jakub | May 10, 2024

Queensryche, with Armored Saint, Lionized Their Longevity Live at the Masquerade in Atlanta, Georgia, on Tuesday, May 7, 2024


 

With support from Armored Saint, Queensryche entered the final week of their Origins Tour with a headlining visit to The Masquerade in Atlanta, Georgia, on Tuesday. Established in 1989, The Masquerade provides a unique concert venue experience, offering up four different indoor rooms which can handle a wide variety of capacities, individually named Heaven, Hell, Purgatory, and just opened back in March, Alter. The largest space, Heaven, played host to the night’s event, with general admission fans lining up early in the afternoon an hour before the doors were even scheduled to be opened.

Listening to the fans standing around in line, there was some concern around Armored Saint cancelling their third consecutive show due to a posted illness vocalist John Bush has been dealing with. Fortunately, word leaked out from some of the VIP guests that Jason McMaster (Dangerous Toys/Watchtower/Broken Teeth) would be returning to perform in Bush’s place. As the clock struck 8:00pm, the band took to the stage and bassist Joey Vera welcomed McMaster and thanked him for stepping in for Bush as they broke into “End of the Attention Span” from their 2020 release, Punching the Sky.

Having stood in for Bush in the past, McMaster didn’t miss a beat with Armored Saint, admirably delivering a vocal performance that easily complimented the dual guitar threat tones of Phil Sandoval and Jeff Duncan, while fan favorite Gonzo Sandoval destroyed his drum set with a Cheshire grin. The band powered through a blistering, but seemingly shortened, 8-song set that spanned their entire decades-long catalog, reaching back for early tunes like “March of the Saint” and “Can U Deliver” to the more recent “Win Hands Down.” Armored Saint’s 40-minute performance wrapped up with the punchy, head-banging “Reign of Fire” from their 1991 release, Symbol of Salvation. I have always been a fan of McMaster, but I am sure all the band’s fans are wishing Bush a speedy recovery.

 

Armored Saint:

John Bush – Vocals (did not appear)
Jason McMaster – Vocals (substitute)
Joey Vera – Bass
Phil Sandoval – Guitar
Jeff Duncan – Guitar
Gonzo Sandoval – Drums

 

 

Setlist:

1.) End of the Attention Span
2.) Long Before I Die
3.) Symbol of Salvation
4.) Nervous Man
5.) March of the Saint
6.) Win Hands Down
7.) Can U Deliver
8.) Reign of Fire

 

As has been well-publicized, Queensryche’s “The Origins Tour” has the band revisiting their early years, performing in their entirety their 1983 self-titled EP and their 1984 debut full-length album, The Warning. With the backline equipment changed out from Armored Saint, drummer Casey Grillo took his place behind the kit shortly after 9:15pm as Mike Stone (guitar), along with founding members Eddie Jackson (bass) and Michael Wilton (guitar), took their stage spots as lead singer Todd La Torre appeared from behind the curtain to vocally launch the band into the immediately recognizable “Queen of the Reich.”

I have been a member of Rycher Nation dating back to 1986’s Rage for Order, so to have an opportunity to listen to these two early releases live was simply a treat. No band’s musical story can be complete without the first chapter, and Queensryche’s dedicated fans were clearly appreciative of the historical display put on Tuesday night, especially when the 1983 EP also includes audience favorite “The Lady Wore Black.”

This was the fourth time in recent years I have caught Queensryche live, and I can’t speak more highly on how tight they were musically. La Torre mentioned that they have been on the road for 10 weeks, and I honestly don’t know how he does it. He makes it seem effortless in delivering his commanding vocals on a tough catalog of songs, while being complimented by Stone and Wilton sharing thunderous guitar riffs throughout the night. Seemingly cool and collected positioned back by Grillo’s drum cage, Jackson maintained the deep bass tone on his Mike Lull 5-string that contributes to Queensryche’s unique prog metal sound for some of my favorite tracks including “Warning,” “No Sanctuary,” and of course the fist-pumping “Take Hold of the Flame.”

After wrapping up their main set with “Roads to Madness,” the final track off The Warning album, the band took a quick break before returning to the stage for a two song encore. Thanking the fans for their ongoing support of the band and for coming out early to see Armored Saint, La Torre then announced they were going start by performing a deep cut, which turned out to be “Prophecy.” Following, Queensryche surprisingly — and much to the crowd’s delight — broke into “Screaming in Digital” off Rage for Order to put the final mark on the celebratory evening of the band’s musical legacy.

The Origins Tour wraps up on Sunday, May 12th, at The Ranch Concert Hall & Saloon in Fort Myers, Florida.

 

Queensryche:

Casey Grillo – Drums
Eddie Jackson – Bass
Todd La Torre – Vocals
Mike Stone – Guitar
Michael Wilton – Guitar

 

 

Setlist:

Queensryche EP
1.) Queen of the Reich
2.) Nightrider
3.) Blinded
4.) The Lady Wore Black

The Warning
5.) Warning
6.) En Force
7.) Deliverance
8.) No Sanctuary
9.) NM 156
10.) Take Hold of the Flame
11.) Before the Storm
12.) Child of Fire
13.) Roads to Madness

Encore
14.) Prophecy
15.) Screaming in Digital

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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