Photos by Michael Bradley from RockHousePhoto.com (full gallery at the bottom of the page)
Queensrÿche is back on the road this spring and summer, bringing their unique brand of melodic metal to eager fans all around the world. The band performed to a packed house at 37 Main in Johns Creek, Ga., on April 26.
The performance at 37 Main marked the first time that Queensrÿche has performed in the Atlanta area with Todd La Torre as the new lead singer. With the legal battles with former lead singer Geoff Tate behind them, the band has been in the studio recording their next album (their second with Todd La Torre), due out in the Fall 2015. With a majority of the writing and recording done, Queensrÿche decided to hit the road and gain some distance and perspective on their recent recordings in order to bring the songs the final polish they deserve.
The night started off with two Atlanta bands opening for Queensrÿche. Asphalt Valentine kicked the show off with a solid thirty set filled with an impressive presence that was well received by the audience. The ability to warm up a new crowd (especially one filled with metal fans) should not be understated, and Asphalt Valentine rose to the challenge. The audience seemed to appreciate the band’s energy and returned it in kind.
The Fury took the stage as the second act of the evening, and brought with it a sound that is rare in today’s musical landscape. The band’s music hearkens back to bands like Helloween, Iron Maiden and even classic Queensrÿche. In fact, one of the songs The Fury played was a fantastic and enthusiastic rendition of Iron Maiden’s song “Wasted Years.” Their set was the perfect lead up to Queensrÿche, stoking the fires of the crowd even more and getting everyone excited for the rest of the evening.
The lights dimmed and Queensrÿche’s pre-recorded intro music began shortly after 10 p.m.. Upon taking the stage, the band kicked the night’s show off with “Nightrider,” a track from their 1983 self-titled EP. This was the first in a long list of classic songs that the band brought to the table, including “En Force,” “Warning,” “NM 156,” “Walk in the Shadows,” and “Queen of the Ryche.”
Only one song from the band’s 2013 album Queensrÿche was featured in the setlist: guitarist Parker Lundgren’s powerful “Where Dreams Go to Die.” Instead, the group played many of the classic songs that their fans have been listening to for years, including almost the entire second half of Operation: Mindcrime, and several choice tracks from Empire.
Todd La Torre’s range on the classic Queensrÿche music is undeniable. He is able to hit the highest notes on “Queen of the Ryche,” and the lowest on “Silent Lucidity.” Starting “The Needle Lies” off with a guitar duel between Parker and Michael Wilton was a firm acknowledgement that the band’s melodic-metal sound was back to stay.
If you have the chance to catch Queensrÿche at a venue or festival, you should fully embrace the opportunity and be ready to return to the sound that the band made famous. In short… this is Queensrÿche. No question. No doubt.
Stay tuned to Target Audience Magazine for our upcoming interview with Queensrÿche guitarist and founding member, Michael Wilton.