It’s been a turbulent and confusing time for fans of Queensryche over the past few years. Since Geoff Tate’s lashing out as his former members in 2012 and ceremoniously removing his TriRyche symbols onstage,, the band has now split into to halved. Queensryche, featuring the former members and Todde La Tore on vocals and Geoff Tate’s rendition; Operation : Mindcrime. A very messy circumstance for all involved, not to mention the law suits.
Opening the Concorde 2’s stage was Porstmouth based rockers Dendera. Amoured Saint acted as the opening act for the other dates of the tour, and they were well and truly missed. With a lacklustre crowd and even more lacklustre band the show opened on an absolute damp squib. Dendera sound like a Blaze Bailey era Maiden. That is to say, over done, void of new ideas and a hint of sadness at all the collective hours these people wasted bringing this project to the stage. The dual harmony guitars brought me back to my favourite New Wave albums but what Dendera prove is that musically, the path most travelled isn’t always the greatest.
From Concorde, California to Concorde 2, Brighton. Death Angel instantly raised the adrenaline levels, shaking the shackles off a previously subdued audience. Originally harking from San Francisco’s legendary thrash haven ‘Bay Area’ Death Angel have found it difficult to reach the dizzying heights of some of the peers. They are however as vocalist Mark Osegueda wails an “in your face thrash band from san francisco who play for the music”.
Opening with “Left For Dead” they ripped through a six song setlist that mostly included tracks from their past two releases. It was a shame to not hear anything physically played from ‘Ultra-Violence’ or ‘Frolic Through the Park’ but with most of their material being written on this side of the millennium it was a choice that paid off. Choice tracks such as “Claws In So Deep” had so much more impact live and was the first and only time a mosh pit was to be seen that evening.
Replacing the intro with ‘The Ultra-Violence’ over the house speakes, Mark Osegueda takes a final sip from his bottle of Bombay Saphire and Death Angel close their set to a full house of punter with “Thrown To The Wolves”. After waiting for what felt like an eternity, Queensryche walked out to Rammstein over the house PA before blasting into “Anarchy X”. Any fears that Todde La Torre cannot fill his adversary’s boots were quickly blown away in a torrent of bellowing vocals and typical rockstar swagger. The crowd for the first time of the evening were packed closely around the stage as Queensryche continued to dominate every aspect of being a live band with classics such as “The Whisper” and “Eyes Of A Stranger”. The sound was absolutely incredible, like the best CD imaginable with there being little indication between the classic 80’s songs and those off 2013’s self titled
After an nine song onslaught we are reversed right back to 80’s dazzling stadium showmanship as Michael Wilton and Parker Lundgren shred up a dual guitar solo as the rest of the band took a short and well deserved break. By the final encore of ”Queen of The Reich” and “Take Hold of The Flame” the crowd were absolutely drenched in sweat and their vocal boxes howling like a broken hover.
With a band so used to playing shows five times the capacity of Concorde 2 and more, the feeling that Queensryche are on their career descent was very notable and is something that could be said for Death Angel too. It took moments before Queensryche’s appearance for the worry of half empty house to be eradicated. What was notable though was just how high the quality of the musicianship and dedication this group of musicians have for their art and their budding fan base is. They projected themselves and commanded their audience like they were playing to a stadium and thus proved that no matter how messy the situation, it is always possible to walk away with integrity and your head held high.
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