Queensrÿche is a name that had long been synonymous with innovation and excellence before egos and power struggles derailed them from their once-trailblazing path. Now in their seventh year of the post-Tate era, the Seattle natives are bringing their revitalized sound to fans who, after nearly a quarter-century, at last feel like they can trust the Ryche again. With front-man Todd LaTorre taking over the throne while founding drummer Scott Rockenfield is out on paternity leave, the just-released Queensrÿche album The Verdict is a continuation of their recent output: it features a refocused and re-energized ensemble that’s learned from over twenty-five years of questionable rule and even more questionable decisions. But a return to form this ain’t; calling The Verdict that would suggest that Queensrÿche are merely recycling what worked for them in their youth. The new material is fresh and purposeful, and the gentlemen behind it are finally winning back an audience that gave up on them many years ago.
In tow for the North American leg of the tour is a band widely considered responsible for progressive metal as we know it: Fates Warning. Though Fates have yet to deliver a bad album, many old-school fans felt alienated by the dreamy, spacey direction the band took on A Pleasant Shade of Grey and the two albums that followed. Themselves re-energized by the addition of former Riot and Halford drummer Bobby Jarzombek a decade ago, Fates Warning have cranked the volume and returned to their metal roots on Darkness in a Different Light and Theories of Flight, but not without abandoning the bleak thoughtfulness that permeated their output with longtime collaborator (and former Dream Theater keyboardist) Kevin Moore. Now featuring not one, but two native San Antonians, the Aztec Theater stop of the Queensrÿche / Fates Warning tour of spring 2019 amounted to a hero’s return when Saytown sons Jarzombek (brother of guitar weirdo Ron) and longtime singer Ray Alder took the stage. The roar coming from that crowd had to be heard to be believed.
Sonic Perspectives wordsmith and camera monkey Gonzalo Pozo attended the show with college buddy Ian Dooley (and about fifty other close friends), and the two had a healthy discussion the next day about the roads to madness from which Queensrÿche has, against all hope, managed to return. Check out their discussion in the audio below.
FATES WARNING Setlist
From the Rooftops / Life in Still Water / One / A Pleasant Shade of Gray, Part III / Seven Stars / Firefly / Pieces of Me / The Light and Shade of Things / The Eleventh Hour / Point of View
Launder the Conscience (Played over PA) / Blood of the Levant / I Am I / NM 156 / Man the Machine / Condition Hüman / Queen of the Reich / Silent Lucidity / Open Road / Propaganda Fashion / Light-years / Screaming in Digital / Take Hold of the Flame / Eyes of a Stranger (with Anarchy-X outro)
Jet City Woman / Empire
PICTURE GALLERIES (Click on each band’s picture to unleash each gallery!)