PL’s up tempo guitar chord progression atop which MW played a fiery guitar run.  GT then sang the first verse in a pseudo?rap fashion augmented by MW and PL’s guitar riffs.  The juggler returned and juggled three balls.  GT then sang the first chorus in a more melodic fashion but still at an up tempo pace.  MW once again played a fiery guitar run supported by PL’s up tempo guitar chord progression on his white ESP Eclipse guitar during the 10?second musical interlude between the first chorus and second verse.  GT then repeated the pattern from the first verse and chorus when he sang the second verse and chorus.  The tempo slowed to a mid tempo pace for 15 seconds during which MW played melodic guitar notes on his black ESP signature guitar with 12 white skull and crossbones prints atop PL’s guitar chord progression.  GT then sang the third verse and chorus after which he thrice repeated the phrase, “I’m going down” while SR bashed his tom?toms.  At the end of the song a drag queen with a platinum blonde wig who wore black high heels and a short white one?piece see?through mesh dress brought GT a glass of red wine on a silver platter.  Hit the Black and two songs to be performed received the strongest audience reaction.

            2. Desert Dance (Tribe, 2003) began with Eddie Jackson’s (“EJ,” bassist) atmospheric bass chords augmented by MW’s short guitar run.  EJ wore black boots, black denim slacks, and long?sleeve button?down black cotton shirt with the sleeves rolled up to his forearms.  PL then played a fairly up tempo, heavy guitar chord progression on his maroon ESP 335 guitar augmented by MW’s fiery guitar run and SR’s bombastic drumming.  GT danced with a female stagehand who wore black high heels, black thigh-high pantyhose, black skirt, and burgundy on black top.  GT wore a burgundy on black knee?length suede coat atop his vest.  A crop?wielding busty brunette dominatrix dressed in black stiletto heels, thigh?length black spandex shorts, black latex girdle, biker’s cap then brought out two scantily clad go?go dancers in silver shorts and bras.  The go?go dancers took position adjacent to SR’s drum set stage left and right where they danced.  GT then sang the first verse while MW and PL played fairly up tempo staccato guitar riffs and SR solid drum beats.  GT then sang the first chorus in a more melodic tone and at a slightly slower tempo than the verse while MW and PL played nice guitar chord accompaniments.  A female stagehand wearing a short silver one?piece strapless outfit walked across the rear of the stage holding a sign that read, “True Love.”   

            GT then repeated the pattern from the first verse and chorus when he sang the second verse and chorus, the difference being that after the second chorus GT invited audience participation when he four times chanted at an up tempo pace, “We’re never coming down.  Keep reaching.  Come on, come on!  Keep reaching.”  The tempo then reduced to a slow tempo pace for 30 seconds during which MW played a melodic guitar run.  SR’s up tempo tom?toms escalated the song back to an up tempo pace, and GT sang the third verse and chorus at the end of which GT once again invited audience participation by four times chanting the same phrase he did after the second chorus.  At the end of the song the dominatrix came out holding a cardboard cutout of a red heart covered in glitter.  The dominatrix threw the heart on the floor and trampled it with her stiletto heels.  She then shoved GT off stage.  [The dominatrix’s busty frame permitted her to handle GT with ease as if he was made of paper mache.]

            3. I Am I (Promised Land, 1994) began with sitar?like guitar notes followed by MW and PL’s fairly driving, mid tempo guitar riffs that they continued to play while GT sang the first two verses.  During the entire song GT scurried around on stage wearing a black wool blazer and sunglasses chased by four female stagehands impersonating paparazzi (photojournalists specializing in candid photography of celebrities) who wore fishnets, black skirts, black wool blazers, and black sunglasses (three stagehands) and shoved cameras and tape recorders in GT’s face.  GT then sang the first chorus (i.e., “Care to look inside?  I am I!  I am I!”) during which MW and PL played atmospheric guitar notes.  A female stagehand who wore a short cheetah print one?piece strapless outfit twice walked across the rear of the stage holding signs that read, “Fame” and “Fortune.” 

            The tempo then momentarily slowed down a bit while GT sang the pre?chorus followed by MW’s 10?second guitar solo.  MW wore black combat boots, black denim slacks (with two chains extending from his belt loop to his back left pocket), long?sleeve button?down black satin shirt, black cotton hooded jacket atop which he wore a black wool blazer with vertical satin stripes, and black sunglasses.  [MW’s outfit confused me because he was dressed like a cross between a Jawa (hooded character in George Lucas’s science fiction film, “Star Wars” (1977) and Don Vito Corleone, aging patriarch of organized crime dynasty played by Marlon Brando in Francis Ford Coppola’s American gangster-drama film, “The Godfather: Part II” (1974).]  GT then repeated the pattern from the first verse and chorus when he sang the second verse and chorus.  At the end of the song the female stagehands stripped GT of his blazer, revealing his bare chest.  After the song concluded a stagehand placed a black knee?length silk coat with circular white patterns and a silver disco?ball sparkle derby hat on GT.  GT continued to wear sunglasses.

            4. Sacred Ground (Q2K, 1999) began with SR’s tom?toms and tambourine and MW and PL’s chugging mid tempo guitar riffs with echoplex effect that they continued to play when GT sang the first verse.  PL wore black boots with side buckles, black denim slacks, long?sleeve button?down black cotton shirt with vertical satin stripes with the sleeves rolled up to his elbows, black leather belt with silver skull and crossbones buckle, and black pilot sunglasses (that he eventually took off).  GT then sang the first chorus during which MW and PL continued to play chugging mid tempo guitar riffs followed by a 10?second musical interlude during which SR stopped playing while MW and PL played subtle guitar notes.  GT then repeated the pattern from the first verse and chorus when he sang the second and third verse/chorus combinations followed by MW’s 10?second guitar solo.  GT then repeated the pattern from the first three verses and choruses when he sang the fourth verse and chorus.

            5. Promised Land (Promised Land, 1994).  Before Promised Land six winged female dancers walked into the crowd and danced with audience members for two minutes.  Promised Land is an eight?minute brooding opus that began amidst GT’s saxophone (“sax”) notes, SR’s heavy drum beats, and EJ’s solid bass lines.  GT sang the first verse at a slow tempo pace augmented by his sax notes, SR’s drum beats, and EJ’s bass lines.  GT wore his black wool blazer and a black derby.  A bright red scarf hung on GT’s mike stand.  A female aerial trapeze artist climbed a violet mini?drape dangling from the ceiling stage left adjacent to SR’s drum set and performed impressive tricks (e.g., spinning, hanging upside down, stretching her legs apart at a 180 degree angle, climbing up and down the drape).  [If I attempted to climb the drape, my fried food?based figure would bring down the ceiling, converting the ballroom to an amphitheater.]  MS and PL played a series of heavy guitar chord progressions and brooding guitar notes during the 35?second musical interlude between the first and second verses.  GT then sang the second and third verses followed by MW’s 40?second guitar solo on his black ESP signature guitar augmented by SR’s subtle drum beat and GT’s sax notes.  GT then sang the fourth and fifth verses.

            6. Dis Con Nec Ted (Promised Land, 1994) was preceded by 30 seconds of random sound effects (e.g., creaking door, thunder, rustling rodents) and rapidly flashing white lights atop the stage.  Disconnected began with EJ’s groovy, mid tempo bass lines he played on his black Fender Jazz five?string bass augmented by MW and PL’s guitar chords of the same manner.  A curvaceous burlesque dancer wearing a hot pink cape and wig danced provocatively in front of SR’s drum set.  [If I was in SR’s place, the dancer’s presence would have distracted me to the point where I would have either fallen off the drum stool or accidentally poked myself in the eye with a drum stick.]  GT then sang the first verse and chorus in a soft tone and at a fairly slow tempo pace while MW, PL, and EJ continued to play the guitar chords and bass lines from the introduction.  GT then played his sax for a few seconds after which he sang the second verse and chorus.  The band then stopped playing for one second at which point GT softly stated, “Down,” serving as the trigger for MW and PL to repeatedly play a lingering, haunting note for 25 seconds augmented by GT’s sax notes and SR’s heavy drum beats.  GT then sang the third verse and chorus.  Disconnected is reminiscent of songs on Pink Floyd’s A Momentary Lapse of Reason record (1987).

            7. Lady Jane (Promised Land, 1994) is a sentimental ballad that began with the sole spotlight on GT as he sang the first verse in a soulful tone accompanied by his melodic keyboard notes he played while sitting behind a keyboard adjacent stage left to SR’s drum set.  A ballerina who wore a black tutu and black spandex top decorated with a red heart on her chest was draped on the floor center stage.  The ballerina got up and gracefully performed ballet dance moves, including pirouettes (rapid whirling of body on the toe of one foot).  GT then sang the first pre?chorus that marked the introduction of SR’s drum beats and MW and PL’s guitar riffs.  GT then sang the first chorus at which point the song converted to a power ballad.  GT played keyboards during the 15?second musical interlude between the first chorus and second verse.  GT then sang the second verse augmented by his keyboards and MW and PL’s guitar riffs followed by MW’s 25?second guitar solo on his black ESP guitar.  GT then sang the second pre?chorus and chorus with the former containing guitar riffs reminiscent of The Beatles’s Helter Skelter off The White Album (1968).  GT sat on his keyboard stool and the ballerina danced during the entire song.

            8. Another Rainy Night (Without You) (Empire, 1990).  Before Another Rainy Night (Without You) the juggler juggled three balls.  Another Rainy Night (Without You) began with MW and PL’s catchy, mid tempo guitar run.  GT sang the first verse at a fairly slow tempo pace augmented by MW and PL’s melodic guitar chords, SR’s basic drum beat, and EJ’s up tempo, groovy bass lines.  In contrast to the other songs that EJ played standing near the rear of stage right, EJ stood center stage slightly stage right adjacent to PL’s mike stand.  The curvaceous burlesque dancer sat in an erotic pose in a chair placed in front of SR’s drum set and twirled an umbrella.  [I did not see any rain but would have gladly done a rain dance in the buff if that would have prolonged the dancer’s erotic escapades.]  The dancer got up, put the umbrella down, draped a light blue chiffon scarf across her chest and performed a mesmerizing striptease during which she took off her skirt and bra that exposed her underwear and pasties that covered her small, fair complected breasts.  GT then sang the first pre?chorus during which MW and PL played melodic arpeggio guitar notes. 

            GT then sang the first chorus during which the tempo momentarily escalated to a mid tempo pace and MW and PL played the catchy guitar run from the introduction augmented by SR’s tom?toms and snare drums.  The tempo resumed its earlier slow tempo when GT began to sing the last line of the first chorus (i.e., “It’s just another rainy night, without you”).  MW and PL continued to play the catchy guitar run during the 10?second musical interlude between the first chorus and second verse.  GT then repeated the pattern from the first verse, pre-chorus, and chorus when he sang the second verse, pre?chorus, and chorus. GT then sang the bridge augmented by SR’s tom?toms followed by MW’s 25?second guitar solo.  MW had switched from his long?sleeve button?down black satin shirt to a black leather vest decorated with a metal wire that created random elliptical patterns.  GT repeated the first pre?chorus and second chorus and ended the song with the phrase, “It’s just another rainy night, another rainy night, another rainy night without you.”

            9. The Art of Life (Tribe, 2003).  Before The Art of Life GT, who sat on the red lip?shaped leather sofa center stage said, “Can I be honest?  I think I might have made a big mistake.  I know this all looks so glamorous.  The lights, the camera, the action, beautiful girls, this wonderful outfit I am wearing.  But honestly it’s all a facade really.  I am really, really lonely.  I had everything.  This beautiful love.  This thing that was so, so, so amazing.  (GT laugher)  And I lost it.  I am now all by myself.  With all you wonderful people of course.  (audience applause)  Oh you are so kind.  You are so damn beautiful.  What an amazing?looking audience we have here tonight.  But after you have travelled the world and been to all these amazing places and had true love, a beautiful audience like this is not quite enough.  Just being honest with you.  I feel so empty.  I feel everywhere I look people want something from me.  There is nothing left to give.  I honestly think I need to talk to somebody … some professional help or something … maybe a psychiatrist.”  A stagehand dressed as a psychiatrist (i.e., grey wool slacks, long?sleeve button?down white cotton shirt, and grey wool vest holding a notepad) came on stage, patted GT on shoulder and sat in a chair next to him.

            The Art of Life began with MW and PL’s chugging guitar notes that they played for a few seconds and then, with the introduction of SR’s drum beats, converted to fairly slow tempo guitar chords.  GT, who was still sitting on the sofa, then sang the first verse in a fairly slow tempo pace augmented by MW and PL’s melodic guitar notes.  The psychiatrist jotted down notes in his notepad as if conducting a therapy session.  [Presuming I was the patient the psychiatrist would get carpal tunnel from jotting down my litany of psychological problems.]  GT got up midway through the first verse.  GT then sang the first chorus during which MW and PL played heavy, slow tempo guitar chord progressions.  GT then repeated the pattern from the first verse and chorus when he sang the second verse and chorus.  The psychiatrist, who had gone off stage, returned and handed GT his sax at which point GT played a 10?second sax solo and then repeated the chorus.  GT sat down on the sofa and ended the song with the phrase, “The art of life is … without rushing, without faltering, unraveling the secrets of knowledge.  We must challenge and defeat our four natural enemies:  fear, clarity of mind, power, and the desire to rest.”  After the song concluded GT said, “So there you have it.  That session cost me about $125.  How many of you have been to a psychiatrist?  (numerous audience members raised their hand)  That is an alarming number.  Mental illness must be running amuck in this city.  This is a beautiful city, but you people are fu**in’ crazy!”

            10. The Thin Line (Empire, 1990) is a power ballad that began with MW and PL’s mid tempo guitar riffs and SR’s ample cymbal crashes.  The song’s tempo slightly slowed down when GT began to sing the first verse augmented by MW and PL’s melodic guitar notes and EJ’s bass lines that were prominent in the mix.  Four scantily clad female stagehands who wore black shorts and bras dragged a male audience member on stage including by his dog collar, sat him in a chair center stage, blindfolded him, and strapped his wrists to the rear chair legs.  The stagehands provocatively danced around the male, caressed his chest, and gave him a lap dance while being commanded by the dominatrix.  GT then sang the pre?chorus in an emotional tone followed by the first chorus during which the song’s tempo slightly escalated and featured SR’s tom?toms and MW and PL’s guitar riffs from the introduction. 

            GT then repeated the pattern from the first verse, pre?chorus, and chorus when he sang the second verse, pre?chorus, and chorus followed by MW’s 30?second guitar solo on his natural wood ESP guitar with a standard Fender Stratocaster body shape augmented by GT’s sax notes.  The stagehands teased the male by decorating him with prosthetic female boobs, a red wig, and whip cream across his face.  A female stagehand who wore a short one?piece strapless outfit twice walked across the rear of the stage holding signs that read, “Woody” and “Boner.”  [For the mentally challenged like me “Woody” did not refer to the aroused male’s nickname.]  GT then sang the third and final chorus after which he played a 40?second sax solo at the front edge of stage right while MW played guitar at the front edge of stage left.

            11. Jet City Woman (Empire, 1990).  Before Jet City Woman GT asked, “Are you having a good time?  I was.  (stagehand handed GT a glass of red wine)  This is San Francisco?!  No way.  San Francisco is one of the more (inaudible) rock towns in the world.  This can’t be San Francisco.  (GT put on his burgundy on black knee?length suede coat)  This can’t be San Francisco.  This is San Francisco?!  No wonder it’s so beautiful.  It’s a little cloudy in San Francisco.  Last night we were in Las Vegas.  Tonight when you leave could you do something for me?  Keep your eyes out for my true love.”  Jet City Woman began with SR’s cymbals and EJ’s up tempo bass lines that he played adjacent to PL’s mike stand and augmented 10 seconds afterwards by MW and PL’s melodic guitar notes.  MW and PL then played a searing guitar run and heavy up tempo guitar chords, respectively. 

            The burlesque dancer came on stage and danced in front of SR’s drum set while holding two oversized hot pink feather?covered fans.  GT sang the first verse in an emotional tone and at a slow tempo augmented by MW and PL’s melodic guitar notes until the third to last line when the tempo escalated to a mid tempo pace and MW and PL began playing heavy guitar riffs.  GT then sang the first chorus at a mid tempo pace during which SR’s drum beats were prominently featured.  GT then repeated the pattern from the first verse and chorus when he sang the second verse and chorus followed by MW’s 35?second guitar solo.  GT then sang the pre?chorus and third chorus at a mid tempo pace augmented by MW and PL’s guitar riffs.  Jet City Woman, Hit the Black, and one song to be performed received the strongest audience reaction.

            12. The Lady Wore Black (Queensrÿche, 1983) began with MW and PL’s atmospheric, slow tempo, melodic guitar notes that they continued to play when GT sang the first verse in an emotional tone.  A drag queen who wore a full?length black dress and an oversized black sun hat with a red interior lip sat on a wrought iron bench positioned center stage bearing a saddened expression.  GT sang the first verse while standing behind the drag queen and then sat next to the drag queen and serenaded him (or her).  [I guess the red wine made GT delusional.]  GT’s voice escalated and MW and PL played up tempo guitar riffs augmented by SR’s solid drumming when GT sang the final line of the first verse (i.e., “eternal life was her debt to pay”).  GT motivated the drag queen to get up and dance with him while he sang the first chorus.  GT held his right hand out and high above the drag queen’s head leading her in a waltz?like dance.  [I knew I had not consumed any magical mushrooms.  Otherwise I would have next expected GT to dance with a pink elephant.]  The tempo resumed a slow tempo pace and MW and PL resumed playing melodic guitar notes when GT sang the final line of the first chorus (i.e., “her love can set me free”).  GT then repeated the pattern from the first verse and chorus when he sang the second verse and chorus, including conversion of the tempo to an up tempo pace when GT sang the final line of the second verse (i.e., “and I listened remembering all I heard”).  The drag queen sat down on the bench and posed during MW’s 20?second guitar solo.  GT then repeated the pattern from the first two verses and choruses when he sang the third verse and chorus, including conversion of the tempo to an up tempo pace when GT sang the final line of the third verse (i.e., “but for her love I’ll gladly pay”).  The Lady Wore Black, Hit the Black, and Jet City Woman, received the strongest audience reaction.

            13. Tribe (Tribe, 2003).  Before Tribe GT, who was holding a glass of red wine, said, “Maybe I have been going at this the wrong way.  I love shopping.  But you can only shop for so long.  Maybe I should go to some exotic place.”  Four scantily clad go?go dancers came on stage bearing single?color feather boa tails, specifically pink, white, orange, and blue.  The go?go dancers with blue and orange boas entered cages positioned stage right and left, while the go?go dancers with white and pink boas stood at the front edge of stage right and stage left.  Each cage had 10 silver vertical bars and was positioned on an 18?inch high riser covered with a black drape. 

            Tribe began with MW and PL’s mid tempo, groovy guitar riffs.  The go?go dancers turned their backs to the audience and danced in a provocative manner shaking their buttocks.  [My eyes were uncontrollably fixated on the go?go dancers’s buttocks.  It was like staring at a solar eclipse.  I knew better but could not help it.]  GT then sang the first verse augmented by MW and PL’ chugging guitar riffs and SR’s tom?toms.  MW and PL played the guitar riffs from the introduction during the 10?second musical interlude between the first and second verses.  GT then sang the second verse augmented by MW and PL’s chugging guitar riffs and SR’s conga drums.  The song’s tempo then escalated to an up tempo pace as GT began to sing the first chorus augmented by MW and PL’s machine gun?like guitar riffs.  MW then played a 15?second guitar solo on his honey burst maple ESP Eclipse guitar augmented by SR’s drum beats reminiscent of John Bonham (late Led Zeppelin drummer).  GT then repeated the chorus.

            – Drum Solo with Blackfoot tribal dance.  SR played a four?minute drum solo during which a stagehand dressed in traditional Native American Indian garb danced on stage in beat with the drum beats.  SR wore black wool/cotton blend pants, black Nike cotton muscle shirt, black gloves, and black cotton headband.  SR played a red ddrum drum kit featuring silver speckles, double bass drums, and Paiste cymbals.  SR’s drum set was on an 18?inch high drum riser covered in a honey?colored drape and positioned three feet in front of the “Queensrÿche” logo backdrop with a black background and white lettering and graphic.  Positioned between SR’s drum set and the backdrop was a long 48?inch high riser covered with a sky blue drape that was not utilized.

            14. Liquid Sky (Q2K, 1999) began with PL’s recurring high guitar notes augmented 10 seconds afterward by MW’s power chord.  GT then sang the first verse at a fairly slow tempo pace augmented by SR’s solid snare drum, EJ’s bass lines, and MW and PL’s chugging guitar riffs.  GT then sang the first chorus during the first half of which MW and PL played a lingering guitar note and the second half of which the tempo escalated to a mid tempo pace and MW and PL played guitar chord progressions.  GT then repeated the pattern from the first verse and chorus when he sang the second verse and chorus.  GT pranced around holding a black cane with a silver ball tip and wearing black sunglasses and a silver disco ball mosaic derby hat.  A black wooden soapbox comprised of three steps bearing the word, “Soap” in white letters on the side was positioned center stage.  GT then sang the pre?chorus still at a mid tempo pace augmented by MW’s guitar chord progression and PL’s recurring high guitar notes.  The tempo momentarily reduced to a slow tempo pace halfway through the pre?chorus as GT began to sing the final two lines.  GT then sang the third chorus at which time the tempo resumed a mid tempo pace. 

            15. Roads to Madness (The Warning, 1984).  Before Roads to Madness GT, who was holding a glass of red wine, walked up the black wooden soapbox and said, “Can I be frank with you.  I looked everywhere and cannot find love anywhere.  I think I am going mad.”  Roads to Madness is a near 10?minute opus that began with four bars of MW and PL’s slow tempo brooding guitar chord progressions and GT’s powerful scream followed by MW and PL’s guitar riffs.  Two go?go dancers came on stage and entered the two cages in which they danced.  GT sang the first verse at a slow tempo pace augmented by MW and PL’s melodic guitar notes and SR’s subtle drum beats.  The dominatrix brought GT a champagne bottle and glass on a silver tray, which he refused.  The dominatrix returned with a full?length vertical mirror in which GT briefly admired himself.  GT then screamed the first chorus during which the tempo slightly escalated and MW and PL played catchy guitar riffs. 

            After a 25?second slow tempo musical interlude that featured MW and PL’s melodic guitar chords and SR’s drum beats GT repeated the pattern from the first verse and chorus when he sang the second verse and chorus.  GT then sang the bridge followed by MW’s 20?second guitar solo and the third chorus.  GT then sang the second bridge still at a mid tempo pace.  The tempo significantly slowed down for 100 seconds and MW and PL played melodic guitar notes as GT began to sing the final line of the second bridge (i.e., “I can’t scream, too late it’s time.”). Two female stagehands came on stage with a black hooded cape that they draped over GT’s shoulder while he was stage front on his knees.  GT stumbled off stage in a mock exhausted state.  [GT’s antics would have made James Brown (American singer, entertainer dubbed “The Godfather of Soul”) proud.]  The song’s tempo then escalated to an up tempo pace and MW and PL played hook?laden guitar riffs augmented by SR’s driving drum beats.  GT came back on stage and sang the third and final verse at a fast pace.

            16. Until There Was You (Q2K, 2006 reissue) is a sentimental ballad that began with an attractive female stagehand sitting on the red lip?shaped leather sofa center stage.  MW and PL played atmospheric melodic guitar notes that they continued to play when GT sang the first verse in an emotional tone while kneeling in front of and serenading the stagehand.  GT then sang the first pre?chorus during which the song’s tempo slightly escalated as SR began to play a mid tempo drum beat.  GT then sang the first chorus during which MW and PL played catchy, mid tempo guitar chord progressions.  GT then repeated the pattern from the first verse and chorus when he sang the second verse and chorus followed by MW’s brooding 15?second guitar solo augmented by SR’s ample cymbal crashes.  GT then sang the third verse, second pre?chorus, and third chorus.  GT, who wore the burgundy on black knee?length suede coat, motivated the stagehand to get up and seductively dance with him.  At the end of the song the stagehand was in the midst of giving GT a passionate kiss when a male stagehand came on stage with a large broom he used to shoo the kissing couple off stage.

 

            17. The Right Side of My Mind (Q2K, 1999) began with MW and PL’s melodic guitar notes and SR’s basic drum beat that they continued to play when GT sang the first verse at a slow tempo and with great emotion.  Four go?go dancers came on stage and two entered each of the two cages in which they danced.  [I would have paid handsomely for an entrance pass into the cage, but then again my ill?suited frame around the beltline would have warped the bars.  Superman spreads cage bars with his massive biceps while I spread them with my daunting derriere.]  GT then sang the first chorus during which the song’s tempo escalated to a mid tempo pace, MW played a brooding guitar run, PL a heavy guitar chord progression, and SR solid drum beats.  GT then repeated the pattern from the first verse and chorus when he sang the second verse and chorus followed by MW’s memorable 25?second guitar solo.  GT, who wore the burgundy on black knee?length suede coat and black top hat, then sang the third and final chorus.  The entire cabaret cast came on stage and danced amidst the band.

            – Life is A Cabaret (Outro).  The show ended with a pre?recorded, three?minute tape track of background cabaret music during which the band members and cabaret cast danced stage front.  GT removed his top hat and bowed to the audience.

            Venue: the building that housed the original RB, known as the Avalon Ballroom, was built in 1911.  The Avalon Ballroom operated from 1966 to 1968 and reopened in 2003 under its current name.  Local bands such as Janis Joplin, Quicksilver Messenger Service, the Steve Miller Band, and Big Brother and the Holding Company performed at RB during its original stint in the 1960’s.  RB is a 1,050­?seat theater with a rectangular?shaped standing room floor measuring 96 by 69 feet with blonde hardwood floors and a permanent stage measuring 42 by 20 feet.  Positioned 35 feet above the floor are 22 teardrop chandeliers circa 1900 secured on a roof adorned with gold medallions.  RB has a horseshoe-shaped reserved seating balcony, the interior siding of which visible from the floor is virgin white.  Four vertical white columns line the wall atop the stage and another six are present on each of the walls on the second floor.  Also lining the side walls on each floor are six square?shaped gold?colored tapestries. 

            Opening Band: none
Arash Moussavian, Entertainment Law Attorney
arashmoussavian@cal.berkeley.edu
www.linkedin.com/in/arashmoussavian
All photos taken by Arash Moussavian.  This article and all photos are protected by copyright.  Please contact me prior to use, or I will make shish kabab of your loins. 

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