Tonight in Melbourne a packed house saw the return of Queensryche to Australian shores for the first time in almost ten years and the news is the band who surged to the top of the tree back in the early 90’s are back and stronger and bigger than ever with new vocalist Todd La Torre at the helm. The setlist may be exactly the same as the one they played in Japan and elsewhere on the Condition Human Tour but its one that more than pleased the enthusiastic crowd. Tonight for the most part (and there are always a few detractors) Geoff Tate who sang last time they visited was forgotten and it was all about the music.
So with a packed house, and the crowd very vocal the band could do no wrong. It wasn’t until we got to “Best I Can” that La Torre started engaging the crowd , perhaps gauging the mood in the room prior to that: “You know this one” he told us before the song and after a stunning performance he added “You guys sound awesome tonight”.
As the set progressed you could tell both band and crowd were enjoying it. There was a big cheer for ‘The Mission’, and the crowd sang every word. La Torre seems overwhelmed: “what an awesome warm welcome for us”, thanks for supporting live music”.
Later on in the night there are more warm words: “This tour has been all about the old stuff you all love, with a sprinkle of the new”.
Sadly before we’d really noticed the night was over. The final song of the set proper took us back to ‘The Warning’ from 1984 “Take Hold of the Flame”. We were left with La Torre asking us “You guys have to spread the word that Queensryche are alive and well!”
The encore really set the crowd on fire: “Let me hear you Melbourne!” we were implored before ‘Screaming in Digital’ and the song everyone had been waiting for “Eyes of a Stranger” saw Todd introduce the band members during the song. Sadly that was the only song his voice failed him a little!
As if to remark on the split with former vocalist Tate we were left with: “We are the one and only Queensryche, thank you and goodnight!”
An hour and ten minutes of sheer class! Let’s hope they come back sooner next time, and with the reception and the packed house why wouldn’t they?
Best I Can
The Killing Words
Queen of the Reich
Jet City Woman
Take Hold of the Flame
Screaming in Digital
Eyes of a Stranger