Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you should already know that last June Queensryche parted ways with original vocalist Geoff Tate and now there are two versions of Queensryche. On this night, we got the version commonly dubbed as “The REAL Queensryche” featuring Todd La Torre (ex Crimson Glory) on vocals. In tow were original members (since 1981) Michael Wilton on guitar, Eddie Jackson on bass, drummer Scott Rockenfield and from 2009, Parker Lundgren on guitar. A massive backdrop with the band’s name and logo also included a skull graphic. The guys hit the stage at 10:30 pm and “Queen of the Reich” showed us right from the get go Todd can hit the high notes with ease. This was the second date on this leg of the “Return To History World Tour.” During “Speak,” Todd grabbed a fan’s camera from the front row and took pictures of the crowd and various band members on stage before returning it. This was an intimate show in a smaller venue with no barrier and fans were pressed up against the stage.
“We’re bringing back all the classics that you guys love so much!” Todd said. And that they did as the 95 minute set only included material off the first EP and the next four albums. Nothing was performed after 1990’s “Empire.” This was a diehard fan’s dream show and many of the songs haven’t been performed in a long time. “The Warning” from 1984 and 1988’s “Operation Mindcrime” were well represented with a handful of songs performed from each. “I love those 10-minute songs, you don’t hear that shit on the radio these days, do you?” The singer quipped, after the lengthy epic “Roads to Madness” was played featuring Parker with a double necked twelve and six string guitar. We then got an update as a new album has just been recorded with this line-up and will be released on June 11th. This band is solid and couldn’t be tighter if they tried, from the playing to the backup vocals, it was impeccable. It was great to hear the dueling guitar solos of Wilton and Lundgren, especially on songs like “I Don’t Believe in Love” and “Eyes of a Stranger.”
After the encore break, just Scott walked out and talked to the crowd. “I don’t know about you guys but I’m fucking fried, you get up here and try that shit for 90 minutes!” He then jokingly asked if someone wanted to come up and play the drums but then said “I’m good, I’m ready to kill it still.” He thanked the crowd for the support and for welcoming the new guy, Todd, to the fold. The rest of the band emerged and then a special guest was introduced, that being local native Glen Drover. This metal guitarist is widely known for playing with Megadeth and King Diamond and joined the band on guitar for “Take Hold of the Flame.” It was a great moment and the crowd cheered him on loudly. Funny enough, Glen was initially part of Geoff Tate’s Queensryche line-up but then quickly resigned before playing a live show. “Empire” is my favorite album from the band and it was great that they ended with a three pack from it with “Jet City Woman,” “Silent Lucidity” and of course “Empire.” The guys came to the edge of the stage to shake hands with the fans before taking a final bow (which also included Drover). To be honest, I had given up on Queensryche from 1994 on. I have seen them several times over the years at various festivals and I was bored to tears with the new material.
Thankfully, I made it out for the show. Todd had huge shoes to fill but I think he does it easily and then some. The rebirth of this band is exciting and made me appreciate them once again. They are playing the best material and to put it simply, Queensryche with Todd La Torre works.
Queen of the Reich
Walk in the Shadows
Child of Fire
The Needle Lies
Roads to Madness
I Don’t Believe In Love
My Empty Room
Eyes of a Stranger
Take Hold of the Flame(with Glen Drover)
Jet City Woman
All Photos by BackstageAxxess Correspondent Brandon Taylor.
We would like to thank Kevin Chiaramonte PFA Associated for the credentials so BackstageAxxess can review the show.