Review by Kirs Peters
Photography by Carl Neumann (Melbourne show)
Apologies to Awaken Solace for not being there in time to listen to their set supporting Queensryche, but a couple of my spies who were there early assured me it was my loss.
I did, however, catch Brisbane band Seraphic and was highly impressed by what I saw.
Despite limited stage space, this five piece, with a female front person, were enthralling and captivating from the outset. Sounding very much like Nightwish and Epica without being clones, Seraphic treated the crowd to five songs from their upcoming debut album and their heavy tinged style mixed with the hypnotic vocals of Sam Wolstenholme was the perfect introduction for the incoming Queensryche. Keep an ear out for these guys Brisbane people and check them out before they go on to bigger things.
It has been almost ten years since the legendary Queensryche last graced our shores, but it was more than just the lengthy delay that had fans salivating over their return.
This is their first tour of our country with new vocalist Todd Latorre since taking over from original vocalist Geoff Tate in 2012.
To his credit, Latorre didn’t once make mention of his role in the band, or that of the former singer, instead of keeping his chatter to current events and appreciation for their fans continued support.
It was a show that nearly didn’t happen, with the band and crew travelling on two separate planes after the band’s previous gig in Tokyo, with the aircraft containing the crew members being diverted to Bali after an undisclosed emergency.
Luckily the good musicians of Brisbane came to the rescue to ensure the show went ahead and although having a few minor sound issues it wasn’t long before the band hit their stride and held it for the duration.
Covering songs from debut The Warning through to their latest, Condition Human, Queensryche seemed to effortlessly smash out quality music, with the harmonies of guitarist Parker Lundgren and bass player Eddie Jackson adding an extra dimension to the sound.
Lead guitarist Michael Wilton was on fire, with a volley of solos throughout providing a focal point without ever overdoing it.
Scott Rockenfield was typically solid on drums, although he did manage to ignore the chants from the crowd urging him to perform a drum solo.
In retrospect, this could have been a good thing with one of the features of tonight’s performance being the evenness of each band member with no individual performance being too flashy or overshadowing that of the rest of the band.
Operation Mindcrime, Silent Lucidity and Queen of the Reich were crowd favourites, but with 13 songs in the set and 15 albums released there was always going to be some fans disappointed. It was unusual and refreshing to hear sections of the crowd baying for newer material but if tonight’s performance proved anything it was that good music is timeless and that as long as a band can hold a tune, they can also hold a crowd.
It was unusual and refreshing to hear sections of the crowd baying for newer material but if tonight’s performance proved anything it was that good music is timeless and that as long as a band can hold a tune, they can also hold a crowd.
[Photos are from the Melbourne show; by Carl Neumann]