Article and Photos by Andrés Alvarado
The roller coaster story of Washington metal quintet Queensrÿche reverts back to the eighties. Spanning the decades since, the band has rifled off all sorts of newsworthy headlines; some good, some bad. Fifteen albums, several DVDs, lawsuits, firings, parallel bands touring under the same name, and much, much more are just a quick recap of what Queensrÿche has done since its inception. Nonetheless, through the thick and the thin, one key aspect of Queensrÿche has remained intact: their showmanship. Promoting their latest LP, The Verdict, the Rÿche chaps would once more let their performance chops do the talking at the swanky Buckhead Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia.
At roughly ten in the night, the Rÿche five hit the stage. With hundreds of aficionados greeting their every move with gleeful cheer, Todd La Torre and the gang rip-n-roll into action. The venue atmosphere converts from anticipation into raw fucking energy; after all, it is not every day one gets to witness legends mastering their craft. Long story short, Queensrÿche brought their A-game and delivered a masterful evening of towering natural highs, broad smiles, singalongs and, of course, metal melody by the bunches.
The playlist for the evening was a mixed bag of throwbacks and modern Rÿche tunes. Original members Michael Wilton and Eddie Jackson made sure that rÿcher purists got their proper dose of that nostalgia-laden fix by performing several numbers off their classic records like Empire, Rage for Order, The Warning and Operation: Mindcrime; while La Torre, Casey Grillo and Parker Lundgren channeled in the newer wave with numbers off latest The Verdict. Moreover, the concert failed to feel disjointed or like a tale of two bands; quite the contrary, it all came together organically, streamlined and rather punchy from the first note played to that final wave goodbye.
All in all, Queensrÿche served up a surreal spectacle of bottomless musicianship. After nearly forty years since their first track hit the sound waves, thousands of live shows, hundreds of hits and millions of fans, Queensrÿche still posseses the ability to make it all seem intimate and close-knit. That Tri-Ryche logo represents decades of excellence, both musically and in the live circuit; and in 2020 it is still a joy to see the Rÿche boys do their thing.