Queensrÿche brought the metal to TS

 

Heavy metal mainstays Queensrÿche recently performed at the Turning Stone Resort & Casino Showroom in Verona. They kicked off the set with “Guardian,” off their most recent album “Condition Hüman.” This hard driving new song set the tone for the evening. The band sounded tight and fans were fist pumping right from the start.

Singer Todd la Torre, who replaced original singer Geoff Tate in 2012, fits in well with the classic sound of the band as he is the spitting image, vocally speaking, of Tate. In fact, la Torre seems to have been born a few decades too late as his soaring vocals recall the glory days of metal with its near-operatic performances from the likes of Tate, Judas Priest’s Rob Halford, and Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson. He also had a few hints of the more modern screamcore style here and there.

The band features original members Eddie Jackson on bass, Scott Rockenfield on drums, and Michael Wilton on guitar. After the departure of primary song writer, lead guitarist, and founding member Chris DeGarmo in 1997, Wilton has successfully stepped up into the role of lead guitarist. Guitarist Parker Lundgren joined the band in 2009.

The band played songs from across their career, but focused on their late 80s/early 90s albums. From their landmark 1988 concept album “Operation: Mindcrime” they played the title track and “The Mission” during the main set.

The 1990 album “Empire” is arguably the band’s most commercially successful album ever and featured heavily in the show. Along with the title track, they also performed “Best I Can,” “Silent Lucidity,” and “Jet City Woman.” When they played the smash hit “Silent Lucidity” everyone took out their cell phones to record it. Despite the hard rock/heavy metal nature of the band, the slow ballad has somewhat come to define the band in pop culture as it is the song most familiar to people outside the fan base. La Torre invited everyone to sing along.

La Torre would occasionally engage the crowd between songs. He came across as very polite and down-to-earth, at one point saying “we hope you are enjoying the set we are performing for you tonight. “It was almost comical when after such a pleasant interaction he continued on to introduce the all too metal sounding “Hellfire” off the new album.

Toward the end of the main set they played “Queen of the Reich” off their 1983 eponymous debut EP album. It’s a great example of the early 80s head-banging metal sound. La Torre joked about a scene from the movie Rock Star where some guy hits a note better than the main singer can. He was referencing the opening vocals of the song which feature a breath-taking, sustained note that almost doesn’t seem humanly possible. He had no problem hitting it though.

The band performed a two song encore. The first was “Screaming in Digital” off the 1986 album “Rage for Order.” The final song of the night was “Eyes of a Stranger.” It was not only the climax of the show, but also the climax of the story that unfolds on “Operation: Mindcrime” and has remained a fan favorite ever since.

The crowd was on its feet, cheering and fist pumping, as the band took its bows. Fans came to see the bastions of classic heavy metal and Queensrÿche did not disappoint.  Queensrÿche continues their U.S. tour through May before starting a string of shows in Europe this June.

 

 

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James Suits / James Suits Photography / The Fuze Magazine

 

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