Last week, our hometown boys Queensrÿche returned to Seattle to wrap up their current tour leg in support of their new album ‘The Verdict’ (See album review here). Along with them on tour they had Fates Warning.
With a stacked lineup like this one and being a home-coming show, it was obvious this would be a sold out show. The fans did not disappoint Queensrÿche, they bought every last ticket and many were still searching for tickets the day of the show. That’s nearly always an impossible find in Seattle with the deep-rooted love for these locals who’ve been blazing trails and shredding metal hearts since the early 1980’s.
Many fans arrived early to take the opportunity for meet and greets with the band and to secure their spots whether up close at the barrier on the floor or to grab a great seat in the upper level mezzanine. One thing for certain, at the Neptune Theater, there’s not a bad spot anywhere to view the show. It is a venue that is perfect for a great live show, but also one that’s often overlooked by many tours coming through. Bands should really reconsider the Neptune for tours, definitely a venue that can fit a big crowd and has great aesthetics.
The show had a late kick off starting at 8:45PM on a Wednesday night! Something if done by many other bands, fans would simply opt out of seeing the show, but not for Queensrÿche and Fates Warning. Loyal fans were intent to see the show, no matter how late. As Fates Warning hit the stage they started the night off with “From the Rooftops”, from their 2016 release ‘Theories of Flight’. Then went on digging way bag in their catalog to 1991 with “Life In Still Water” from ‘Parallels’ which also brought a first for them on this tour, sound trouble. The band had to take a brief pause in the show to deal with a few sound issues while vocalist, Ray Alder joked with the audience about the perfect timing for this to start as they’d had no issues the entire tour, but how it had to wait for the last show to make an appearance. Fans took it in stride along with the band and then after a short delay the show went on. Fates Warning played a good mix in their set and fans cheered them fully at the end of their show.
Even though the fans thoroughly enjoyed Fates Warning, they all remembered this was the night for our hometown heros of heavy metal. On the heels of their March 1st release of ‘The Verdict’, Queensrÿche immediately hit the road on tour across the USA. The 24 show tour started in Orlando, FL on March 2nd then headed up the East Coast, down through the Midwest into Texas, across the Southwest then up the West Coast returning them safely home to Seattle one month later where fans, friends and family were eagerly awaiting.
Watch Blood of the Levant:
Queensrÿche hit the stage at 10:15PM to a roaring venue. The fans were packed in tight on the main floor and the body heat alone already had the venue feeling warm, with an almost swampy, sticky humid feel. I think in Seattle, that’s one of the signs of a great show, when on a cold night like this one, even with venue doors opening repeatedly, the body head generated from the fans is enough to heat the entire venue. And if I felt the floor level was hot, it was nothing compared to the upper level that was dripping with the stench of heavy metal success!
The band kicked their set off with one of their new tracks from ‘The Verdict’, “Blood of the Levant” that had fans cheering and fists raised from the moment the show started. If you’ve already read my review on the new album, you know how much I love it and how I was looking forward to hearing as many tracks as possible live. All I can say is that the live version sounded as good as the album with the added excitement of it being a live show and being surrounded by “my people” who love the Rÿche as much as I do. It’s one thing to enjoy listening to a new album or their old albums by yourself or with a few friends, but when you are sharing that experience with lifelong fans in a venue that’s cram-packed from wall to wall, the energy is completely infectious.
Add to that infectious feeling, the sheer energy and live stage presence of Queensrÿche and it’s an unforgettable evening for everyone. Even though Todd La Torre was feeling a bit under the weather, he still managed to deliver one hell of a performance. The band managed to work in 4 new tracks from ‘The Verdict’ into the show and then dipped back into their catalog to perform many fan favorites. You could easily tell who around you loved each track as they began to play. Even up in the seats people who were sitting would jump to their feet in excitement, often to the angry dismay of others behind them who couldn’t see past them. A few heated exchanges happened in one section between a number of fans, that thankfully didn’t end up with any physical violence, but pretty close! Thank you Seattle for staying calm enough to not result to anyone getting injured.
The band laid out the last of their tour energy on the Neptune’s stage and made sure everyone who paid to see the show, including me who bought my ticket to make sure I didn’t miss this show, got more than their monies worth. The band ended the night with “Take Hold of the Flame” where Fates Warning joined them on the stage and fans cheered until they could cheer no more. What a great wrap up to their first tour on ‘The Verdict’. Seattle fans got the show they hoped for!
Now for the rest of the Queensrÿche fans worldwide, they are coming for you! There are a number of North American dates scheduled in summer and later in 2019 in the USA and Canada. Europe, they are coming! There are festivals and solo dates so check out their event dates on their Facebook page and tour dates on their website! This is the year of the Rÿche so do not miss them! I will get my next dose at 30th Anniversary Wacken Open Air in August, who of you are joining me there? We need to connect and share some Queensrÿche stories!
Blood Of The Levant – 2019 – The Verdict
I Am I – 1994 – Promised Land
NM 156 – 1984 – The Warning
Man the Machine – 2019 – The Verdict
Walk in the Shadows – 1986 – Rage for Order
Condition Human – 2015 – Condition Human
Queen of the Rÿche – 1983 – Queensrÿche EP
Silent Lucidity – 1990 – Empire
Open Road – 2013 – Queensrÿche
Propaganda Fashion – 2019 – The Verdict
Screaming in Digital – 1986 – Rage for Order
Jet City Woman – 1990 – Empire
Eyes of a Stranger – 1988 – Operation: Mindcrime
Light Years – 2019 – The Verdict
Empire – 1990 – Empire
Take Hold of the Flame – 1984 – The Warning