The new lineup of Queensrÿche played their first official gig over the weekend, pulling out some vintage classics as well as a few rarely played deep cuts at the Halfway Jam in Minnesota.
The band recently parted ways with singer Geoff Tate after 31 years, amid claims of frustration at the direction the band had taken. Tate contends that his former bandmates weren’t submitting ideas and had never spoken up to say they weren’t happy with how things were going. Queensrÿche claims, among other things, that their ideas were being brushed aside in favor of outside writers. The conflict became physical in Brazil in May, with Tate being fired in June. The matter is before the courts but for now, Queensrÿche have upheld the right to continue to use the band name for now.
Some Queensrÿche fans are thrilled with the decision to hire Todd La Torre on vocals and to focus on Queensrÿche’s harder-hitting material. Others are concerned that without Tate, the band will lose much of its theatric edge. And they have a point: previous Queensrÿche tours have included actors playing parts from Operation: Mindcrime; a mock bar for the performance of the epic title track to the Promised Land album; and of course the notorious Queensrÿche Cabaret tour, which saw the band performing with dancers, jugglers, contortionists and drag queens.