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Metal/Prog Metal Concert Reviews

Queensr├┐che

Live in Wauconda, Illinois, August 2014

Review by Greg Olma

I am happy to say that the whole legal issue over the Queensryche name has been settled and we can now focus on the music.  The music is where my love for the band has always been, and it was not reserved for any particular member or line-up.  Truth be told, I’m glad that Michael Wilton, Eddie Jackson, and Scott Rockenfield were able to work out a deal to continue on as Queensryche.  They are 3/5 of the original line-up so it only stands to reason that they should continue under that moniker.  Also, if last year’s self-titled album is any indication, they are following the musical path of their earlier (and more popular) work.  Now that the music is front and center and all the drama is behind, I can say without hesitation that the mighty Queensryche is back.  If the last record did not convince you, you should see them live.  There is no way you could not walk away impressed.

Much has been said about Todd La Torre’s vocal performances and he deserves all the praise he gets, but what really makes this band work is that they all seem to have a common vision.  Although Wilton is king of riffs, Parker Lundgren has made his mark within the band and both guitarists play off of one another; almost keeping the other on his toes.  Eddie Jackson is one of those band members who may not be in the forefront but is an integral piece of the Queensryche puzzle. Aside from handling bass duties, he also provides many of the background vocals which only furthers the Queensryche sound.  I have always been a fan of Scott Rockenfield’s drum work. and (even after all these years) he still bashes away at his kit like someone who is auditioning for the band.  His style of metal but with a progressive twist always makes a Queensryche show special. 


Greg Olma
 
Greg Olma
 
Greg Olma

The show started with “Nightrider” off of the EP.  From the moment the band hit the stage there was a determination in their performance.  Although they didn’t need to convince the appreciative crowd, they still played like they had something to prove.  They kept the momentum going with “Breaking the Silence” followed by “The Whisper.”  The Warning is one of my favorite all-time records so I was really happy to see (and hear) a double dose in the form of “En Force” and “Warning.”  Quite honestly, at this point, they could have finished their show and I would have walked away satisfied as it has been a long time since I have seen those songs performed, let alone this spot-on.


Greg Olma
 
Greg Olma
 
Greg Olma

The show continued on with more selections from the first five Queensryche records with only “Where Dreams Go To Die” as the lone tune off of 2013’s Queensryche opus.  Now I must admit that as much as I love to hear the older tunes, I would have liked to have heard more of the new record.  The material on Queensryche is strong enough that more of that record could be performed.  That is my only complaint about the show and it really is a minor one.  Truth be told, if you had me pick the set list, they would be on stage for four hours.  Anyway, the band finished the show with a three song encore of “Queen of the Ryche,” “Jet City Woman” and “Take Hold of the Flame.”.  If you are like me (and based on the crowd response there are a lot of you) and you enjoy the earlier phase of Queensryche, then you have to see them once again.  Based on their performance at Farm Rock 2014, they are back and better than ever.


Greg Olma
 
Greg Olma
   
This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.
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