After re-scheduling their UK tour from May until October I was a little worried as to whether it would go ahead at all. With all the legal wrangling's still pending this could well be the last time we see Queensr˙che in this form, although I doubt it very much. What was to come was certainly something I wasn't expecting and would not forget for a long time.
To get the expectant crowd warmed up were Slam Cartel who put on a great display of musicianship to a stubborn Rock City crowd. Charismatic front man Giles Van Lane contorts his body with the microphone stand, giving his performance feel and emotion. The crowd coming around to Slam Cartels efforts is reward for a set that contains some excellent all out rock and mellower numbers. Dispensing with trying to pigeonhole their sound you simply have to experience them for yourselves, needless to say these Londoners continue to impress with every visit I give them.
I could sum up Queensr˙che's performance in two words and be done with it, truly magnificent; however I will compose myself and put a few more words together. We all know the continuing story but this is where all the talking ends and you take it to the stage, and if this is how they respond then there is no doubt as to who has the right to use the name. When you start your set with a flawless Queen Of The R˙che you know that what your about to witness is something special. Todd La Torre is good, very good; he hits all the notes perfectly whilst retaining passion for the material he had no part in writing. The band looks happy, which is something I've not seen in them for many performances.
Whilst I was a little concerned to the sparse crowd for the support band Rock City has filled up for Queensr˙che, with their volume level of appreciation getting louder as the set progresses. Walk In The Shadows, En Force & Child of Fire are some of the ancient delights they spring upon us, all with the new kid in tow fulfilling his promise to deliver the vocals they truly deserve. The new material slotting seamlessly alongside the Mindcime & Empire era of the band justifies what a return to form and rebirth this is for Queensr˙che. Where Dreams Go to Die, A World Without & Fallout are greeted with the same enthusiasm, Michael Wilton and Parker Lundgren duelling guitars seep through the building. The band are humbled by the audience singing back every word to Eddy Jacksons bass rumble of Jet City Woman & the Floydisms of Slient Lucidity, this is what every fan has been waiting years to hear and see, a Queensr˙che delivering a performance without drama and seeing them enjoying it, revitalised.
Ending the set with a magnificent Take Hold Of The Flame the crowd filters out of the venue with just two words on their minds….Geoff who?
Words & Pictures