March 13, 2019 Queensrÿche Inspire Sold Out Crowd In NYC 3-9-19 w/ Fates Warning & The Cringe
A picture perfect Saturday, March 9, 2019 had Rock fans ready to take a break from the cold as they headed on down to the Union Square neighborhood of New York City to witness the legendary Progressive Rock pioneers Queensrÿche play a sold out show at the famed Irving Plaza.
As a Grammy Award winning act, Queensrÿche have led the genre of Progressive Hard Rock/Heavy Metal for well over three decades. During these storied years, they reached the pinnacle of success in the music business selling over twenty million albums worldwide while thrilling sold out crowds with compelling performances. Kicking off 2019 with a bang, Queensrÿche have hit the road on The Verdict Tour in support of their brand new album, The Verdict, released on March 1st. Dropping just one week and a day prior to taking on New York City, The Verdict has garnered high praise from both critics and fans alike who love hearing the band return to their most classic roots.
All this history, Queensrÿche’s core line up of Vocalist Todd La Torre, Bassist Eddie Jackson, Guitarist Michael Wilton, and Guitarist Parker Lundgren are proud to still reign the world of Progressive Rock as a tight unit full of musical inspiration. Conspicuous by his absence, original Drummer Scott Rockenfield has been on hiatus from Queensrÿche since 2017 due to personal reasons. Since there is no word on Rockenfield’s future with the band, the show must go on, therefore the band welcomes former Kamelot Drummer Casey Grillo filling in on percussion during The Verdict Tour.
As die-hard Queensrÿche fans filled up Irving Plaza, there was an electricity in the air for the show to finally begin. First up on the bill, New York City based band The Cringe. An Indie-Rock quartet, The Cringe is made up of Drummer Shawn Pelton, Vocalist John Cusimano, Guitarist James Rotondi, and Bassist Jonny Blaze. A interesting fact, Cusimano is the husband of TV cooking show host Rachael Ray and a lawyer by day. Honored to play in front of a sold out hometown crowd, The Cringe delivered an original set of Indie Rock which included covers of Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid” and Thin Lizzy’s “Jailbreak.” Overall, The Cringe warmed up the packed house for the main support.
Providing direct support, Hartford, Connecticut’s Progressive Metal clan Fates Warning – Ray Adler (vocals), Joey Vera (bass), Jim Matheos (guitar), and Bobby Jarzombek (drums). One of the most definitive acts in the genre of Progressive Metal, Fates Warning has been hard at work cementing their name since forming back in 1982. Most notably, Fates Warning saw the most commercial success with their third LP, 1986’s Awaken the Guardian. Over thirty years later, Fates Warning are still out there grinding and released their twelfth studio album, Theories of Flight in 2016.
A extra treat for Progressive Rock fans in attendance, Fates Warning were welcomed to the New York City stage with excitement and cheers from the crowd as the set began with “From the Rooftops.” Humbled, Adler spoke fondly of the bands appreciation to be on tour with Queensrÿche and thanked the legends several times throughout the set. Showcasing immense progressive talent, Fates Warning garnered the full attention of all on hand with great performances of cuts like “One,” “Seven Stars,” “Pieces of Me,” “The Eleventh Hour,” and “Point of View.” Warmed up for the main event, the most die-hard Fates Warning fans sent the band off with rousing cheers after a noteworthy performance.
As the time drew near for Queensrÿche to take the stage, the standing room only crowd jam packed every square inch of the ballroom to be as close as possible to the band. As the stage light grew darker, images of the infamous Tri-Ryche logo appeared to usher in their mysterious presence. As Lundgren, Jackson, and Grillo hit the stage, the rousing ovation grew louder. Then, Wilton appeared followed by La Torre kicking into the striking opener “Blood of the Levant.” Going after New York City, their sounded dominant, especially La Torre whose vocals pierced through the venue speakers. Heating up, fans were ecstatic to hear La Torre say the next cut was off 1994’s bold release Promised Land, the powerful “I Am I.”
Now Queensrÿche were really bringing it, reaching back to 1984’s The Warning for “NM 156.” After opening the show with a number off The Verdict, La Torre spoke about embracing the new material as well as music from his first two albums with the band. Holding that thought, they delivered the dynamic first single from The Verdict, “Man the Machine,” followed by the hard as nails “Condition Human” off the 2015 album of the same name. Going way back in time, Queensrÿche surged with a fiery performance of their namesake “Queen of the Reich” before an inspirational rendition of the ballad “Silent Lucidity.”
After those mesmerizing moments, they offered “Open Road” off 2013’s self-titled Queensrÿche, and went back to Condition Human for “Toxic Remedy.” The show going strong, La Torre asked if anyone remembered the 1986 LP Rage for Order and the screams said it all as they dug deep for “Screaming in Digital” plus one more new song, “Light Years.” Giving off so much energy, they had everyone chanting the lyrics to a song with nothing but heart, “Take Hold of the Flame.” As the familiar background music chimed in, Irving Plaza was on fire for the heavily emotional “Eyes of a Stranger” before the band left the stage to get ready for the encore.
To a plethora of elation, the band reappeared and the crowd was wild for Jackson’s opening notes to the roller coaster of devotion “Jet City Woman.” In the finale, La Torre declared one more song, which gave way to a stellar performance of “Empire” that shook the foundation of Irving Plaza and had fans beside themselves. After closing in dramatic form, La Torre thanked New York City for always bringing it anytime Queensrÿche comes to town and the crowd responded in kind.
One of the best bands to ever grace a stage, Queensrÿche were in top form on this night while delivering The Verdict Tour upon New York City. A night which featured almost an even blend of classic cuts and newer material, they looked and sounded fantastic. Between La Torre’s cunning vocals, Jackson’s always on the money rhythm, Grillo’s thunderous drumming, to Wilton and Lundgren’s guitar perfection, collectively they rocked the New York City crowd. Whether heading to a bar, a cab, or a train, fans left Irving Plaza feeling amazing after a really cool show. All this in mind, The Verdict Tour has only just begun and Queensrÿche will be on the road in North America until mid-summer with a show well worth the price of admission.
Photo credit: Andrew Fiero Photography