It has been 1032 days since my last Queensrÿche gig. I was 30 years old, living in Sydney, Australia and I was helping my Mum move house!
After that gig in Sydney, I told myself that It won't be so long until I see The Rÿche again! Australian residents may have to wait longer, but I was going back to England at the end of 2016!
So much had changed in the last 1000 days. Scott Rockfield became a Father again (and left the drum kit), Queensrÿche came back to Europe in 2017 for Festival runs, I did a spoken word talk in London about the band (while smashing a Kylie CD on stage) and in that time frame they were working on their next album "The Verdict".
I was a first-day buyer of "The Verdict"! When it arrived on my London doorstep in March I was connected to the album. Todd La Torre and the Boys had made it 3 out of 3 good albums in a row.
2019 was going to be the 4th time I saw Queensrÿche. I couldn't go abroad from England to see them at Festivals in summer 2017. Tickets went on sale on February 2019 for 2 UK shows in Norwich and London.
I was considering going to both shows, but I had never been to Norwich myself. My friend Arthur got me a ticket to the London gig as it sold out in August.
This was to become my 4th Queensrÿche gig in under 10 years. I first saw Queensrÿche on 31st August 2009 at The Metro Theater in Sydney. I didn't see them again for another 6 years until I moved to the UK in 2015 and that's where I caught them in August 2015 at the Electric Ballroom.
When I last saw Queensrÿche in Australia, it had taken them 7 years to return. Outside of America the Rÿche has done more gigs in Germany than any other country!
Wednesday 14th August 2019
I get out of work at 3 pm during the rain over London. I nick out east to Leyton for my 3 monthly injections before winging it to Islington.
As I got to the venue I saw Todd La Torre get off the bus. I was fucking star stuck to see him wheeling in his big suitcase to the venue. I just said hello to him and didn't want to bother the Prog Star!
Todd has been riding an awesome wave in the last 10 years. He's gone from self-employed Drummer to fronting Crimson Glory and then replacing Geoff Taint in Queensrÿche!
My mate Arthur nicks outside to hand me my ticket. After blowing 7.50 on a stupid Cheese Pizza I decided to line up in the rain (like everyone else!) Doors opened at 7 pm.
Arthur got me a space on the front barrier. This is now 3/4 Queensrÿche gig that I have been first to the barrier. I love being at the front of the stage!
Mirrorplain from Germany opened up the show. They are from Finnentrop and have been around since 2011. Mirrorplain did such a good setlist. The Lead Singer Christian Döring got an iPhone out during one song and started live streaming.
Christian said "My Mammy back home was watching you guys, she had never been to England except for a school trip as a little girl"
Mirrorplain lead singer had the looks of Manowar but the rest of the band did look like Prog Metal musicians.
Queensrÿche took the stage around 9 pm. To be at Islington Assembly tonight instead of working is a testament to what my London life is about. The Intro Tape blared over the P.A before Casey got behind his kit and Whip, Eddie and Parker stood on their spots.
They got the gig underway with "Blood of the Levant". This has to be my favourite track off the new album "The Verdict". I was jumping up and down, slamming my fist on the barrier and yelling along to this song. My old mate Arthur was also going wild.
To hear the Arabic saying نحن لسنا العدو. نحن نريد السلام (We are not the Enemy, We Want Piece) does bring sentiment to what was happening in the levant part of the world 5 years ago.
Todd welcomed us all to the show. He said Queensrÿche was happy to be back in the U.K after a 3-year absence. Then they pushed things forward into "The Promised Land"
This was the first time I heard "I am I" live. I have never been interested in anything Queensrÿche post-Empire and pre 2013 Self Titled album. I just never bother listening to that album.
"I am I" is a great song thanks to what Scott did with recording background sounds.
"NM 156" off "The Warning" album!
Last August I did a vlog to show where Queensrÿche had recorded their debut full-length album "The Warning" in London. I found it quite memorable to walk past building in London where NM 156 was recorded. I mean they recorded this album in 4 London Studios!
I was singing around to NM 156 like it was 6th August 2015 again (my first gig in London)
"Man the Machine" got the crowd singing as if everyone owned a copy of "The Verdict".
Then it was time to take it back to "Walk in the Shadows" off "Rage for Order". Every time I hear this song live I sing my lungs out as usual and wiggle my fingers in the air to resemble walking!
Condition Hüman an epic under 8-minute song to refresh our memories from the last 4 years. I do like a few tracks off Condition Human, but I am yet to buy this CD
At the end of the song, Todd asked everyone if they had never seen Queensrÿche live to raise their hands. A sea of hands was raised as Todd Praised those people for coming into Islington tonight. Todd called the rest of the audience "REPEAT OFFENDERS" and thanked us very much for all the support.
"Queen of the Reich" during this song a mad man came to the front of the stage and started headbanging with me. When I looked at him he did remind me of my 22-year-old self of when I first discovered Queensrÿche and gave Kylie Minogue the flick!
This guy was much younger than me and he knew all the lyrics to the songs. It seems like he listens to Queensrÿche every damn day!
I got my torch out during "Silent Lucidity". This is the bands only US top 40 hit! Its kinda funny out of all of the Prog Metal bands of the 80's they were the only ones to get GOLD and Platinum albums, be garnished with Grammy Nominations and a VMA Awards. Other Prog Metal bands never got that high.
Hearing Silent Lucidity live reminds me of a guitarist in London called "George Paris". One of his original pieces about bedtime music for new parents does remind me of the Ryche only POP HIT!
During Operation Mindcrime I yelled out "I DESTROYED ALL MY KYLIE MINOGUE ALBUMS AFTER BUYING THAT RECORD". Truth be told that Between 30th Jan till 13th Feb 2008 I went through a 2 week phase of seeing Dream Theater live, seeing Iron Maiden live and purchasing "Operation Mindcrime" at JB HIFI Sydney CBD that by the time I had finished listening to Mindcrime on the 13th Feb 2008 I had smashed my copy of Kylie "X" and sold all her stupid albums on eBay!
This was the 2nd time I have heard this song live. I was unlucky not to be a Metalhead going to gigs in 2006 because I could have seen Queensrÿche live that year when they performed both Mindcrimes back to back in Sydney!
Everyone in Islington Hall was singing along to Operation Mindcrime. Due to that big court case in 2012-2014 Queensrÿche can only sing a few O.M album songs while Tate can do the whole record.
"Propaganda Fashion" is a great track off the new album. Eddie provides good responses during the song ("POISONED MOTHERFUCKERS"). I can always admire when a Bassist knows how to sing and write good songs.
During "Screaming in Digital" drummer Casey Grillo put on a gas mask for entertainment purposes. This is something Scott would never have done after 30 years of playing this song live.
This is the 2nd time I have heard "Screaming in Digital" live. Although it is nice to play songs off "Rage for Order" I don't think I'll be satisfied until I hear "Gonna Get Close To You" live! Reason being I lost my virginity while thinking of that song in 2010.
When you come to hear Queensrÿche play "Take Hold of The Flame" it takes you back to the time you purchased: "The Warning", "Rage for Order" "Operation Mindcrime" and do I dare say "The Queensrÿche EP"
People are here tonight to hear songs from 80's Queensrÿche and post 2013! We are not here to hear post-1994 Queensrÿche!
Throughout this song, I was grasping at the air as I was TAKING HOLD
During "Eyes of a Stranger" Todd La Torre pointed at me while I was imitating "STRAIGHT JACKET MEMORIES". This song is very fucking emotional to me. I get dreams now and then about Escort's I had sex with during my Australian life.
When I moved to the UK in 2015 I was fucking homesick because the women in my shitty town of Birmingham weren't as good as the 5ft tall lady of the night who lives in a tall high rise apartment block in Sydney.
So every February, I get these dream about this MUSE of my life. I always have to play Queensrÿche afterwards to cheer me up.
If "Gonna Get Close To You" is a great song to play during sex, then I guess "Eyes of a Stranger" is a great song to play during a breakup!
Queensrÿche took 5 for sometime before jumping back on stage to perform Light-years
I found it fucking hilarious that Queensrÿche and Kylie both have songs called "Light Years". Last Christmas I gave Shaun the Admin a 12 Inch Kylie Minogue "Got to be Certain" single and I stuffed the record cover with the Queensrÿche EP I brought this year. Shaun was stoked at what I gave him. My mate George told him "PLAY THEM BOTH AT THE SAME TIME"
The important thing is Queensrÿche doesn't have annoying drum beats as Todd La Torre did a grand job on Drums.
"Jet City Woman" I feel like every time I have seen The Ryche they have played this song. While I was at my first Queensrÿche gig in 2009 they played songs off "Empire".
"EMPIRE" every time I hear this song, it reminds me of all the imperialist shithead knobs around me who judge me for what I do in life. You want me to go into business and be my boss? I will fuck right on once I have done another 16 nations. When I am done with travel after 100 nations then please go pester me!
But anyway the song is about Drug addicts building empires by selling drugs. This pretty much goes against what I believe in. Guys and Girls working 24 hours in 2 days are better than selling drugs. Even though it may make you go fucking apeshit and your boss and reside in Sweden for a month, then at least it won't kill you.
The concert finished at 10.35pm on my watch. I was expecting it to be done by 11 pm. As I left the venue I brought a packet of Queensrÿche Guitar picks. I need to find a musician who is worthy of these picks as I don't play the guitar myself.
This was the best Queensrÿche gig out of the 4 I had been to. The setlist was better than the 2016 gig, but they did a better job than in 2015. I think Todd was a bit ill when he was in London during August 2015.
So for any of you Queensrÿche fans that missed out on seeing the band in Norwich or London. Good News! The band will be playing: Sheffield, Newcastle, Glasgow and Manchester late November/ Early December. Get tickets now as they will sell out!