Queensryche's extended tour paying off with record sales

Sound check .....

November 07, 1991|By Nestor Aparicio | Nestor Aparicio,Evening Sun Staff

There is no question that 15 months on the road is a long time to be promoting one album.

But when you're in the position of Queensryche, one of rock's hottest properties in this otherwise soft sales year, you don't argue with the success of an overextended tour and 2 illion in record sales.

"Empire," a thoughtful and melodic triumph for the Seattle band, was released last September and the band has since circled the world twice while songs like "Jet City Woman," "Best I Can," and the title track have only enhanced the success of "Silent Lucidity," one of the biggest rock ballads of the decade.

"This is still our first headlining tour so we wanted to lay a foundation for the future," said guitarist Michael Wilton, whose band plays the Baltimore Arena tonight with the opening act Warrior Soul. "We want everyone to know about us and to get a chance to see the show."

The show features not only a lion's share of tunes from "Empire," but also resurrects "Operation: Mindcrime" in its entirety.

The dark, ominous concept album was never properly delivered as Queensryche played opening stints on Metallica's tour in 1988.

"We never got a chance to present it the way we wanted to," Wilton said. "For some people, it's a chance to experience it for the first time. The sales for 'Mindcrime' have doubled since we started the tour."

Wilton said the band consciously made an effort to change direction during the recording of "Empire" to make the record more accessible to rock radio.

"We didn't want to be labeled a conceptual heavy metal band," he said. "It's not like we're chasing around public trends, but we wanted people to know that there are elements of metal in our music but we also have melody and more than one dimension. We're more like a progressive '70s hard rock band."

Queensryche and Warrior Soul perform at the Baltimore Arena tonight. The concert begins 8 p.m. Tickets are $19.50. Call 481-6000.

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One would think the impetus for putting together a live album certainly isn't money. It's practically written in stone: Live albums don't sell well.

So for a songwriting veteran like Dan Fogelberg to produce a live work like his latest, "Greetings From the West," the motivation has to be the sound.

"When we were on the road this summer I was really pleased with the way the shows were going and I felt I just had to capture that feeling," said Fogelberg, who is promoting his live record with a solo, acoustic tour, which stops at D.A.R. Constitution Hall on Tuesday. "By the time the show got to New York I was trying to hit my record company [Epic] up to let me do it. I was prepared to crawl on my tongue and beg them but they asked me first."

So "Greetings" captures a show at the Fox Theatre in St. Louis on a double CD release, with a full-length video also available.

"I never had a desire to do something like this until now," Fogelberg said. "With these things, you kind of have to let them happen organically. It doesn't work if you force it."

Perhaps a strong reason for his enthusiasm in the live music is the pride in his latest studio release, "The Wild Places," which is prominently showcased on "Greetings."

"I still feel that those songs were the strongest batch I've had in 10 years," said Fogelberg of the tunes that feature environmental and nature themes. "There is a lot of heart and a lot of truth in those songs."

Dan Fogelberg performs at Constitution Hall Tuesday at 8 p.m. Tickets are $22.50. Call 481-6000.

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The concert calendar:

The BoDeans will perform at Goucher College's Kraushaar Auditorium tomorrow. The Pixies and Pere Ubu will appear at Johns Hopkins University's Shriver Hall on Nov. 22. Spanic Boys appear at the 8X10 this Sunday. Coming to Hammerjacks are Child's Play (tomorrow and Saturday) and Return To Zero (Nov. 15). The Capital Centre hosts Paula Abdul (Nov. 21) and Rush (Dec. 4). Max's On Broadway has Toad The Wet Sprocket (Sunday) and Manly Moondog and the Three Kool Kats featuring Woody Harrelson of the TV show "Cheers" (Nov. 24).

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