At Rockpages.gr for many years we have the pleasure and the honor to work with one of Queensryche’s biggest fans around the world, Dimitris Kazantzis. He has been following the band for decades, and never misses the opportunity to catch up one of their tours around the world. Recently his rich collection has been hosted by the Greek Metal Hammer magazine. Asking him to write a few words about Queensryche shows in Greece and Germany was a no-brainer!
The band from Bellevue had not visited us for thirteen years now. Since then (June 2006) a lot has happened in the band, which has made Greek fans, and not only them, somewhat hesitant towards them. Having a great new album in their luggage, they began their second tour of Europe in the year we are in. Here, I write down my impressions of Queensrÿche’s shows in Thessaloniki, Athens, but also from that of Berlin where I followed them the following day.
Thessaloniki, Fix Factory Of Sound, 15-11-2019
The first appearance of Queensrÿche in Thessaloniki ever attracted the attention of about 400 people, a disappointing number in my opinion. There were consecutive concerts of course in those days, but I think the next day, there were many who regretted their absence. This is because the band showed that they are going through a great period and gave a show full of energy and performing perfectly the anthems of the past that earned them their reputation, as well as some of their latest tricks that have, to a great extent, raised them. I will focus mainly on Todd LaTorre, on whom the world’s eyes have fallen in recent years, who can be literally described as a treasure. His astonishing voice and the gift of performing singing all those demanding classics, I’d say that convinced even the most skeptical ones that this is exactly the guy the band needed for this position.
I leave for the end the band that opened the concert, Sence Of Fear, who, while having some interesting stuff in the traditional heavy playing, looked like amateurs both in their stage presence with at least moderate performing and even more mediocre stage costumes.
Setlist: Intro (Lauder The Conscience theme), Blood Of The Levant, I Am I, NM 156, Operation: Mindcrime, Condition Human, Queen Of The Reich, Silent Lucidity, Jet City Woman, The Whisper, Propaganda Fashion, The Mission, Screaming In Digital, Take Hold Of The Flame, Light-Years, Empire, Eyes Of A Stranger.
In Athens things were better in terms of turnout as it approached 1,000 people. The support act here was Meden Agan who presented a decent set based mainly on their latest album and the crowd that was slowly packing Fuzz club seemed to enjoy..
The people that came has shown that Queensrÿche has been missing for all these years! The crowd responded from the first notes of “Blood Of The Levant” and when it came time for “NM 156”, “Operation: Mindcrime”, “Queen Of The Reich” etc, everyone went nuts singing along an amazing LaTorre every song and every tune. The band is in excellent condition, it performs very well on stage and this in turn passes to the audience. Casey Grillo on drums is extraordinary, and after two and a half years he seems to have assimilated into the band.
In Athens, we heard an extra track from “The Vercdict”, “Man The Machine” which is probably the fans’ favorite of the new album
Αποχαιρετώντας o Todd LaTorre στα Ελληνικά μάλιστα, έβλεπες μόνο ευχαριστημένο κόσμο ν’ αποχωρεί από το club!
Setlist: Intro (Lauder The Conscience theme), Blood Of The Levant, I Am I, NM 156, Man The Machine, Walk In The Shadows, Operation: Mindcrime, Condition Human, Queen Of The Reich, Silent Lucidity, Jet City Woman, Propaganda Fashion, The Mission, Screaming In Digital, Take Hold Of The Flame, Light-Υears, Empire, Eyes Of A Stranger.
Berlin, SO36, 17-11-2019
It was a tiring trip to Berlin the next day, but it was worth it at the end of the day. Unfortunately, for the Dark Sky Choir that opened the night, I didn’t see it.
The club is small and old and the worst thing about it is its equipment. This resulted in some minor issues with the sound, Which also Firewind that opened the show faced. Gus G. and company showed a robust and experienced band and were applauded by the people in Germany who greatly appreciated their set closer,”Falling To Pieces”, and I can say that the same goes for me as well.
Setlist: Ode To Leonidas, We Defy, Head Up High, Hands Of Time, World On Fire, The Fire And The Fury, Mercenary Man, I Am The Anger, Falling To Pieces.
It was about time for Queensrÿche to get on the stage and the German response was particularly warm and the band returned the favour with another very good performance! The only flaw was that for unknown reasons so far “Condition Human”, “Propaganda Fashion” and “Light-Years” were cut, which is the first track in the encore of this tour’s appearances. The small stage finally shows the big bands when they can cope with difficult conditions and there the Seattle band proved its size. We also had a drum solo by Casey Grillo here after “Screaming In Digital” and I don’t think I need to go into great detail about his skills. Queensrÿche were once more great, which actually makes me think that the best is yet to come!”
Setlist: Intro (Lauder The Conscience theme), Blood Of The Levant, I Am I, NM 156, Man The Machine, Walk In The Shadows, Operation: Mindcrime, Queen Of The Reich, Silent Lucidity, Jet City Woman, The Mission, Screaming In Digital, Take Hold Of The Flame, Empire, Eyes Of A Stranger.
Photos only from the show in Athens by Chris Kissadjekian/www.livephotographs.com