Lunatic's Serenade

Queensryche at The East Side
Cannery Casino, Las Vegas 10/11/14

Photography by the Duran family

Since 1982, Queensryche have been making a brand of heavy metal that keeps evolving with every record. The E.P. "Queen of the Ryche" (as it was dubbed) and the Warning, their first LP, was raw and fast. The guitars were in synch and surgical in its attack. Then came Rage for Order and Operation: Mindcrime. These records brought in an industrial sound before industrial music was a thought. That right there shows how ahead of their time the Ryche was back in the 80's.

Fast forward to 2013 and the release of their 14th studio record - still evolving, still heavy and still metal. Again the family took an outing to the East Side Cannery Casino in Las Vegas to see this band that simply will not die no matter what the obstacle. Without founding front man Geoff Tate and guitarist Chris DeGarmo, the Ryche carries on with new vox in Todd LeTorre and new kid on the axe, Parker Lundgrin.

The night begins with a time warp to 1983 with the thrash sounds of "Nightrider" and hard rock punch of "Breaking the Silence" (from 1986's Operation:Mindcrime). Then they bring a duo double-tap: 2 from Rage for Order - "Walk in the Shadows" and "The Whisper" and 2 from The Warning:  "En Force" and "The Warning". Todd LeTorre's blood curdling vocals pierced right to the heart and proved that he was no hack. He captured the nuance of every song with power and control.

As the crowd died down, Todd introduced the new song "Where Dreams go to Die". A very different sound from older QR songs, but very heavy in its delivery. Then to slow it down some, they bring in an old favorite, "Silent Lucidity". This sets up introductions to the founding guitarist Mike Wilton and new kid Parker. They then proceeded in a dueling match of selected guitar solos from various songs. (I recognized "Screaming in Digital" and I think "Child of Fire").

Time warp again (never to return back to the future) to "The Needle Lies", "NM 156", "The Lady wore Black" (a very technical song vocally and Todd nailed every note!) The lights go down, there's a hush over the crowd - a ticking of the clock and Mike Wilton does the opening chords to "Empty Room" coupled with "Eyes of a Stranger" just like it is on the record (Operation:Mindcrime).

"...a big night of Ryche n' Roll!"

They end with the song that defines the decline of the Western civilization: "Empire" (Did I say "end") Well of course we all yelled and clapped for more! The encore consisted of fan favorites "Queen of the Ryche", "Jet City Woman" and my all-time #1 Queensryche song: "Take Hold of the Flame". A big song to end a big night of Ryche n' Roll!

Catch them if you can, you won’t be let down.

Tim Duran, HMS

Lunatic's Serenade Menu