As the final notes of Don Dokken's acoustic set echo through the hall, he thanks the crowd and departs the stage. There's no doubt — Dokken's still got it, and he sees headliners Queensryche waiting in the wings to tell him so. Together, riding a high of unplugged euphoria, they all remain unaware of the ominous convergence of shadows around them. Then a vaguely familiar voice of pure evil speaks.
"Don, hey, it's me, Freddy. Freddy Krueger! From Elm Street!"
Dokken: Oh. Hey.
Queensryche and Don Dokken perform 8 p.m. Friday, February 15, at Warehouse Live, 813 St. Emanuel, 713-225-5483. Murder My Sweet plays an aftershow in the Warehouse Live studio.
Krueger: It's been a while — don't think I've seen you since we did that "Dream Warriors" video back in '87! (Dokken makes an audible harrumph, and Krueger awkwardly reaches out to shake hands with Geoff Tate and Michael Wilton of Queensryche.) Hey, there. Fred Krueger. Oh, right — razor fingers. Sorry.
Tate: No problem.
Krueger: I'm actually a monster Queensryche fan, so this is cool for me! I was big into Operation: Mindcrime. Operation: Mindcrime II wasn't half-bad, either. But take it from a guy who learned the hard way: Around part four or five, you just start phoning it in. Running out of ideas, ripping off other junk and so forth. Been up to anything lately?
Tate: We made a record of us playing nothing but other people's songs, like Peter Gabriel's "Red Rain" and U2's "Bullet the Blue Sky."
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Tate: It's called Take Cover. We also do Pink Floyd and the Police.
Wilton: And "Heaven on Their Minds" from Jesus Christ Superstar! (Air guitars.) Andrew Lloyd Webber — badass, yeah?
Krueger: (Turning back to Dokken) So...Don, I guess I probably owe you an apology.
Dokken: That's right, you do! We had a deal! I gave you a tasty lick for the soundtrack to A Nightmare On Elm Street 3, and you were supposed to ensure that metal would rule the Earth forever! You did not hold up your end of the bargain for rockin' with Dokken!