By RUBEN MOSQUEDA //
The band minus Geoff Tate.
If you’re a hard rock/metal fan you know the backstory behind Queensryche; the Seattle band went through some turmoil during the course of the past decade which ended with singer Geoff Tate leaving in 2012---or was he fired? Tate and his former bandmates found themselves embroiled in a legal battle over the name ‘Queensryche.’ Fast forward to the present where founding guitarist Michael Wilton, drummer Scott Rockenfield and bassist Eddie Jackson have been given the right to continue using Queensryche. In 2013 the band issued a ‘self-titled’ album with new vocalist Todd La Torre who is a dead ringer for Geoff Tate. In the spring of 2012 in fact, the band sans Tate played two very intimate and sold-out shows at the Hard Rock in Seattle as ‘Rising West’ with La Torre on vocals. The response was overwhelming--they played deep cuts from the Queensryche catalog and tracks that hadn’t been played in ages.
On October 2nd, 2015 Queensryche issued their sophomore album titled ‘Condition Human’ the album is very reminiscent of such albums as ‘The Warning,’ ‘Rage For Order,’ and’ ‘Operation:Mindcrime.’ “Condition Human should sound like classic Queensryche--we’re the guys that made those albums,” proclaimed Michael Wilton during a pre show interview. He goes on to say, “ I have the Queensryche style to my playing and you can also say the same about Eddie with the bass and Scott with his drumming. When we met with ‘Zeuss’ (producer) about doing the album he said he’s a fan of the first six albums.’Zeuss’ spurred that on and helped us awaken a little bit our past, I think.” Having just wrapped up a tour opening for Scorpions the band has been playing some select headlining shows.
The Queensryche show at the Bossanova Ballroom in Portland on October 24th was a high dollar gig; having said that it was good to see such a strong turnout for the band for their return to The Rose City. As an all ages show the ages ranged from pre-teens to fans in mid to late 50s. None the less the concertgoers were extremely enthusiastic and were treated to deep album cuts with two La Torre era tracks; “Where Dreams Go To Die” from the ‘self-titled’ 2013 album and “Arrow Of Time” from ‘Condition Human.’ The newer material went over brilliantly wedged between classic and deep cuts. Of course they included the staples like; “Empire,” “Jet City Woman,” “I Don’t Believe In Love,” “Eyes Of Stranger” and their hit “Silent Lucidity.” Queensryche as a collective unit fed off the fan’s energy throughout the set. It was something to see and hear the audience sing along with deeper tracks like; “The Needle Lies,” “Queen Of The Ryche,” or “Take Hold Of The Flame.” I saw them 2012 when the band billed themselves as Rising West---that was an incredibly fun and memorable show. Their performance in Portland on October 24th was on par with that if not better.