I don’t want any of you Metal Legions to tell me that you didn’t see this one coming. What’s that? You didn’t? Well okay, I guess I should believe you when you tell me that you never expected that Geoff Tate would eventually announce the formation of his own Queensryche and start to map out his touring plans after being fired as the singer for the original Queensryche. Maybe I am just still shocked about that particular case scenario.
Back at the beginning of the month I posted a blog narrative which spoke to the developments that had been going on within the Queensryche camp and touched upon the issues that were brewing with their founding member, vocalist Geoff Tate. You can read HERE first if you need a little bit of refresher. It was not a pleasant set of circumstances to say the least. Here are the latest developments….
Queensryche members have announced that Todd LaTorre is their new singer after officially parting ways with Geoff Tate. I’m really of mixed opinion on all of this because I love Geoff as a legendary Metal vocalist and really enjoy what I have heard Todd bring to the table as a member of Crimson Glory and in his samples of the classic Queensryche tunes. I really never wanted to see it come down to this because it also divides the fans in some sense. One has to envision this as similar to the time when the world saw Tim “Ripper” Owens taking over the vocals in Priest. The band did record some solid tunes but they really suffered as far as attendance and album sales.
As a fan of Geoff’s overall creativity and legacy I wish him well, and as a very longtime fan of what Queensryche has meant to the Heavy Metal music scene I wish the guys well in this interesting new chapter. I don’t think I ever mentioned to my readers that I first saw Queensryche when they had opened up for KISS on the “Animalize” tour back in 1984 or 85. They were brand new to the larger Metal audiences back then for sure.
Read more on the Bravewords report from Billboard.com HERE; Let’s see what happens. I expect a veritable shit storm of postings on all of the news sites and many already feel we shall find more postings on these resources than we found happening when Mike Portnoy decided to leave Dream Theater. Only time will tell right?
I flipped a coin when it came to commenting on this recent bit of news and it landed on the “OK dude toss your views into the mix” side so here we go. Over the last few weeks I have been reading a number of different posts about the band Queensryche and what was transpiring in their camp. One website reported in that in April the bands singer Geoff Tate assaulted two of the members of the band prior to taking the stage in Brazil when he was informed that he was being “dismissed” but since I was not there to witness the exchange, I can only imagine what led to the statement or its real deal outcome. No one ever publicly came out and said that this was happening after all, unless I missed a post on Bravewords somewhere along the line. Moving on, there was also a back and forth with Tate during the Queensryche set at the recent Rocklahoma event. As the main spokesman during a show, Tate is tasked with periodically trying to stir some response from the crowd but he was not appear to get much love back from them. So what does he do?
Well, he tells the audience that “They Suck” or “You Guys Suck” in more clear terms and while everyone was up in arms with this statement since it was captured for all eternity on YouTube, he was very clearly being sarcastic. Come on, we see shows all the time and that is what you tease an audience with when they don’t give you anything back. It’s the whole “do you hear me?”, “hey is this microphone on? Do you hear me!!!!!” kind of thing. I am hard pressed to think that after three decades that anyone in Queensryche think that their audience sucks. This next bit of news sort of surprised me and in some sense it did not. Geoff is touring as a solo artist doing some acoustic tunes that feature Queensryche numbers, solo material and tunes that he likes as a musician. I missed the show that came through NYC based on bad timing but friends went and said it was a good time. Queensryche, who are now signed to Roadrunner Records, only recently had completed their 30th Anniversary Tour and one side of my friends loved it, while the other side said it was less than exemplary. I would have given you my own thoughts on it but I was on vacation and not even in the city when they played. Sorry about that. Even the Metal Media needs a day or two off. The surprises continued when the rest of the members of Queensryche announced that they would be touring and recording with Crimson Glory’s new singer Todd LaTorre. I do have a few thoughts on this since they said the band would be playing the first five albums level of QR tunes and doing some new originals. I admit that the name doesn’t “catch me” right away but there is a saying that goes “what’s in a name” so I will leave that alone for now.
Todd joined Crimson Glory I guess a little over a year ago now and was the perfect replacement for the now deceased Midnight. He can hit all of those stratospheric notes that the former singer hit so it would be really interesting to hear him doing some Queensryche numbers as well. The guys are calling this side project “Rising West” and I will admit to some curiosity about seeing it in action since like some other fans I have found myself being a little left for want with recent Ryche sets. I admit that this is my own fault for wanting so much of the old, old stuff though because that material still floors me to this very day. Back to the point, let’s not be alarmed here. The bands publicist Jeff Albright sent out a statement to that proper industry resource Billboard Magazine and said that all was fine in the bands camp. Geoff is working on his solo material and the rest of the guys just need to keep busy and who can blame them for that. Perhaps some time away from Queensryche as a band is what everyone needs anyway. It let’s them come back fresh and armed with some hopefully killer stuff.
I am appending these thoughts because when I learned that LaTorre had uploaded a sample of him doing some Queensryche classics onto his YouTube page I knew that I had to share it with you readers without a doubt. I was already a fan of what he brought to the table with the Crimson Glory material but just wait until you hear him do this stuff. It brings you back. One has to only hope that this all gets recorded and released to the fans as we deserve to own historic moments like this. Maybe this will even reach NYC.
Now back to our regularly scheduled blogging after a word from our sponsor……..
Queensryche have always tried to keep it interesting in terms of their musical output and tonight would be presenting their “Cabaret Experience” to the fans. I know what you are thinking and I initially shook my head when I first read the words and needed to look at them again. It was true and surely different so click the logo below to be taken to the full concert report on the main PiercingMetal.com site.
There was so much to absorb with this one and we wanted to start off with the marquee for the event.
My interest in Queensryche goes a pretty long way back and I can say to the readers that the first time I ever caught them in concert was when they were opening up for KISS on the bands “Animalize” tour. They were supporting their soon to be released masterpiece “Warning” and believe it or not, I couldn’t have cared less that night. This was based on the KISS mania setting in and my not being open to this obviously rising star in the Metal world. I was not alone in this view and that was just how a KISS show worked. You often were bored at any opening band while you waited for the Kings Of The Nighttime World to come out and dominate the stage. Moving ahead a couple of years in time, the chance to see Queensryche again happened when Iron Maiden was on their legendary “Powerslave” tour and for me this was a match made in heaven. I say it like this because the band was winning me over note after note and had the many thousands of fans in Radio City Music Hall pushing their fists into the air as singer Geoff Tate told us to “Take Hold Of The Flame” with a soaring and commanding register. I’ve been a fan ever since that time and have followed them as a band in both my personal life and as that of a music journalist. They pushed the envelope a number of times in their releases and we have reviewed many of their recordings and video films on the site as well as supported their touring efforts. To see all of the content that is dedicated to Queensryche just click their logo below to launch the query that will present all of the reviews resident on the PiercingMetal.com website.
Queensryche has been keeping their concerts interesting by changing up the theme and presentation with every visit that they make. Over the past few years we have seen them doing the “Mindcrime” albums in their entirety and then offering up an evening of covers and rarities but tonight would be something even more unique as the band supported their most recent release “American Soldier“. The theme of the release is very military focused but through the eyes of the soldier himself which makes for an interesting piece of musical work. To broaden the scope of the show that was dedicated to this release we would find Queensryche presenting three different suites from three distinct releases for the fans. The first would come from “Rage for Order” while the second focused on the new material. Closing it all up would be the Billboard juggernaut of “Empire“. There would be no opening act this evening and I was ok with that so as result the documentation lined out is all Ryche and nothing more. The hungry Hard Rock and Metal eyes can enjoy it all by clicking the logo below where they shall be transported to the article on the main PiercingMetal.com site.
It seems as though Queensryche is on a ride of renewed popularity and that’s fine by me since I have loved much of what they did over the course of their career. Tonight’s show found them back at The Nokia Theater delivering another exciting show and Dokken’s own Don was opening up acoustically. Those who have their hunger for more on this can click the logo below and be brought to the article on the main PiercingMetal.com site.
Heaven and Hell have been kicking ass since the decision to reform the mark 2 version of Black Sabbath and now they would continue to smite the unbelievers with the Metal by taking both Queensryche and Alice Cooper on the road with them. We headed down to Jones Beach Ampitheatre to enjoy this one and those Metal heads who wish to learn more can click the logo to see our item on the main PiercingMetal.com site.
There is an additional coolness to the concerts that happen in this particular region and that is the fact that you never know who you are going to run into at a show. During this show we happened to run into the Metal Queen herself, the one and only Doro Pesch. It’s always a pleasure to see her rocking the stage and of course rocking to the sounds of Metal bands that she loves.
The singer graced us with a candid shot and we see her giving the Heaven and Hell performance a rating of “two horns up”. She also let some of the other fans that caught sight of her take some photos as well. That’s a performer who really appreciates their audience in my opinion. Thanks Doro, we hope to be covering one of your shows soon.
Before the show began I tried my best based on the angle and proximity to snare a shot of the dramatic and oh so impressive stage setting. As you can see, it looks like some sort of Gothic Cathedral with stained glass windows above and massive iron gates surrounding it. Soon Heaven and Hell would take the stage. Can you feel the excitement? I know I can.
I might be wrong in this one, but I am pretty positive that I speak for all of the Metal heads in the realm when I say how we have been waiting a long, long time to see the mighty Queensryche do a full “Operation Mindcrime” set for us again. The band recently released “Operation Mindcrime II” which gave us the “final chapter” of the tale and what happened some years later and tonight the Big Apple was going to witness the whole shebang. Click the logo below to be taken to our article on the main PiercingMetal.com site, this was a show for the record books and will eventually be released on a DVD for all to enjoy.
In my top three bands of all time I keep Judas Priest among those numbers and as a fan for decades already I am not just saying this. Tonight the band would be performing at the PNC Bank Arts Center and be doing so with Queensryche as their direct support. I was not going to miss this at all. Check out the photos and coverage by clicking the link below. That will take you over to the main PiercingMetal.com site where you can enjoy it in full.