“We had a fire-breather at first,” says Queensrÿche front man Geoff Tate via telephone from his home in Bellevue, Washington. “That didn’t quite work out. I didn’t really see the point, you know?”
Queensrÿche Cabaret is a mix of metal and circus acts in which audience members are invited to take part. Tate says the band auditioned the circus performers themselves. “We got this amazing juggler who is so talented. He’s got microphones and drumsticks and bottles going, things like that. It’s upped my game as a performer because I have to catch the stuff he throws.”
Queensrÿche is a larger-than-life metal band with a sax-playing lead singer. Until the band released Empire, they spent much of the ’80s in demand as an arena-sized opening act. After Empire, Queensrÿche became the headliner. As a master of spectacle, the band was almost done in by grunge, a passing minimalist fancy.
Tate says the plot of the cabaret show is a rock-and-roll Greek tragedy: rock star meets girl, rock star dumps girl. “He loses sight of himself,” says Tate. “Then he tries to recover love again.” Tate says the band took a lot of material that they’ve not played in a long while, added some new stuff, and worked it into a story form. With such a large cast, it is an expensive production to keep on the road. The solution, he says, is to hire performers in different parts of the country, a process Tate calls “a real coordination nightmare. You can’t find a contortionist in very many places in the country. Aerial acts? There’s only a couple of places in the country where you can find them. But you can find a drag queen in every city.”
- Friday, May 21, 2010, 7 p.m.
- 4th&B, 345 B Street, San Diego
/ $30 - $50