Metal icons Queensrÿche stopped in Oakland earlier this month to a raucous crowd of young and old fans alike, as the band opened for Judas Priest.
Though the band’s lineup has been shuffled over the years, original members Eddie Jackson (bassist) and Michael Wilton (guitar) have kept the spirit of prog metal alive. Lead vocalist Todd La Torre joined the band 32 years into its 42-year (and counting) history, but his performance projects the ease of a founding member. His effortless command of the stage and acrobatic vocals slid easily into each track.
Queensrÿche remains as subtly campy as their debut, all head bangs and leather-studded vests and intricate guitar solos. La Torre’s impressive vibrato on lyrics like “desolate plains holding dying remains” reinforces the intricacies of prog metal: heavy metal aggression fused with classical musical elements and eclectic arrangements.
The band emphasized the importance of the genre to the crowd throughout their set, and thanked fans multiple times for their support. La Torre noted the diversity of ages in the audience, telling the younger members to “continue to fly the metal flag when us old folks are retired.” The crowd responded in kind, headbanging along to everything from early hits like “Queen of the Reich” to “Eyes of a Stranger.” The band may very well be nearing retirement, but everything we saw in their Oakland crowd tells us their metal legacy is here to stay.
Queensrÿche at the Fox Theatre:
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