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QUEENSRYCHE @ House of Blues - San Diego, CA (11.18.16)

Written  Thursday, 24 November 2016 by 

"It’s clear that Michael, Scott, Eddie, Parker, and Todd really enjoy playing together, and this translates into an amazing stage chemistry that is unrivaled on the rock scene today.    In a time where many bands from their generation are starting to fall short of expectations during their live performances, Queensryche seems to be getting better with age."

The early eighties were a magical time for rock and roll.  Bands like Judas Priest, The Scorpions, and Van Halen were all in their prime and new bands like Motley Crue and Poison were beginning to take a stranglehold on the Hollywood music scene.  The Sunset Strip was teeming with new talent, and clubs such as The Whisky and Troubadour were showcasing these acts nightly.  Then seemingly out of nowhere, a little known band from Seattle named Queensryche burst onto the scene.  Their unique brand of melodic rock infused with thought-provoking lyrics quickly won over the hearts and minds of fans worldwide.  Over 30 years and 30 million albums later, this band is still rocking harder than ever.  On Friday, November 18th, Michael Wilton (Guitar), Todd LaTorre (Vocals), Scott Rockenfield (Drums), Eddie Jackson (Bass), and Parker Lundgren (Guitar) hijacked the House of Blues in San Diego, CA for what was sure to be an epic night of rock and roll. 

Kicking off the evening was New York based symphonic rockers, Midnight Eternal.  Although the stage lighting was a bit dark for my taste, Raine Hilai and company rocked the house with a short but powerful set of symphonic metal.  Next up on the bill was Southern California metal icons, Armored Saint.  I have not seen these guys live since 2008 Rocklahoma and they were simply amazing.  The vocal power of John Bush combined with the guitar genius of Phil Sandoval and Jeff Duncan left little to be desired during this 45-minute no-frills assault.  Gonzo Sandoval's drumming was plain badassery and Joey Vera killed that bass the entire set.  My favorite songs from the nights performance included "Reign of Fire", Chemical Euphoria", and "Can You Deliver?"  Only one word could describe Armored Saint's set on Friday - Powerful.  I can't wait to see these guys again live in 2017.  Finally, after an hour and a half of killer metal, Scott Rockenfield appears from the darkness and lights the way for his brothers as Queensryche took center stage at the House of Blues in San Diego's famous Gas-lamp District.

Queensryche opened the show with Guardian off their 2015 release Condition Human.  This is one of my favorite tracks off of the album and they absolutely nailed it. Wilton’s guitar work and stage presence was simply epic!  Next up was "Operation: Mindcrime".  LaTorre had no trouble bringing this track to life with his amazing vocal range and dynamic stage presence. When you add in the accompanying Mindcrime video footage, it was like taking a time machine back to 1988 to revisit what many consider to be best concept album of all time.  Definitely a highlight of the show.  "Best I Can" rounded out the first three and simply kicked ass.  Over the next hour, Queensryche fans were treated to an incredible set list that spanned their entire fifteen album discography.  From crowd favorites such as "Empire" and "Jet City Woman" to more obscure classics like "Damaged" and "Killing Words", there was something for every Ryche fan.  The 15-song set came to an end with a 3-song encore that set House of Blues on fire.  Right out of the gate, the boys launched into "Hell Fire", another catchy track from Condition Human.  "Screaming in Digital" off Rage for Order was the 2nd encore track and these guys crushed it.  This was my favorite song of the evening and it was absolutely flawless.  The show ended on a high-note with another Mindcrime standard, "Eyes of a Stranger". This song reinforced to me and all who attended the show just how talented this band truly is.  It was awesome to see everyone out of their seats, fists in the air, and screaming along to this all-time classic.

As a Queensryche fan since 1984, I could not have been more pleased with their performance on Friday night.  Each member of the  band brought their best to the House of Blues in San Diego, and no one in this iconic venue walked away disappointed.   It’s clear that Michael, Scott, Eddie, Parker, and Todd really enjoy playing together, and this translates into an amazing stage chemistry that is unrivaled on the rock scene today.   In a time where many bands from their generation are starting to fall short of expectations during their live performances, Queensryche seems to be getting better with age.  This band of brothers is still performing at the highest level, and their energy translates effortlessly into fist-pumping,  high-octane rock and roll.  If you have a chance to catch these guys live on their current tour, drop the coin and make it happen.  I've seen Queensryche 3 times this year,  and their show gets better each and every time. Pound for pound, this was the best show I have seen at the House of Blues all year long!  Until next time...

Stay Frosty, Rock On, and Take Hold!

 

Matthew Belter

Website: iceboxphoto.com Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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