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Date: 1/22/16
Venue: Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ
Report By: Rich Catino


Touring on their second album, “Condition Human”, with new singer Todd La Torre, Queensryche - Scott Rockenfield, Michael Wilton, and Eddie Jackson, with Parker Lundgren (guitar 2009–present), have made major steps to return to the sound and style fans (and critics) came to love in the 80s and early 90s. And speaking of their most revered period…with Todd behind the mic all things are good, close your eyes and he sounds just like Tate (Geoff). I know…everyone (as do I) always wants the classic, or original lineup, who recorded the bands most well known and best music. But, as life is, not everything lasts, or works forever. With that, sometimes a new singer came be as suitable replacement to what is a unique, irreplaceable voice. Queensryche are one of the few bands who got lucky with switching an iconic singer with another that is as good. Moving forward…this change has also ignited a much needed spark of creativity and a return to the roots of Ryche.

Kicking off the show with single/video track, ‘Guardian’, from “Condition Human”, immediately brings back the Ryche’s recognizable riffing, rhythmic structures and changes driven by Scott’s busy drumming, and solo trade off. Related images on the video screens for the title track to the landmark album “Operation Mindcrime” with Jackson in the pocket laying down those bass lines, followed by (one of several), “Empire” hit ‘Best I Can’. Must say was great to hear, and excellent choice – as ‘Damaged’ made a return to the set, from the underrated album “Promised Land”, with ‘Killing Words’ another gem dusted off from “Rage For Oder” album. See, that’s what is also so great about having Todd in the band…not only does the voice fit, but since his addition the setlist has been chock full of classic known, and rarities, from the first E.p. up through “Empire”. Which speaking of, ‘Anybody Listening’ – another goodie to hear again, with Michael and Parker seamlessly working together for the riffs and melodies.

‘Bulletproof’, a slower ballady song off the new album, and ‘In This Light’ from the self titled album (first with Todd) keeps their relevance current, while sandwiching solid gold classics like headbanger ‘Queen Of The Ryche’, ‘Take Hold Of The Flame’, and to ‘Jet City Woman’. ‘Screaming In Digital’, brought it back to “Rage For Oder”, closing the night with “Mindcrime” favorite ‘Eyes Of A Stranger’. Once again, another great show with a well-balanced setlist featuring new and old, hits and deep cuts. Really no reason to complain. I look forward to see Queensryche again, and many bands can learn from their different setlists from tour to tour (hint, hint…Maiden, Megadeth, Kiss).

Intro - tape
(I Remember Now) - tape
Operation: Mindcrime
Best I Can
The Killing Words
The Mission
Anybody Listening?
In This Light
Queen of the Reich
Jet City Woman
Take Hold of the Flame
Screaming in Digital
Eyes of a Stranger


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