“I remember now… I remember how it started…”
Queensrÿche has been performing for thirty years in front of crowds of all sizes from small clubs to sold-out arenas. They have earned international acclaim and a diehard core group of fans that has never left them, even with their recent separation from long time lead singer, Geoff Tate (Click to read our January interview).
Currently touring with band veterans Michael Wilton, Scott Rockenfield, Eddie Jackson, Parker Lundgren and new lead singer Todd LaTorre (formerly of Crimson Glory), Queensrÿche performed at The Wildhorse Saloon in Nashville, Tennessee on March 12th. Though they have a new album being released in June, the “Return to History” tour only features songs from their first five albums, up to and including 1990’s breakthrough release, Empire.
Choosing Queen of the Reich from their debut EP to begin the show with, Queensrÿche quickly set the pace with Todd La Torre hitting the sustained opening high note with amazing precision. While the four veteran members seemed totally at ease playing this thirty-year-old song, the true test for many of us was La Torre’s ability to make the vocals his own. Among the fans that I had talked to before the show, the common consensus was one of ‘fingers crossed’.
While later in the show he complained about being a bit sick, La Torre’s ability to sing the classic catalog couldn’t be questioned. His upper range on early Queensrÿche songs like En Force, Walk in the Shadows, Whisper and Roads to Madness was impressive; as was his ability to embrace the lower range on songs like Silent Lucidity and Empire.
The one downside was that the show ran a bit short, at about an hour and twenty-three minutes. I caught a glimpse of the set list and saw that they had cut three songs, Prophecy, Take Hold of the Flame and Jet City Woman. I assume that the state of La Torre’s voice, or perhaps the size of the crowd on the floor led to that decision. The audience was a decent one, but not nearly as loud or rowdy as I have seen at past Queensrÿche shows. That said, even with the smaller than usual crowd and cropped set, the Wildhorse Saloon show was one of the most exciting Queensrÿche concerts that I have been to since 1991.