Just in from Sweden and their future ahead of them, Queensryche returned triumphant to fans in Michigan proving they are still Queen of the Reich!
Soaring Eagle Casino, in central Michigan about an hour north of the state capitol, is home to one of the best stages to see a live show. Last night brought a dual powerhouse rock show with Great White and the often titled ‘Thinking manâ€™s metal band’, Queensryche. Both bands are legends with a history of brilliant songwriting and classic songs that are instantly recognizable.
While Great Whiteâ€™s lineup has shuffled around over the years, the current roster on stage this night was one that is more solid than ever before. Longtime members Mark Kendall (guitar), Michael Lardie (guitar, keyboard), and Audie Desbrow (drums) along with the extremely talented, multi-octave Terry Illous (vocals) and Scott Snyder (bass) rock and rolled the crowd through a solid sixty minute set to the nearly sold out crowd.
Terry Ilous (formerly of XYZ) is the consummate front man. He relishes his role as a singer and showman, engaging with the crowd, singing to them, holding ladies’ hands while gazing in to their eyes. It was a fun, enchanting set, with the good time rock and roll vibe kind of night you just canâ€™t help but enjoy. Michael and Mark mesh so well together on stage, trading licks off one another, while Scott and Audie filled in the underlying foundation of the live show.
Rejuvenated. Reinvigorated. Refreshed. Reborn. The words to describe the new life that Queensryche has found in the past few years are endless. The energy, the fire, the very soul of this amazing group of musicians has been rekindled and burns brighter than ever before. Having just played the Sweden Rock Festival in SÃ¶lvesborg, Sweden a scant 48 hours before taking the stage at the Soaring Eagle Casino in Mount Pleasant, Michigan last night, the Ryche show no signs of wear and tear as they delivered a twenty song set of material that spanned their entire catalogue. Smash hits and rare tracks were plentiful in the repertoire this night and the crowd was well prepared to relish in every single number.
The set kicked off with Nightrider from the bandâ€™s critically acclaimed 1983 eponymous release, following with Breaking The Silence, Walk In The Shadows, The Whisper, and En Force. Todd La Torre has cemented his presence in the band as the voice of Queensryche since performing with the rest of the band as Rising West in two sold out shows in the summer of 2012. This is never more apparent than on some of the newer songs he recorded on their latest release such as Where Dreams Go to Die and A World Without.
Longtime fans of the band have often hoped for the return of Chris DeGarmo over the years, but with the more than capable and talented Parker Lundgren on guitar, itâ€™s safe to say that the core Queensryche sound is just as true to itâ€™s roots as ever before. Watching him and Michael Wilton play off each other in harmony is a Zen like experience. The spirit of the music is in him, and he has found his well deserved home in this band. Halfway through the set list, he and Wilton took an extended dual guitar solo; blending both riffs from other Ryche songs along with some original licks they showed a bond that elicited a rousing response from the packed venue.
The backing section of the band, Eddie Jackson and Scott Rockenfield show no signs of age or slowing down in producing an epic stage show for the fans. The blistering drums and bass in The Needle Lies and NM 156 pounded forth from the amplifiers with a ferocity and vigor I havenâ€™t seen in a long time. What an unbelievable rush it must be for them to feel whole again, to have all that stress of the past couple years put behind them. The passion and delivery of their stage presence has never felt stronger to me than it did this night.
Closing out the night with Queen of the Reich, Jet City Woman, and the ever more important message of Take Hold of the Flame, Queensryche brought the house down with a powerful and visceral performance from start to finish. This is the Queensryche weâ€™ve known and loved over the years that weâ€™ve missed for so long. The one that takes you back in time when you first played The Warning or Rage For Order on your stereo system and marveled at the music that was coming out of those speakers.
Seeing the generation span in the crowd, parents and grandparents alike with their children in the crowd, telling them their stories about the Ryche and how much their music meant to them was an extra special moment for me. This one young boy in the front row was completely enthralled and so captivated by them I had to give him my photo pass as an extra souvenir to cherish. Here’s to hoping he takes hold of the flame that was on fire this night and feels the revolution calling!
National Ryche Review OUT!
Photos and Article by Mick McDonald
Queensryche Tour Dates:
Jun 13 JJ Resort Rothbury, MI (sandycorley.com Cancer Benefit fundraiser. Come camp out all weekend!)
Jun 21 â€œRock the Fallsâ€ w/ Lynam Idaho Falls, ID
Jul 12 Lawless Harley-Davidson Renton, WA
Jul 19 Waukesha County Fair Waukesha, WI
Jul 20 2014 Summer Concert Series Yonkers, NY
Aug 08 Rockin’ the Rivers Three Forks, MT
Aug 15 Rock on the Rio II Laredo, TX
Aug 31 Farm Rock 2014 w/ Ron Keel Wauconda, IL
Oct 11 Eastside Cannery Casino Las Vegas, NV
Great White Tour Dates:
Jun 14 Zurich, Switzerland Rock Im Tal
Jun 27 Sharon, PA “Bike Nite” @ Quaker Steak and Lube
Jun 28 Sterling Heights, MI Stars & Stripes Festival
Jun 29 Richmond, IN The Firehouse (special acoustic performance)
Jul 5 Pinellas Park, FL â€œHairapaloozaâ€ @ England Brothers Park (w/ Winger, Slaughter, Stephen Pearcy)
Jul 11 La Porte, IN La Porte County Fair (w/ Night Ranger)
Jul 12 Morris, MN “Rock the Groundz” @ Steven’s County Fairgrounds
Jul 18 Murray, UT Barbary Coast Saloon (Outdoor Stage Summer Concert)
Jul 19 Fort Hall, ID Fort Hall Casino
Jul 26 Golden, CO Buffalo Rose
Aug 1 Sheridan, WY Trails End Concert Park (w/Ted Nugent)
Aug 8 Des Moines, IA Iowa State Fair
Aug 9 Sweetwater, TX “Nolan County Fair” @ Nolan County Coliseum
Aug 15 Jim Thorpe, PA Pennâ€™s Peak (w/ Vixen)
Aug 16 North Kansas City, MO Harrahâ€™s Casino (w/ Slaughter)
Aug 22 Santa Cruz, CA The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
Aug 23 Springfield, OR Whiskey River Ranch (special acoustic performance)
Aug 29 Chandler, AZ Wild Horse Pass Casino (w/ Slaughter)
Aug 30 Flagstaff, AZ Coconino County Fair
Aug 31 Wauconda, IL “Farm Rock 2014” @ The Golf Farm (w/ QueensrÃ¿che)
Oct 31 Calgary, Alberta Canada Deerfoot Casino (w/Slaughter)
Nov 1 Regina, Saskatchewan Canada Casino Regina (w/Slaughter)
Dec 27 Central City, CO Reserve Casino (Special Acoustic Show)