GIG REVIEW: QUEENSRYCHE Condition Human Tour Live At Denver, CO
Since the early 1980’s, few heavy metal bands have made a name for themselves quite as well as Queensrÿche. Appealing to all kinds of music lovers, from progressive metal fans to radio-friendly rockers, these kings of the rÿche have sold over 20 million records world wide, received multiple Grammy nominations, and of course, have had their fair share of drama over the years. More recently, vocalist Geoff Tate was kicked out of the band and replaced by Todd LaTorre (ex-Crimson Glory). For a couple of years, two bands were out there performing under the Queensrÿche name until the legal battle ended and Geoff Tate took the legal rights to playing both ‘Operation Mindcrime’ albums, and Queensrÿche continued on with LaTorre. The current lineup includes original members, Eddie Jackson on bass, Scott Rockenfield on drums, and Michael Wilton on guitar. Parker Lundgren has been added on guitar, who played live with Geoff Tate in the past, and was even once married to Tate’s stepdaughter, Miranda.
The 2016 Queensrÿche Condition Human Tour kicked off in January, running until February 5th where it ended in Reno, NV. I was lucky enough to catch the tour here in Denver, CO, on February 3rd, at the Summit Music Hall. Support for the tour was Atlanta-based progressive metal band Halcyon Way and California-based metal band Meytal, named after the band’s female drummer. Local power metal band Cellador opened the show, and as always, blew the crowd away with some amazing speed metal guitar riffs and fantastic drumming. Starting in Omaha, NE and best known for their debut album, ‘Enter Deception‘ released in 2006, Cellador relocated and reformed in Denver, CO with only guitarist and vocalist Chris Petersen as the original founding member. Most of their set list focused on their debut album, but the band released a newer EP in 2011, and are working on a new album; both sets of new material can be heard in their more recent set lists.
I was familiar with Halcyon Way because of ProgPower in 2015. They opened up the Wednesday night show, Midweek Mayhem, and I had a total blast watching them. Knowing that I would have the chance to take some photos of this band had me pretty excited too, since they look like they are having the time of their lives on stage. Likewise, the crowd in Denver absolutely loved their set. Meytal followed, who I had known of from YouTube. Meytal Cohen got her music career started making cover videos online, and it took off from there. She performed with a full band of talented musicians, even covering Dream Theater and really getting the crowd’s attention with soaring vocals and driving drum lines.
The highlight of the night for me was watching Todd LaTorre walk out on stage to “Guardian” as Crimson Glory is near the top of my “Bands I Want to See Live But Probably Never Will” list (really, this is as close as I could ever get). And although I had to maintain my composure and act like a professional photographer, all I could think of doing was jumping on stage and hugging him for having such killer power metal vocals. Ah, but that’s besides the point. Queensrÿche dominated the Summit Music Hall. Playing songs all over the band’s career including hits “Empire”, “Best I Can”, “Jet City Woman”, and “Queen of the Ryche” and left the crowd wondering “Geoff Tate, Who?” as LaTorre’s voice sounded as powerful and soaring as ever. The giant screen playing music videos was pretty awesome too. Seriously, these guys are known as legends for a reason. All I can say is I sincerely hope these guys continue touring, and come back to Denver soon. I would love to be able to catch them again!