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A Heavy-Going Queensryche at Irvine Meadows

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Queensryche has won praise for using heavy metal to get across heavy concepts instead of the usual heavy doses of sexist swill and party-hearty blather.

It wasn’t the Seattle band’s serious aims that turned its show Friday at Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre into such tiresomely heavy going. The problem was musical, not thematic: While Queensryche may have stretched somewhat the bounds of what heavy metal can say, there is nothing striking or original about how the band says it.

Singer Geoff Tate has an impressively clean and capacious set of pipes, and he hews to an operatic brand of vocalizing that, in its unrelenting bombast, is the most stilted and annoying form of rock singing there is. Queensryche’s playing, though proficient, rehashed the standard metallic strategies: pound and chug rhythms and stentorian guitar solos and harmonies.

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The two-hour show included a full rendition of “Operation: Mindcrime,” the conspiratorial potboiler of a concept album that centers on a brainwashed assassin a la “The Manchurian Candidate.” If nothing more, the raucously received show demonstrated that a good segment of the metal audience thirsts for music that has some serious intent.

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