Chris Loomis

Queensryche & John 5 @ House of Blues Anaheim – 01/30/2020

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Progressive metal pioneers Queensryche now in the 40th year of their career are out on the road continuing to support their March 2019 release The Verdict. Their 15th studio album and the 3rd with vocalist Todd La Torre has been the most successful Queensryche album in recent years and had charted in the top 20 in many countries around the world. This six-week tour across the US has New York rockers Eve to Adam and guitar wizard John 5 opening the show each night making for a diverse old-school rock n roll show from start to finish.

Eve to Adam played a strong seven song set to kick off the night to an early packed House of Blues. The band primed everyone for the upcoming set by John 5. It seemed that half the people in attendance had previously witnessed John 5’s solo performance with his band The Creatures and half the people really were not aware of what to expect . . . well it didn’t take long after John 5 hit the stage before he had the entire House of Blues mesmerized with his performance.

Currently a member of Rob Zombie’s band, John 5 uses his downtime from the horror rock band to play live shows with his band that includes Logan Miles Nix on drums and Ian Ross on bass. Playing various songs from his catalog of 10 solo albums, John 5 uses various guitars, banjos and mandolins as he plays his eclectic collection of music. With a stage set consisting of video monitors displaying horror movie graphics and inflatable ghosts and goblins, John 5 fit right in as at one point he wears a mask of himself then ripping that mask off exposing another glow in the dark skeleton mask. The extraordinary guitar playing thrilled his current fans and John 5 certainly made LOTS of new fans on this night.

Queensryche needs no introduction as having been one of the innovators in the prog metal genre and concept album spectrum for the better part of the last 40 years. At 10:00pm they hit the stage with “Prophecy” from the re-issue of the debut album The Warning then right into the classic “Operation: Mindcrime”. Vocalist Todd La Torre center stage sporting a pair of dark sunglasses belted out these classics with ease and precision. La Torre adds a spark of energy to the band onstage being the most energetic member as he interacts with the others.

The band is anchored by the two remaining original members, bass player Eddie Jackson and guitarist Michael Wilton along with fellow axe-slinger Parker Lundgren and Casey Grillo on the drums. The stage had multiple video boards along with round video screens on each of Grillo’s bass drums making for an interesting visual.

Fans old and new were satisfied on this night as new songs were mixed in perfectly with the classics. Four songs were played off the latest album The Verdict but interestingly no songs were played off the previous two albums. Other classics included “Screaming in Digital” and “Queen of the Reich” and the night ended with a three-song encore of the new song “Light Years”, then the hits “Empire” and “Eyes of a Stranger”.

Queensryche in 2020 sounds better than ever and delivers a kick-ass show with each member having a high degree of technical proficiency on their respective instruments and Todd La Torre remains the perfect fit for this band with his piercing vocals. Queensryche’s winter The Verdict Tour runs through February 27 as they circle back to the south-east of the US ending in Orlando, FL.

Queensryche Setlist:

Prophecy | Operation: Mindcrime | Walk in the Shadows | Resistance | Man the Machine | Take Hold of the Flame | No Sanctuary | Bent | Dark Reverie | Breaking the Silence | Silent Lucidity | Jet City Woman | Screaming in Digital | Queen of the Reich

Encore: Light-Years | Empire | Eyes of a Stranger

Eve to Adam Photo Gallery

John 5 & The Creatures Photo Gallery

Queensryche Photo Gallery

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