by Brian LeTendre
Surprising no one, Queensryche was amazing when they they played the Mohegan Sun Wolf Den on Friday night. I've been seeing this band live for almost thirty years now, and I have never seen a bad show.
It's been over five years since singer Todd La Torre replaced Geoff Tate in Queensryche, and the second time I've seen him with the band. The fact that he has the ability to perfectly capture the Tate-era stuff is great, but the new music he's making with the band is some of the best they've ever created. And he's a monster live.
The lineup was a bit different than usual, as joining La Torre, Michael Wilton and Eddie Jackson was Casey Grillo of Kamelot. Drummer Scott Rockenfield recently had a child, so Grillo has been filling in, and he was fantastic. The whole band sounded great, which is no surprise, as they are one of the most consistent live performers around.
As far as the setlist, it was pretty much perfect, in my opinion:
Best I Can
The Killing Words
I Don't Believe in Love
Queen of the Reich
Jet City Woman
Take Hold of the Flame
Screaming in Digital
Eyes of a Stranger
Both "The Mission" and "Surgical Strike" are top-five Queensryche songs for me, and getting "Best I Can," and "The Killing Words" were just bonuses. Queensryche has such a great catalog they could fill four hours and never play a bad song.
The crowd at the Wolf Den was great, and filled with longtime fans who knew every note and every word. One of my favorite things about going to see live shows is experiencing them with people who love the music as much as I do. Matt, myself and our friend Brian were also lucky enough to hang out with Jimi Bell (House of Lords, Maxx Explosion), who is not only an amazing guitar player, but a heck of a nice guy.
All in all, it was a fantastic show and a great night. I will see Queensryche every time they come through the area, as they never disappoint. If you get the chance to see them, take it.
The Power Chords Podcast is a twice-monthly podcast celebrating rock and metal music of the '70s, '80s, '90s and beyond. The show is co-hosted by Matt Herring and Brian LeTendre.