The Verdict Tour
March 10, 2019
Photos & Review by Dan Wenc
Queensryche had released their latest studio album, The Verdict, on March 1st 2019. Soon thereafter they would kick off a tour with a series of early successful dates in support of what might be one of the best studio album since the days of The Warning, Rage for Order, Operation Mindcrime and Empire. The Verdict gets back to that early sound.
Queensryche has always been serious about making great music. They are a band that cannot be compared to other bands and have always had a unique sound and style of their own. This would be my 8th occasion seeing Queensryche live, five of which I have been graced with the opportunity to photo and review the shows. Condition Human was a very good album, but this latest album had made things just a bit more exciting. I listened to the album the day it was released and waited with great anticipation to see and hear the new songs performed live. The Verdict and the anticipation for this show was different; it was similar to the feeling of when I first saw them the first time in 1991, in a building just behind the Palladium at the Worcester Centrum, (now known as the DCU Center). For the first time in a long time, it was exciting to have great new music that quickly gather interest and was very easy to listen to. The Verdict and this tour are certainly something to be excited about.
Nine days off the release of the new album, the headline act, Queensryche, arrived at The Palladium in Worcester, Massachusetts along with Fates Warning and The Cringe for a night full of great music.
The Queensryche set started off with “Blood of the Levant”, the first track from the new album. A hard pressing sound that was a perfect choice to start the night and get the crowd fired up. The crowd swelled with energy and the band reciprocated that energy right back. The new songs were well received by the crowd, most likely because the most diehard Ryche fans had already listened to the new album at least ten times over.
The stage was set up with a very cool assortment of lighting on the sides of the stage, under the drum riser and onto Casey Grillo’s double bass drum kit with custom LED lighting, digital flame displays and animations that all meshed together to provide a perfect backdrop that flowed with the music. While the chain link drum kit of Scott Rockenfield is a fan favorite in the late 80’s, Casey’s set was an elaborate customized set up and fit into the repertoire of Queensryche stage fashion.
Todd La Torre has become a great front man and vocalist for this precision prog-rock band, his vocals are unmatched and he has filled the shoes of his predecessor very well. There is no looking back. Todd’s powerful vocals and friendly stage presence with the fans are an intricate part of the new phase of Queensryche.
The night continued with “I Am I”, from the 1994 Promise Land album. The set list chosen by the band was different than previous performances. It was a nice change with some of the new material and other songs that have been less played over the years. Next up was “NM 156”, and then another new one from The Verdict, “Man the Machine”. A great choice of songs from the new album. But seriously, they could have played The Verdict in its entirety that night, with a couple usual Queensryche classics as an encore and it would have been a great show. The album is that good!
Todd La Torre maintained the stage with his usual high energy that guided the night. Michael Wilton and Parker Lundgren on each side of Todd, kept the night going with the signature Queensryche melodic guitar sounds. Queensryche is a band that will never disappoint you in a performance.
Also in the set list from the new album was “Light-Years”, which is consists of an intense melodic guitar arrangement and a hard hitting bass line from Eddie Jackson. This song one of many, to someday be a future Queensryche classic, that contains that sound of a ride cymbal-hi-hat combo and powerful vocals from Todd.
Todd, who is also a drummer, played the drums on The Verdict album, did play along with a small drum set up to the back of the stage near Casey.
Also in the set that night was the band’s Billboard chart topper, “Silent Lucidity”, which was hit with the crowd and included a sing along with the crowd. That song was not played at the band’s last performance at The Palladium in the January 2016 performance. The band did a phenomenal job intertwining new material, the usual classics and a few lesser heard songs. A great set list that kept things fresh.
Casey Grillo did a great job as the touring drummer, filling in for the spot of original drummer Scott Rockenfield who is on an indefinite hiatus from the band. Scott’s drum licks aren’t easy to replicate, and Casey does a fine job.
This is a band that shows no signs of slowing down and are consistent with creating great new music and entertaining crowds night after night. The quality of the songwriting, musical arrangements and overall quality sound on albums and in live performances is what makes this band stand out from the rest.
Even though the band has only two original founding members, Michael Wilton on guitar and Eddie Jackson on bass, the band maintains the highest quality of musicianship and sound. Queensryche remains to be a musical machine that continues to make great music despite the personnel changes the band has encountered over the years. Don’t miss this show! The Verdict is the fuel that Queesryche fans have been longing for.
Blood of the Levant (New)
I Am I
Man the Machine (New)
Queen of the Ryche
Screaming in Digital
Take Hold of the Flame
Eyes of A Stranger, followed out with an Anarchy-X outro
Jet City Woman
For more Queensryche updates and tour dates: http://www.queensrycheofficial.com
Purchase The Verdict on Amazon here: