After a long three-year wait, Queensrÿche finally made a return to Boise this weekend. The Seattle-based quintet became a last minute addition in replacement of Pat Benatar at the Western Idaho Fair Friday night. Despite the short notice, fans came out in droves, and those who made the trek were rewarded with a fantastic set of classic Queensrÿche hits along with some newer tracks and a few deep cuts from the band’s earliest albums.
Queensrÿche is getting set to kick off a run as part of the Scorpions’ 50th Anniversary Return to Forever Tour, but Idaho fans got an early taste and a full headline set which included “Arrow of Time”, the first single from the band’s forthcoming album, Condition Human, due out October 2. AXS/Examiner sat down with frontman Todd La Torre before the concert to chat about the new record. You can watch that interview here.
Drummer Scott Rockenfield, bassist Eddie Jackson, and guitarists Michael “Whip” Wilton and Parker Lundgren took the stage to the instrumental “Anarchy-X” from the band’s epic concept album, Operation: Mindcrime. They segued perfectly into “Nightrider”, which took fans all the way back to the band’s 1983 eponymous debut EP. The band returned to Mindcrime for “Breaking the Silence”, as well as “”The Needle Lies”, “My Empty Room”, and “Eyes of a Stranger”.
Delving into the 1984 debut Queensrÿche full-length album, The Warning, the band delivered a dynamic rendition of “En Force” as well as “N M 156”. From the 1986 follow-up, Rage for Order, fans were treated to the addictive hook of “Walk in the Shadows”.
In 2013, the band released its first studio album with new frontman, Todd La Torre. An album which made a clear statement that Queensrÿche remains a heavy metal force. From that record, Queensrÿche offered up one of the show’s many highlights, “Where Dreams Go to Die”.
From the band’s triple-platinum 1990 release, Empire, Queensrÿche played its #1 single “Silent Lucidity”, as well as the title track, which closed out the band’s regular set. Three encores would follow, with some of the quintet’s most iconic tracks; “Queen of the Reich”, “Jet City Woman”, and “Take Hold of the Flame”.
For many fans, this performance marked the first time they had a chance to experience the band with La Torre up front, and from his deep resonating clean vocals on “Silent Lucidity” to the benchmark wailing highs that begin “Queen of the Reich”, the former Crimson Glory vocalist left no doubt he is the man for the job.
Queensrÿche delivered its set Friday night with high-caliber precision and obvious passion. It was great to see the band back in spirited form and once again enjoying what they do. It is clear watching the guys on stage that they made a long overdue and significantly wise decision to replace their founding singer in 2012. The proof of that wisdom can be seen on stage and heard in the exciting new music the band is creating. Boise fans were able to experience both this weekend.