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Metal/Prog Metal Concert Reviews

Queensr├┐che

Live in Chicago, Illinois, January 2016

Review by Greg Olma

Queensryche is on the road again; this time with their own show and promoting their new Condition Human record.  I was really excited to finally see this version of the band headlining their own tour.  Previous times, they were the headliners on the festival circuit (at least in the Chicagoland area) so I really wanted to catch them on their own stage.  Even though it was a cold Sunday night in January, Queensryche was able to pull in a great crowd consisting mostly of hardcore fans.  Complete with background video screens, the guys hit the stage with new track “Guardian.”  I was glad that they decided to hit the crowd with new material.  It would have been so easy to start things off with a familiar crowd favorite, but they took a chance with a newer track.  It didn’t seem to matter to the fans because they enjoyed the show from the very first chord.  Oddly enough, they only performed one other track from the new album - “Bulletproof.”  They also only played “In This Light” from the excellent self-titled record from 2013, but that was it from the last two records.

When it came to digging back into the old catalogue, Queensryche hit the right chord (no pun intended) by playing some hits but also peppering the set list with deeper cuts.  They performed “Damaged” off Promised Land, and that is the first time they played anything from that disc in the Chicagoland area.  It was a welcome addition to the show and I hope that they continue to play material from that overlooked record.  While still continuing to play the title track from Empire and “Jet City Woman,” they managed to dust off “Anybody Listening?” which I would consider a deep cut.  Although the band released it as a single back in the day, it never really hit it big with anyone other than the hardcore fans like myself.  I was really happy that the band swapped out “Walk in the Shadows” with “The Killing Words” and “Screaming in Digital.”  While I love the former, the latter two tracks make for a nice change of pace.


Greg Olma
 
Greg Olma
 
Greg Olma

There was an article that I recently read where the band stated that they have been rebuilding the Queesryche name these last few years.  The main focus has been on the music (and not the drama), and it shows.  Their last two releases have been exceptional, and their live performances have brought back the days of glory.  The guys in Queensryche look like they are having a blast up on stage, and the crowd is right there with them.  It’s a toss-up on who is having more fun; us or them.  Either way, Queensryche is certainly building upon their legacy, and shows like this prove that they still have a lot of gas left in their tank.


Greg Olma
 
Greg Olma
 
Greg Olma
This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2016  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.
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