They had home field advantage in Seattle to give us all abit of a ‘Warning’

How do you feel about bands playing entire albums for tours?   Can be a good idea, especially if you are in-between albums and need an idea for a tour to motivate the fanbase.  Just about every band, especially the older ones, will eventually do it, or have already.   It’s especially interesting when a 42 year old band decides to dig deep with their first 2 albums.

Such as the case tonight, with Queensrÿche who are at the Neptune in Seattle with support from fellow metal veterans Armored Saint .  Queensrÿche will be playing their Queensrÿche EP as well their first album The Warning, both in order, front to back. These first few albums they did were more Heavy Metal/Power Metal as they drifted in later albums to a more progressive sound.    It’s the early beginnings of them when they sang more about Queen’s in a castle, rather than about a “Jet City Woman”.

Todd La Torre

However, not the same band members from those albums.  Michael Wilton is on lead guitar as well as Eddie Jackson on bass, both whom are only founding members of the original band from those albums. Mike Stone (with the Cowboy hat) is on rhythm guitar, Casey Grillo on drums and along with Todd La Torre on vocals.    This is actually my first show seeing this band without the original singer, Geoff Tate.   He has been gone since 2012, so I am curious to see La Torre on vocals on this show.

Fans were out in full force too, as the Neptune was sold out in advance to see their hometown boys in action.  They play just about every year in Seattle.

Michael Wilton

They start off sticking to chronological order with, “Queen of the Reich”.  Wow, what a positively electric start to a rock show!  This their break out song with just about everything a metal song should have, huge riffs and guitar solos with insanely amazing vocals.   Shivers ran down my spine after hearing La Torre during the opening riff with that scream that raises the Neptune roof.  He absolutely nails it, along with the rest of the song.  I wonder if it’s a nightmare for a singer to start a show off with such a vocal exercise. But after hearing that song, it certainly sets us up for what’s yet to come.

Song 3 “Blinded”, about halfway through, the vocals are lost in the mix completely but came back on the last word of the song.   They finish the song, but La Torre says “ok we have to do that again”.  So they re-do that one.   I haven’t seen that too often but pure class act to play it again!  We were here to see both these albums in their entirety, right?

Eddie Jackson

The stage layout was simple, yet effective.  Grillo was on a large drum riser, if you were on the floor, you probably didn’t see much of him behind that massive kit.

They finish the EP after “The Lady Wore Black” and with a very brief break they move onto The Warning album.   Starting off with “The Warning”, again brings back memories when I first got into this band.   I am not the only old-timer in this crowd however, many gray haired older fans attended with their kids in tow at this show.  It’s fun watching their smiles and playing air drums to songs like “En Force”, “Deliverance”, “No Sanctuary” “N M 156”, “Child of Fire” etc.

Mike Stone

My personal favorite off this album (and likely everyone else’s) is “Take Hold of the Flame”, which was done to perfection I might add.  This was my favorite moment of the night, as I am pretty much convinced that if I closed my eyes, I would be swearing it was Geoff Tate singing when he was in his twenties again.   I am sure La Torre is used to the Geoff Tate comparisons, and no doubt La Torre adds his own on some of these, but he is vocal doppelganger much like we saw with Erik Gronwall of Skid Row (who has since left the band I might mention)  this past month. I give lots of props for La Torre for pulling this off, night after night.

Casey Grillo

They end the evening with “Prophecy” which was a bonus track on The Warning as well as they do another song which has been changing up on this tour.   Seattle gets “Walk in the Shadows”, which is from the preceding album from 1986, Rage for Order.   I had a copy of the setlist prior to show start, and this one caught be completely off guard, as we were supposed to get “Operation Mindcrime”. Honestly, I was pretty excited to hear “Operation Mindcrime” so if this kind of ended a little flat for me for a last song.  I was hoping we would still get it as a surprise end, but not this time.

All In all however, it was a really solid show.   The band was excellent, La Torre’s vocals hold up the entire night, and both albums played to completion.    We were without any annoying fan involvement that ruins the song like some 80’s bands still do to this day.   Seattle fans were digging it and we got what they said they would do.  Being a fan of these older albums I certainly was pleased how well this band can pull it off some 40 years later.   I think if you are a new fan wanting to visit the mid 80’s Heavy Metal scene or a older curious fan like myself, this is definitely a show you should not miss.

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