At The Riverside, Newcastle, U.K., December 1 2019

QUEENSRŸCHE (Live at The Riverside, Newcastle, U.K., December 1 2019)
Photo: Mick Burgess

It’s been a fair few years since Progressive Metal pioneers, Queensrÿche, last headlined in Newcastle and there’s been a couple of significant changes to the band since then, most notably the departure of founder member, lead vocalist Geoff Tate.

Former Crimson Glory singer Todd La Torre grasped one of the most challenging jobs in Metal and stepped up to the microphone to replace Tate in 2012 and three albums later a rejuvenated Queensrÿche have seen their flame burning brighter than at any time since the early ’90s.

Prior to the show lead guitarist Michael Wilton pledged a set covering the whole career of the band from the very start right up to their current album The Verdict, their highest charting album worldwide in over a quarter of a century and Queensrÿche delivered big time.

Brand new song “Blood Of The Levant” opened the show in bombastic style and symbolised perfectly the fresh approach that La Torre’s enthusiasm has brought to the band, leaning heavily of the classic style that brought them to world attention in the ’80s.

“I Am I”, from the criminally underrated Promised Land, with its sinister eastern flavoured overtones and “Man The Machine”, another from The Verdict sounded taut and powerful with La Torre’s stratospheric vocals soaring over Wilton and Parker Lundgren’s scything riffs.

With the futuristic “NM156” and the epic “Take Hold Of The Flame” from the debut album and the cultured “Walk In The Shadows” and the monstrously heavy “Screaming In Digital” from the follow up, Rage For Order, fans of their earlier material were in raptures. That was nothing however, compared to the reaction received for “Queen Of The Reich” from their very first self-financed EP and when La Torre smashed the scream, the place went nuts.

As if that wasn’t enough, a few gems cherry picked from their magnum opus Operation: Mindcrime including “The Mission” and frantic “The Needle Lies” and the hits from their Platinum album Empire, “Jet City Woman” and the sublime melancholy of “Silent Lucidity” reinforced just how classy and influential Queensrÿche have been over the years.

Mindcrime album closer “Eyes Of A Stranger”, appropriately closed the show in dramatic style and for any cynics doubting that a Queensrÿche without Tate could work, they responded in emphatic style. Absolutely outstanding from start to finish.

Review and Photos By Mick Burgess


  • Mick Burgess

    Mick is a reviewer and photographer here at Metal Express Radio, based in the North-East of England. He first fell in love with music after hearing Jeff Wayne's spectacular The War of the Worlds in the cold winter of 1978. Then in the summer of '79 he discovered a copy of Kiss Alive II amongst his sister’s record collection, which literally blew him away! He then quickly found Van Halen I and Rainbow's Down To Earth, and he was well on the way to being rescued from Top 40 radio hell!   Over the ensuing years, he's enjoyed the Classic Rock music of Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, and Deep Purple; the AOR of Journey and Foreigner; the Pomp of Styx and Kansas; the Progressive Metal of Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, and Symphony X; the Goth Metal of Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Epica, and a whole host of other great bands that are too numerous to mention. When he's not listening to music, he watches Sunderland lose more football (soccer) matches than they win, and occasionally, if he has to, he goes to work as a property lawyer.

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