Queensryche - Queensryche Live from Waukesha, Wisconsin USA
Live Gig

Release year: 2014
Reviewed by Joel
NOTE: This Concert Was Performed Live, July 19, 2014 in Waukesha, WI USA, at the Waukesha County Fairgrounds.

Here in the States, and in nearly all of them, we have these little festivals called County Fairs. For those of you in other parts of the world, who may not know of these, they are festivals of food, music, and a lot of case farming and charity(4-H) exhibits. It is also part carnival as well, with enough food to give any one a heart attack, and the rides to the puke the food up later! Lets also not forget lots of beer, it is Wisconsin of course, where drinking at summer festivals, is some sort of rite of passage. In other words, a lot of fun! Generally for this fair, in Waukesha, Wisconsin (25 minutes west of the larger city of Milwaukee) ,the music is generally Country or Classic Rock (Blue Oyster Cult played the night before). Tonight was a one off show featuring Winger opening for Queensryche (This is the Queensryche without Geoff Tate.., so if you were waiting on comments about Geoff's performance, this is not your review!).

When Winger rose to fame with their now classic self-titled debut, I had barely turned ten years old, but I knew exactly who they were. My sister Lynn who is six years older than me, and a full-on teenager than, introduced me to bands, who would push me into the music I would come to love (with a lot heavier bands over the next few years). Winger sang songs from Hunger to Madalaine throughout the set. They also played Down Incognito, off their very-underappreciated Pull (1993) album. They did their back to back ballads of Headed For A Heartbreak and Miles Away, with Kip Winger himself showing he still has the pipes to hit those higher notes. As a guitarist, I always felt Reb Beach was a very underrated guitarist/musician, he plays with technical prowess, speed, and has a great sense of melody. From guitarist who rose to fame in the 80s based on their ability, he deserves to be mentioned next to the Gilbert's, Becker's, and even Friedman's of the time. Beach had his moment to shine, during a classic guitar solo of just him on stage, it was fun to watch, and brings back the days when guitarist did this at every show. It might have been flashy and showy, but the man can seriously play. This is a band who knows where they came from, but has also pushed forward with a new release, called Better Days Comin' (Frontier Records), which showcases the band's Hard Rock stylings, but also their musicianship. Midnight Driver Of A Love Machine and Rat Race were two songs they played off that disc, check out the latter's video right here. I thought for the hour they played this was a very solid performance, and the band looks happy to be playing together after 25 years, which tells me Better Days Comin', might be more than just an album title in the band's mind.

It was just past 9pm (21:00) local time as Queensryche took the stage, and they opened with one of their oldest songs, Nightrider. With Todd La Torre hitting the high notes of the opening scream, to the music itself, feeling like it was lifted from their debut EP, and transported thirty plus years into the future. Queensryche was firing on all cylinders from the beginning. The set was predominantly filled with songs from their first four releases (making me very happy!). For the entire set they would weave in and out of classics from all their discs, in no exact order of releases. We got the Operation Mindcrime classic Breaking The Silence followed by Walk In The Shadows, by the lesser known The Whisper (awesome song!) and En Force. A trifecta(plus one short interlude, "Midnight Lullaby") of new songs from their self titled 2013 release (Century Media Records), with La Torre which made up their powerful and emotional Ad Lucem video(Spore, Where Dreams Go To Die, A World Without) were played with the classic, Warning breaking them up. Parker Lundgren and Michael Wilton had a very cool guitar duel, in which they were not trying to one-up each other, but were playing and feeding off of what each other were doing. After the duel, the band played The Needle Lies from Mindcrime followed by two older songs, NM 156 and the crowd favorite, The Lady Wore Black (which was nice to hear, in its original format, and not the bastardized version Tate turned it into, slowing it down). The final three songs of the set closed out with the short and melancholy My Empty Room and the classic Eyes Of A Stranger followed up by 1990's title track, Empire. After a very brief break, the band came out for a three song encore, the first being Queen Of The Reich, which was the first song they performed when I saw them last year. How Todd La Torre can still hit those high notes after an hour of singing, deserves mention all by itself. Empire's Jet City Woman and the classic Take Hold The Flame ended the show. I am a huge fan of Queensryche, then and now.

Now that there is only one Queensryche, and the other well, Tater-ryche is just Geoff Tate. For original members, Scott Rockenfield, Eddie Jackson (still one of my favorite bassists!) and Michael Wilton, I feel they found new life in their music, and were able to bring back the sound, they had in mind for what the Queensryche name should be. With help from guitarist Parker Lundgren and singer Todd La Torre, Queensryche found new life on last year's release, and it is still going strong. I can't wait to hear the next chapter in Queensryche, hopefully next year. I honestly believe losing Tate, and starting over with Torre, was one of the best reasons, Queensryche has made one of the best comeback's in rock history.

Killing Songs :
Joel quoted
Other albums by Queensryche that we have reviewed:
Queensryche - The Verdict reviewed by Joel and quoted 93 / 100
Queensryche - Condition Human reviewed by Joel and quoted 92 / 100
Queensryche - Queensrÿche (2013 LP) reviewed by Andy and quoted 89 / 100
Queensryche - Dedicated To Chaos reviewed by Erik and quoted 31 / 100
Queensryche - American Soldier reviewed by Marty and quoted 84 / 100
To see all 13 reviews click here
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