January 20, 2016 Queensrÿche Magical At The Marque Theatre Tempe, AZ 1-12-16 w/ Halcyon Way & Meytal
The name Queensrÿche has held much clout in the international arena of Heavy Metal for over three decades now. Overcoming the internal turmoil with original vocalist Geoff Tate, Queensrÿche quickly found their new voice with Crimson Glory’s Todd La Torre in 2012. Releasing their self-titled album in 2013 with La Torre on vocals, fans quickly embraced his talents and respect the new direction of the beloved Queensrÿche. Proving they found chemistry and unity with La Torre, the band continue to tour regularly, and in late 2015 unleashed Condition Human. In honor of the new material, the band announced shortly after its release plans for an early 2016 tour with support from Halcyon Way and Meytal. A solid mix of bands, the trek began on January 7th, and on Tuesday the 12th, they came to the Arizona desert to host a show at The Marquee Theatre. Nestled in the town of Tempe, the venue was packed and ready for a full evening of Rock ecstasy.
On this tour stop, two local bands were invited as openers for an evening of sheer power chords, breakdowns of Hard Rock, and Progressive Rock sounds. First up was the band Sectas who brought the excellence of epic and profound authority to the realms of Metal-dom. Led by Vocalist and Guitarist Christian Lee, who is well-known in the Valley of the Sun, SectaS brings a dynamic explosion to the scene. With each band member, David “Runaway” on bass, Brian Regalado on drums, and Coldcock Whiskey as their sponsors, the band melted the fans into the millennial of more aluminiferous blasts than ever. Having opened for many national acts, SectaS delivered their half hour set to a crowd who hungered for more. An experience right there with the likes of Megadeth and Alice In Chains, Sectas is not to be missed.
The second act to tear up the house was another Phoenix band known as Tricus. A raucous band, Tricus pulls from the roots of Hard Rock/Metal and kisses it with mouth wide open. Also sponsored by ColdCock Whiskey, together, Tricus is Ken Lewis (vocals), George Contreras (guitar), Norman Lund (drums), and Sean Valverde (bass). With their 2013 album, Fate & Destiny, and two new singles released in 2015, Tricus is spearheading the Hard Rock world as no other can. Crashing the barrier of sound with glimpses towards Dio and Metallica, they reach back to the days of layering instruments, vocal leads that make listeners spine tingle, and the breakdowns minimal. A refreshing dosage of Rock-n-Roll, their music leaves Tricus’ fans shouting and wanting more.
Branding a sound is complex; ask anyone in the music industry. With that said, never needing a line drawn around them though, from Atlanta, Georgia, comes the band Halcyon Way. Releasing their full-length debut, A Manifesto For Domination, in 2008, since then, the band has released three more albums, including 2014’s Conquer. Consisting of Lead Vocalist Steve Braun, Guitarist Jon Bodan, Guitarist Max Eve, Drummer Ernie Topran, and Bassist Skyler Moore, Halcyon Way are a full Monty of Metal/Rock blessing. Having toured the world and shared the stage with everyone from Fates Warning to Saxon, the band was ready to rock this Tempe crowd.
Halcyon Way unleashed their music of perseverance, hard work, blue-collar Rock, and their technical sound of prevailed throughout their set. Their diligence was clear as the band brought their dominating brand of music as they opened with “Conquer.” Bringing speed to the strings, “Save Your Tears” was the next track that showcased Drummer Topran’s abilities on the drums as he hit hard and precise. Meanwhile, with his signature mohawk, Bodan commanded deserved attention to his guitar abilities, Moore set the bass supremely, and Braun’s vocals resonated, superbly rich. Reaching back to the hard, pulsating sounds of vocals, Halcyon Way came to the track “Web Of Lies,” one which is very reminiscent to sounds of the ’80s. At song number four, Halcyon Way took their fans to their 2010 album, Building The Towers, with their song “Desecration Day,” which was equally as engaging. Rounding out the fire of sound came “Home,” a song which is undeniably a complete culmination of showcasing all their talents. There is no doubt every single Metalhead in the audience approved as the movement and motion of head-banging was proudly in full force as many held Rock signs in the air. Be sure not to miss the band as they continue to support Queensrÿche on this tour.
Next up was the band commonly known as Meytal. Originally from Israel, Meytal Cohen is well-known for her long series of YouTube Heavy Metal drum covers, instructional videos on how to play the drums, and a skill that is quite fun to watch. Meytal Cohen has been more than just noticed for her talents, as she has brought her whole band together with each contributing their own special necessities to their collective sound on their debut album, Alchemy. With herself behind the drumkit, she is joined by veteran of God Forbid, Doc Coyle on guitar, Threat Signal’s Travis Montgomery on guitar, Anel Orantes Pedrero on bass, and Skyharbor’s Eric Emery on vocals. With a solid lineup in place, Meytal’s sound is of pure energetic magic and surprise that the crowd at The Marquee Theatre was ready to indulge in.
Bringing Alchemy to life, Meytal proved to be a cohesive work of art that pours textured and full sound. The audience was as much of a part of each chord, beat, and vocal scream that came from their performance. Playing tracks like “Breathe,” “Immortal Exorcist,” “Nothing,” and “Everybody Hates You Now,” the band had everyone’s attention from start to finish. Complemented by Emery’s playing to the audience, the vocalist pulled them in as he pronounced the song’s lyrics vividly. In addition, Pedrero thumped the bass along while Montgomery killed the leads, as Meytal Cohen was flawless on the drums. Being out on a first major tour across The States, Meytal only showed signs of confidence and having a great time. A set that rounded its way toward the headlining act of Queensrÿche, they pitched a feverish excitement and generated the audience’s cry for more. As Meytal ended their all too short set, converted fans were left craving for another taste. Hopefully, this is only the beginning for the promising band.
Finally, it was time for the one and only Queensrÿche. Reflecting on history, it was in the late ’70s when this group of friends began doing cover songs of popular Heavy Metal bands like Iron Maiden and Judas Priest. From that garage in Bellevue, Washington, with many years of friendships, disagreements, new band members, and a lawsuit, Queensrÿche would be led to where they are today. A line-up that is now tighter than ever before, Michael Wilton (guitar/backing vocals), Parker Lundgren (guitar/backing vocals), Eddie Jackson (bass/backing vocals), Scott Rockenfield; AKA SRock (drums/keyboard/orchestration), along with aforementioned La Torre on vocals, they are the epitome of what Queensrÿche should be. Their passionate belief in their design and signature style has been brought to their fans on this Condition Human Tour, and it was time for their Arizona fans to feast upon the Metal meal.
The set opened with the killer song “Guardian,” off Condition Human. The powerful resonating vocals of La Torre encompassed the Queensrÿche experience while Wilton melted the strings. Seemingly mellowed out and prowling round the shadows, Jackson stationed himself pretty much to his microphone and bass, while Lundgren backed up his own righteous riffs along with Wilton. A band working in unison, the stage and lights seemed to focus on La Torre and Wilton as they rocked even more with “Operation: Mindcrime,” “Best I Can,” and “Damaged.” Playing tracks that encompass their entire career, this was old school Progressive Metal and Hard Rock everyone was devouring with joy.
As the show moved along, they kept it diverse with “The Killing Words,” “The Mission,” along with 2013’s “In This Light.” La Torre sang each track, new and old, with ease and confidence. Not only that, his approach was passionate and sincere while the rest of the band sounded like a well-oiled machine through other favorites like “Empire” and “Anybody Listening,” before newer cut, “Bulletproof.” Of course, Queensrÿche continued to play to the audience and fed off the energy as they rattled out classics “Queen of the Reich,” “Jet City Woman,” and “Take Hold of the Flame” closed out the set. Having everyone screaming for more, the band melted the elements as they returned to scorch with burning heat in an encore that included “Screaming in Digital” and “Eyes Of A Stranger.”
An evening not to be missed, Queensrÿche Condition Human Tour is a compilation of Rock’s hard bands that will leave all who pay admission entirely satisfied. The endurance Queensrÿche has withstood make them the band they are today. With Condition Human, they set their Metal wings of Progressive Rock to soaring heights. As every night upon this tour thus far, The Marquee Theatre was packed with driving scores that ensured a good time. The tour ends on February 5th down in Reno, Nevada, so act now and get tickets for one of the remaining fourteen dates.