Queensryche Move forward With Meticulous But Very Potent Set

Concert Review
Marty Friedman
The Roxian Theatre
Pittsburgh, PA
Wednesday April 5, 2023
Review/Photos: Joseph Suto

For the first time in a long time Queensryche decided to tinker with their set list in a major way. The result was an extremely fresh sounding show featuring a good sized chunk of material from last year’s Digital Noise Alliance. DNA for short has been hailed as a huge success by the critics and fans. Many call it the band’s best album since 1994’s Promised Land. That is saying a lot considering the only two holdovers from the classic era are guitarist Michael “Whip” Wilton and bassist Eddie Jackson.

Wednesday night the band not only showed they can dig deep into the material from some forty years ago, but also play an inspired set featuring no less than six tunes from what is known as the Todd La Torre era. On the previous tours the band would stick mainly to their classic catalog and just sprinkle in a new song or two. Considering how strong the new material is they could have eked in a few more.

The band is the strongest it has been since the 2003-2009 stretch. Incidentally that was when guitarist Mike Stone was in the band for his first tour of duty. Stone returned in 2021 and the band seemed to draw on his inspired playing. Bringing him back was a genius decision and it is paying off in spades. I would be remiss if I failed to mention another reason for the band’s new found fire. That has been the drumming of Casey Grillo. I was a little skeptical of him at first because he had big shoes to fill when original drummer Scott Rockenfield left. Grillo’s playing behind the kit has been outstanding the last two times I saw him live.

The band really went into the archives and brought out some rarely played songs such as “Child Of Fire”, “Deliverance” and “Roads To Madness” all taken from their 1984 Warning debut. A few of the standouts from the evening were “Queen of the Reich” and DNA track “In Extremis”. Of course a pair of cuts from the triple-platinum Empire went over quite well. The whole set seemed to gleam from start to finish. Where the band goes from here remains to be seen. They surely showed that they are re-energized, focused and put on one of their best shows ever. The band clearly is not just resting on their laurels. This is a must see show for any type of fan of the band.

Opening the show with a solid set was Trauma, a band from The Bay Area that went from 1981-85 and resurrected in 2013. Marty Friedman was next and boy did he put on a show with his amazing band. Overall a solid package that had a little something for everyone.

Queensryche Set
Behind the Walls
Don’t Look Back
Child of Fire
En Force
Spreading the Disease
In Extremis
Jet City Woman
My Empty Room
Eyes of a Stranger

Queen of the Reich
Roads to Madness

Marty Friedman Gallery

Trauma Gallery

About Joseph Suto

Location: Buffalo, NY Photographer/Reviewer
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