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On stage: Queensrÿche

- Polo Rock Festival - July 2004 - Düsseldorf (D) -
- Bang-Your-Head - June 2004 - Balingen (D) -
- Queensrÿche & Beyond Fear - April 2008 - Chihuahua (Mex) -
- Bang-Your-Head - June 2008 - Balingen (D) -
- Queensrÿche - May 2009 - Chicago, IL (USA) -
- Queensrÿche - May 2009 - Chicago, IL (USA) -
- Queensrÿche & Fatal Smile - June 2009 - Düsseldorf (D) -
- High Voltage Festival 2011 - June 2011 - London (GB) -
- Queensrÿche - Oct. 2012 - San Antonio, TX (USA) -

- Queensrÿche -
- Oct. 13th 2012 - San Antonio, TX (USA), Sunken Gardens Theater -

Saturday, I attended the South Texas Rock Fest in San Antonio, TX. On the bill were Queensrÿche, Accept, Dokken, and MSG. Unfortunately, I got there too late for MSG, which was a shame since that's the only band I hadn't seen before. DokkenI knew what I was going to get from Dokken and Accept. Dokken would give a solid effort, but would be disappointing because Don Dokken is only a shell of the singer he used to be and couldn't hit the high notes anymore. He even commented during the show that he no longer had his falsetto, that it was gone. On the other hand, I knew Accept was a well-oiled, metal machine, and they exceeded my high expectations. Accept They were simply flawless, looked great, sounded great, great setlist for only an hour or so set. One 2nd stage band caught my attention. Project Terror, featuring Crimson Glory's Ben Jackson on guitar gave a solid dose of power metal. The real wildcard of the festival was Queensryche with their new singer Todd La Torre. I had heard good things and seen YouTube clips, but I had to see for myself. After some strange techno intro music that I didn't understand of care for, Queensrÿche exploded onto the stage to Queen Of The Ryche. Queensryche Now, I've seen Queensrÿche before, eight other times in fact, and I can't remember that song that early in the set. The more difficult songs are usually reserved for the end of the set, but no, they actually opened with Queen Of The Ryche and Todd La Torre nailed it perfectly. Queensrÿche had promised to be a more metal band with La Torre, and they were. They stuck to their older material, nothing after Mindcrime, bringing out songs like En Force, Child Of Fire, and Road To Madness. They even broke out Prophecy, which I had never heard live. Todd sounded amazing, and was very appreciative of the crowd (unlike the original singer who told the crowd at Rocklahoma that they sucked). The band seemed to be re-energized, too, with Michael Wilton commanding the stage during his solos like I haven't seen before. Late in the show, Todd did seem to tire just a little bit. I found out later from a friend who was backstage the Todd had been suffering a severe headache all day and even had someone rubbing his temples every time he came off stage. After a short break, they came out for their encore. The break did Todd good, because he was back to 100% for Take Hold Of The Flame, nailing every note perfectly. They ended the show with three songs from Empire. I left with no doubts about the future of Queensrÿche. As long as the new music holds up, they will be back on top of the metal world.

The setlist was as follows:

01. Queen Of The Reich
02. Speak
03. Walk In The Shadows
04. The Whisper
05. En Force
06. Child Of Fire
07. Warning
08. The Needle Lies
09. Prophecy
10. Roads To Madness
11. I Don't Believe In Love
12. My Empty Room
13. Eyes Of A Stranger


14. Take Hold Of The Flame
15. Jet City Woman
16. Silent Lucidity
17. Empire

Jody Hickman


- Queensrÿche & Fatal Smile -
- June 22nd 2009 - Düsseldorf (D), Stahlwerk -

Fatal Smile live in Düsseldorf

Queensryche live in Düsseldorf

Queensryche live in Düsseldorf

Queensryche live in Düsseldorf

Queensryche live in Düsseldorf

Queensryche live in Düsseldorf

Queensrÿche are back with American Soldier and touring the world. One stop on their route through Europe was scheduled for Düsseldorf. In Germany they were supported by Ivanhoe and Fatal Smile, but in Düsseldorf 2 more bands were added, but I skipped them. And I wasn't the only one hanging out in the foyer of the venue.
Ivanhoe were out to promote their last years album Lifeline live. Unfortunately the sound wasn't very good and that didn't help to convince the Queensryche fans. I confess that I'm not a fan of the new Ivanhoe and so I only took a brief look while they were playing Time Machine.
Next in line were Swedish sleaze rockers Fatal Smile. The foursome are on their World Domination tour and again play in Germany. They already toured here with Lordi and now they came to entertain the Queensrÿche fans. In the beginning singer Blade had problems with his microphone and had to use one of the micro stands of his band. Anyway, the crew fixed it after a few minutes, but while the crew worked on it Blade and his mates just did rocked the house. I don't know their songs, so I can't give you any details, but even without knowing the songs you could have fun. Even if I think they would have fit better to the Mötley Crüe package they did well. And for the first time the fans really seem to have a good time. The colorful quartet simply rocked.
After a longer break it was time for Seattle's finest - Queensryche! The band had announced that the set will be split into 3 suites - Rage For Order, American Soldier and Empire.
Finally at 10:45 PM the Americans entered the stage and right from the start the charismatic singer Geoff Tate had the attention of everybody in the place. Dressed like a business man he acted like the host leading the audience through the night. They kicked off with songs from Rage For Order incl. I Dream In Infrared, Walk In The Shadows and I Will Remember. The band stayed in the back, but delivered the musical playground for Mr. Tate. Guitarist Michael Wilton teamed up with youngster Parker Lundgren while drummer Scott Rockenfield and bassist Eddie Jackson took care of the rhythm. Unfortunately the sound at Stahlwerk is always a problem, even if the QR sound tech did a much better job than the majority of his colleagues! The fans loved to hear the Rage For Order songs and appreciated the dual leads and solos of the dynamic guitar duo.
An air-raid siren told that it was time for American Soldier! Their current release is for me the best Queensrÿche album since Empire and so I was looking forward to hear some songs live. But the band decided to do only 4 songs of the album, perhaps because the songs carry a dark vibe... It's not the complexity of the songs, it's the topic... It's the stories of war, the stories soldiers told Geoff Tate. Before they headed into The Killer Geoff Tate addressed the audience and explained what made him write this song - which is partly about his father who is a Vietnam veteran. "Casualties of war, there are always casualties. I don't think it make sense at all..." began Geoff Tate and they started into A Dead Man's Words where keyboarder / guitarist Jason Ames shared vocal duties with Tate. A great piece of music where the frontman also picked up the clarinet. After the American Soldier suite it was time for the last suite - Empire! This album was the commercial breakthrough for the Seattlites and it's still one of the favorite albums of their fans. Like the album the suite started with Best I Can - and the fans got loud. Time for some saxophone play by the charismatic singer. The crowd went wild when they kicked off The Thin Line. And even the band seemed to get boosted by the fan response... Time to introduce the youngest band member, guitarist Parker Lundgren, before they headed into One And Only. But also time for Mr. Tate to talk about vinyls and tapes... Asking if anybody remember these days. When they played the first notes of Silent Lucidity the place when silent. The song has a special meaning for many people, but especially for guitarist Michael Wilton as Tate explained. Next in line one of my favorites - Jet City Woman - and the fans started singing along. After Anybody Listening? Queensrÿ:che left the stage. The fans were wondering, coz they haven't played the title track - and after a few moments the band was back for Empire! The very last song for tonight. After almost 2 hrs Queensrÿche left the stage. And the fans left the place satisfied, but 4 support bands are definitely too much, especially at a Monday night!
Okay, I have seen more energetic shows of the Rÿche... Anyway, it was great to see them again and it looks like they will be on the road for a few more months... Perhaps they even come back to Europe and present a different show... After the show the band showed up to meet some fan club members and talk again to some journalists before it was time to get back on the road and head to the next tour stop.

Claudia Ehrhardt


- Queensr˙che - May 8th 2009 - Chicago IL (USA), House of Blues -

© Claudia Ehrhardt

June 2009
Live in Düsseldorf

There's a lot one can say about Queensr˙che. One of the founding bands of the Progressive Metal genre in the 1980's, for the majority of that decade and almost half of the next, the band was a force to be reckoned with, putting out classic albums such as The Warning, Rage For Order, and the pinnacle of their career as well as a highlight of the progressive metal genre, the masterpiece Operation: Mindcrime. The 1990's saw them release Empire (the peak of their commercial success) and Promised Land, the former a worthy successor to Mindcrime and the latter solid, if not as good.

Tonight however, instead of playing staples such as Eyes Of A Stranger or I Don't Believe In Love, they focused on the albums: Rage For Orde, Empire, and their latest offering, American Soldier Thought many consider Operation: Mindcrime unquestionably the band's best, Rage For Order has always been, to me, just as good. The band opened with the RFO suite, tearing through favorites such as Walk In The Shadows and I Dream In Infrared. The band has great energy, led by the great Geoff Tate, who, though lacking a good part of his once magnificent 4-octave vocal range, performed brilliantly, with the help of a couple new faces (Parker Lundgren on guitar and Jason Ames on keyboards, guitar and vocals).

After the Rage For Order suite, American Soldier was next. I was most hesitant about this portion of the show. I'd heard the album some weeks ago, and while it was far from bad, nothing really stood out, and I halfway through it began to drag. The songs aren't really improved in the live performance, with only A Dead Man's Words standing out, mostly due to the dual vocals of Geoff and keyboardist / guitarist Jason Ames. This song aside, the American Soldier suite was nowhere near as good as the one preceding it. On another note, there seemed to be a disingenuous sentiment with these tracks. Queensr˙che made fiery liberal political statements in the past with Operation: Mindcrime and Empire. While supporting the troops is neither a solely left or right issue, these songs gave off a nationalistic feel that is not characteristic of Queensr˙che at all, and perhaps this one of the reasons why the songs, and album, fail.

Moving on the Empire suite, the pace and energy of both the band and crowd reached a high point. From the opening Best I Can to the haunting closing Anybody Listening?, the atmosphere was excellent, the performance outstanding. Favorites such as Silent Lucidity and Jet City Woman still sound fresh and powerful, and The Thin Line and Hand On Heart have lost none of their edge. Of this suite, One And Only was the sole low point. For an encore, the title track Empire was performed, lyrically still as relevant as it was almost twenty years ago (not necessarily a good thing, considering the subject matter).

All in all, I feel like this was a great show. Although no one can fault the band for wanting to try new things and play with new ideas, I feel at this point, their future is in their past, as the tracks from the latest album couldn't be saved, despite a good effort from the band.

Speaking of which, I've always thought Queensr˙che was very talented musically, and this was on display tonight (for the most part). I've already touched on Geoff Tate, but in addition to being an excellent vocalist, he's also a great frontman, with intelligent dialogue between songs along with banter. Tate makes up for the lack of vocal gymnastics with energy and charisma. Michael Wilton and Eddie Jackson do great on work on their respective guitar and bass, and additional guitarist Parker Lundgren provides the band with a shot of youthful energy. Jason Ames seemed pretty useless on keyboards, but did a great job on backing vocals. My main gripe musically was Scott Rockenfield...I don't know what it was, but his drumming was awful.

I'll end by saying that Queensr˙che is an excellent band, and overall they put on an amazing show. I recommend anyone who is a fan and has not seen them to do so.

Gino Squire
(guest writer)


Queensrÿche - May 8th 2009 - Chicago (IL, USA), House Of Blues

Seattle's finest came for 2 shows to Chicago and they were out to perform music from Rage For Order, American Soldier and Empire - Extended Suites tour.
They opened up with Neue Regel and Geoff Tate acted like a host. Even a Geoff Tate is getting older and so these days he's only doing the high notes at essential parts, at others they were done by Jason Ames. Anyway, songs like Screaming In Digital and I Dream In Infrared sounded awesome! It was great to hear this tunes again live!
The middle suite was dedicated to the new album American Soldier. For the ones who haven't heard the album by now Geoff Tate explained the idea behind the album and guided the fans through the songs. When he introduced The Killer Mr. Tate told us that his father served in Vietnam and that this album is very personal for him. With Home Again they have a potential radio hit - just talking about rock radio stations - and it's a very special song talking about a daughter and a father missing each other while he's serving overseas. At the album Geoff's daughter Emily was singing the daughter's part - and he took her on tour with him! Emily Tate wore a white dress and her soft voice in combination with the strong vocals of her father created something special... A very touching moment! This suite was ended with The Voice. Btw, on a video screen they showed footage from the 50's and 60's - from the war and the life back home - and the harsh contrast between the different lifestyles was unsettling. It never been so clear to me.
Then it was time for Empire! Its still my favorite Queensrÿche album and even if Tate got some help by Jason Ames again this guy is still better then many others! And even when he picks up an oboe or a saxophone he's impressing. They kicked off this suite with Best I Can and during this suite they also presented Hand On Heart and Silent Lucidity. And with Jet City Woman and Anybody Listening? they finished the set. I wished they would have played Another Rainy Night, but well... First Scott Rockenfield came back and trow some sticks and shirts into the audience. After he was done he got back behind his drum kit and signaled the others to join him - and they headed into Empire! The set list had also listed Take Hold On A Flame, but they skipped it. So the title track of the final suite was the last they played. But better leaving you happy and satisfied then ruin the impression with a so-so performance of the last tune!
I'm really glad I made it to Chicago to see Queensrÿche and can just recommend to go and see the show when they hit your city! Awesome band, great show!

Set list:

Neue Regel
The Whisper
Screaming In Digital
I Dream In Infrared
Walk In The Shadows
Surgical Strike
I Will Remember
The Killer
If I Were King
Man Down
Dead Man's Words
Home Again
The Voice
Best I Can
The Thin Line
One And Only
Hand On Heart
Silent Lucidity
Jet City Woman
Anybody Listening?

(guest writer)


Queensrÿche & Beyond Fear
- April 26th 2008 - Chihuahua, México -

The awaiting had finished at last, year's most expected event for veteran rockers had come. While on the line I could feel the magic in the ambiance, for the first time in Chihuahua, we had nothing but two high profile bands in a single night!
Lights were out, the powerful screams by Tim 'Ripper' Owns exploded in the Rodrigo M. Quevedo gymnasium.
People went crazy. Beyond Fear taking control of the place. Pounding guitars as well as a grinding bass and explosive drums blew our brains out. They played their entire debut album. They were confident from start to end, as we heard Save Me, And You Will Die, Scream Machine - among others. As well as Judas Priests' Green Manalishi and Burn In Hell. They really surprised us playing Black Sabbath's Symptom Of The Universe!
What a voice Tim Owens has! He took everybody in audience. After a bit more than an hour of delirium their performance came to and end.Queensryche
With the crowd burning, a moment which many never even dreamed of witnessing; Queensrÿche for the very first time. What a night! Playing over two hours, it was a delight with their great classics and a cover song of Neon Knights it was a dream come true.
QueensrycheBest I Can opened the show, followed by N M 156 , Screaming In Digital, Hostage and The Hands from Operation Mindcrime II. Then followed by The Killing Words, Another Rainy Night, Gonna Get Close To You, Walk In The Shadows and a great surprise with Last Night In Paris. Then Breaking The Silence, Anybody Listening?, Jet City Woman. Eyes Of A Stranger was the last song before the encore which was The Lady Wore Black, Empire, Take Hold Of The Flame. Finally, the crowd finished singing along Silent Lucidity.
Why all the good things must come to an end?

Victor Castillo
(translation.: Daniel de Niz)


           ©2008-2014 by Claudia Ehrhardt • E-Mail:

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