North Tonawanda, NY
Friday April 18, 2014
Review/Photos: Joseph Suto
As I made my journey to North Tonawanda for the Queensrÿche show I glanced over and saw the First Niagara Center. Thinking back how if this were still 1991, Queensÿche would be headlining the arena instead of tonight’s venue the Riviera Theatre. Back then the band had just started to headline on their own for the Building Empires tour. That was then and this is now.
These days Queensrÿche are split into two bands. It was what is now known as the La Torre version who took to the Riviera stage Friday evening. The band still remains intact with three of the five original members, drummer Scott Rockenfield, bassist Eddie Jackson and guitarist Michael Wilton. Guitarist Parker Lundgren has been on board since 2009. Vocalist Todd La Torre has taken over the reigns quite admirably from ousted former singer Geoff Tate.
Beginning the affair with “Night Rider” from the band’s 1983 self-titled EP, followed by “Breaking The Silence” helped raise up the ante as the crowd roared in approval. For many it was their first time seeing the band with La Torre at the helm. Some of the crowd may not have realized that La Torre was not the original singer. With his spot on precision, La Torre delivered searing vocals that had been lacking over the last few tours the band did during Tate’s tenure. This is no knock on Tate, La Torre is just that good.
For anyone who caught the band’s two Lockport concerts in 2009 and 2011 respectively, this show was noticeably different as the band focused mostly on their first four albums along with their EP. The difference between the shows were night and day as the band hasn’t sounded this good in quite a number of years. Whether it was the choice of material or the glow the band possessed as they dished out tunes such as “The Whisper” and new tune “Where Dreams Go To Die.”
For the first encore the band came out with “Queen Of The Reich,” the song that put them on the map in 1983. La Torre mentioned to the crowd “You thought we weren’t gonna play that one didn’t you?” “QOTR” for short, is the one song that the band credits for turning on many fans at the start.
Oddly enough former singer Tate stirred up some controversy regarding “QOTR” in an interview we did in 2012. He stated “A lot of people don’t care about that song. It’s an early song that was written and it shows. It’s funny the reaction you get because its a lot of blank stares. In fact its the same stare you get when you play a new song that nobody’s heard before.” As I looked around at the crowd relating with numerous fists pumping in the air in unison dispelling Tate’s claim, I thought that this band can go only go onward and upward as they forge ahead with their future much brighter than before.
Breaking The Silence
Walk In The Shadows
Where Dreams Go To Die
A World Without
Eyes Of A Stranger
Queen Of The Reich
Jet City Woman
Special thanks to Ross Cat for all his help in allowing us to review the show