Christmas time in Los Angeles; sometimes the days are warm sometimes not yet the nights are cool and crisp and Santa baby has been delivering presents early. If you’ve been very naughty, you might get sent to the House of Blues West Hollywood, to repent your evil ways and you just might find yourself at one of the hottest shows to come through LA this time of year, such as Queensrÿche.
The House Of Blues West Hollywood, was filled to capacity on Saturday, November 24, 2012, as an anticipatory crowd waited for Queensrÿche to take the stage fronted by their new vocalist. Just in case you’ve been living under a rock, the band parted ways with lead singer Geoff Tate earlier this year and both sides are embroiled in a court battle for the name. A judge ordered both parties the right to use the name until such time as a decision is made on who will actually own the moniker.
Those of us who grew up with Queensrÿche, only knew one singer, one sound and the words to the songs that played as soundtracks to our lives so who was this new dark-haired stranger stepping up to the mic? Could he really carry the concept and music of Queensrÿche and transport us to the realms of Operation: Mindcrime and Empire? Who is he?
At 10:15pm the lights went down and Michael Wilton, Eddie Jackson, Scott Rockenfield, and Parker Lundgren along with powerhouse vocalist Todd La Torre broke into Queen of the Reich starting off the set. With poker faces and not much movement through the first song, people where sizing La Torre up and watching his every move because while he may be a great guy, he’s got big shoes to fill—this is Queensrÿche for God’s sake! And he nailed it.
La Torre removed all doubt that evening; all of a sudden he wasn’t the new singer; he was the voice of the new Queensrÿche and blended right in like he had always been there. His energy on stage fed the crowd and the fans channeled it back just like one complete electrical circuit. The band covered songs, which came from the first five Queensrÿche albums such as Walk In The Shadows, The Whisper, En Force, Child Of Fire, Warning and The Needle Lies. Silent Lucidity was a favorite and the guys rocked it out in the most cerebral way; believe it or not, some had tears in their eyes because this song has always been very special to many. When Empire rang out, it was good they were louder than the crowd because the decibel level from the fans was deafening.
After the show, the band came to the after party, said hello, signed autographs and posed for photos outside with fans, on the patio of the Foundation Room. Queensrÿche gave their all and it paid off because what you put in you get back. They’ll be in the studio this month with a new release possibly scheduled for spring but in the meantime, the weather at night is getting colder so put on a sweater and a warm shot of Queensrÿche will take care of the chill, otherwise, it’s just another rainy night (without you).