Words by: Robert Sutton
Images by: Robert Sutton Photography
Some five years ago I saw Queensrÿche play live on the main stage at the High Voltage Festival in London and since then they been ‘through the mill’ a bit, but have emerged the other side with a new lead singer (Todd La Torre) and now have two studio albums with Todd. They are an American progressive heavy metal band who were formed in the 1980’s and still have three of the original members..
They have just finished a mini three date tour of England.(Bilston, Sheffield and London) which they managed to squeeze into their more extensive European tour in support of their latest Album ‘Condition Hüman‘
Support for the night was from Methodica from Italy and Archer Nation from California.
Methodica are a Progressive Metal band from Italy (Verona, Veneto), formed in 1996. Methodica are a five piece band and opened up the evening’s performance to a fairly sparse audience, but tonight’s performance did start at the unusually early time of 7:30!. I and I assume like many others had not heard of this band before, but they did keep my attention and gave a great set with quite a few of their songs having sections with only the band playing and just letting the music take you on the journey of the song. The band’s latest album is ‘The Silence of Wisdom’ and was released in 2015. Good opening act.
Archer Nation are an American three piece metal band and if you like your metal hard and fast then this band will be for you, clearly taking their influences from Sabbath, Maiden and Priest, which can only be a good thing for British music for an American band taking its lead from us. The band had a little longer for their set and managed to squeeze a quick cover from Megadeth in as a tribute to Nick Menza who died in May this year. Super set and a band that I would recommend to others to go and see if given the chance. Their latest album ‘Culling the Weak’ was released in 2015.
Queensrÿche’s line-up changed in 2012 and now consists of Todd La Torre –(vocals), Michael Wilton –(guitar), Parker Lundgren –(guitar), Eddie Jackson -(bass) and Scott Rockenfield –(drums).
Having seen them last only a year ago I was quite surprised that they had completely changed their setlist, with only a few songs being the same from last time. They opened with ‘Guardian‘ from the latest album, but I did find it a little strange that despite this being a tour in support of the ‘Condition Hüman’ album they did only play this and one other track from the album. However, I was quite happy that they did play a good mix from their other albums and not just the two recent albums that Todd had sung on.
There was a good sized audience for their set and it was nice to see the O2 Academy just about full up. I was pleased that ‘Silent Lucidity‘ from their 1990 album ‘Empire’ was now included in their set and they finished with ‘Take Hold of the Flame‘ from their very first album ‘The Warning‘. The encore consisted of two tracks, ‘Screaming in Digital‘ and ‘Eyes of a Stranger‘.
The whole group gave a great performance and once again the band looked like they were putting their soul into the evening and were really enjoying it, but I was just a tad disappointed though that they couldn’t play for a bit longer than the 75 minutes as I thought this was a little short for a headline act these days, but otherwise a great night’s entertainment.
2: Operation: Mindcrime
3: Best I Can
5: The Killing Words
6: The Mission
7: Silent Lucidity
10: Queen of the Reich
11: Jet City Woman
12: Take Hold of the Flame
13: Screaming in Digital
14: Eyes of a Stranger