Queensryche made a triumphant return to London with an epic headlining performance at the O2 Academy Islington over the weekend. This is the fourth time I’ve seen the band live over the past couple of years, and I think this was their best performance. Then again, I would guess it’s a cold day in hell when these guys have a bad show. Singer Todd La Torre continues to be in top form and gel effortlessly with the rest of the band. The question of whether or not he could front the band moving forward while respecting their legacy has been answered yet again with a resounding yes.
Opening the set with “Guardian,” from the brilliant 2015 releaseCondition Human, Queensryche hit the stage all guns blazing. I’ve spent a lot of time listening to Condition Human and it’s a solid record from start to finish. I would even go so far to say it’s the best record the band has made in the past decade.
The rest of the set was a stellar selection of Ryche favorites old and new. “Operation Mindcrime,” “Best I Can,” “Empire,” “The Mission”—you get the idea (see the entire setlist below). They even slipped in “Damaged” from the terribly under celebrated Promised Land record which was a true highlight for me.
Bottom line, Queensryche continues to drive forward, proudly carrying the progressive metal torch to the masses. With a collection of impressive new material, classic favorites, and a rarity or two, let’s hope they keep this up for many years to come. With the core of the original line-up still in place—perfectly complimented by singer Todd La Torre and guitarist Parker Lundgren—there’s no reason why they shouldn’t.
Best I Can
The Killing Words
Queen of the Reich
Jet City Woman
Take Hold of the Flame
Screaming in Digital
Eyes of a Stranger
Were you at the show? What did you think? Share your comments and join the conversation below. Check out high res shots from the show in the gallery here.