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Queensr├┐che

Live in Chicago, Illinois, December 2016

Review by Greg Olma

Queensryche has been making good on their promise of rebuilding their brand these last few years.  They started by releasing two great albums and then they proceeded to tour the hell out of them.  In fact, their December show at the Concord Music Hall is their third go around in the Chicago land area for 2016. 
 
All of this hard work is paying off because, as a long-time fan, in my opinion, they have managed to bring back a lot of the majesty and class that was lacking in the latter days of the Geoff Tate era.

Greg Olma
 
Greg Olma
 
Greg Olma

They opened their show with the new track “Guardian” off of Condition Human.  I’m glad that there is emphasis right away on new material because it shows that Queensryche is not a nostalgia act.  They are moving forward with new music that fits nicely with their older catalogue.  And when I say older, I’m talking about the first self-titled EP which got an airing with “Queen of the Ryche."  Now, while they did perform a couple of new tunes, the set was mainly filled with songs from the early part of their career ending with Promised Land.  Songs like “The Killing Words," “Damaged” and “Take Hold of the Flame” were sprinkled in between tracks from their most popular albums Operation: Mindcrime and Empire.  Of the new songs, they switched out “Bulletproof” for “Hellfire” this time around, and I was happy to see that I wasn’t the only one who was excited to hear songs from Condition Human.  The crowd welcomed the new material almost as well as they did the older “classics."


Greg Olma
 
Greg Olma
 
Greg Olma
As I mentioned earlier, there is a sort of majesty to their songs and their performance of those tunes.  All the guys perform the material just like the record but with a little something extra that only a live performance can bring out.  I’m not going to slag off the latter day Tate-era but when I see Queensryche now, they look like they are having fun on stage which was missing from the American Soldier and Dedicated to Chaos tours.  My only complaint, and it’s a minor one, would be to have more new material performed.  I’m sure to a certain extent, I’m in the minority, but given how well the new material was received at the show tells me that many fans like the direction Queensryche is headed.  Judging by this last show, the guys have not only rebuilt their “brand” but have also laid the groundwork for exciting music (and performances) to come.

Greg Olma
 
Greg Olma
 
Greg Olma
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