Queensrÿche - LIVE: Islington Academy, London 2013

Queensrÿche World Tour
October 12 (20:30 - 21:55)
Capacity 800
Photos

Back in April Queensrÿche, the version without Geoff Tate, postponed their European tour apart from a festival appearance, probably because their self-titled new album wasn't ready yet. It was to be their first tour since the acrimonious and much-publicised split with original singer Tate and the hiring of Crimson Glory's Todd La Torre.

For this replacement tour, London became the opening night, and what everyone hoped for was something similar to the first shows the band did with La Torre, which covered their first four albums exclusively, featuring many songs they hadn't played in decades. Apart from the singer, not a great deal has changed in Queensrÿche. In the absence of Tate, guitarist Parker Lundgren seems to have taken over silly hat and waistcoat duty (perhaps a sign of how much he's grown in confidence within the band), and bassist Eddie Jackson still spends most of his time in the shadows looking disinterested, coming forward only to provide backing vocals, but the rest of what they do is the same.

That key difference of the singer though is the most important thing, and what these live shows prove is that the new album doesn't come close to demonstrating just how good a fit La Torre is for Queensrÿche. His voice, and range, is incredible. As good as Tate was in his younger days. And as such he can handle the impossible high notes of songs like Queen of The Reich and Warning with ease.

The set they produced neared perfection. Although the absence of The Lady Wore Black was surprising, and the continued exclusion of London, even if just for tonight, is frustrating, they did play most of the best songs from the first four albums and the fans were ecstatic to finally get to hear those songs again after so many years of Tate not being able to sing them anymore. From the new album Where Dreams Go To Die slotted in amongst all the old songs perfectly, but Fallout was not so successful. Opening the encore with it is the wrong spot anyway, but as well as being a generally poor choice from an album that contains great songs like Don't Look Back and Open Road, technical problems meant La Torre's vocals were inaudible for one verse, and Parker's guitar went missing from time to time.

While they're still plundering the back catalogue Queensrÿche are a must-see with this line-up. As they start to bring more new songs into the set that might change, but the balance will likely always be in favour of the rare old stuff because that's what they've been pinning their colours to since La Torre arrived, and they do it particularly well.

“ voice, and range, is incredible ”

Setlist: Queen of the Reich / Speak / Walk in the Shadows / The Whisper / En Force / Child of Fire / Warning / Where Dreams Go to Die / The Needle Lies / Prophecy / My Empty Room / Eyes of a Stranger // Fallout / Take Hold of the Flame / Jet City Woman / Silent Lucidity / Empire

Photo(s): Andy Lye

Written by Andy Lye
More: 2013, Gigs, Heavy Metal,

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