Queensrÿche's Triumphant Return to Western New York


Two years and one global pandemic later, Queensrÿche returned to Batavia Downs in Western New York for another go and it was fantastic!


This is one of the rare bands that, prior to this show, I'd still never managed to see live. I have no good reason to have waited this long. It's certainly not for lack of interest. All I've heard is what an incredible job vocalist Todd La Torre does at brining the back-catalog to life in a live setting. So, while I'm probably the last one in the room to be able to know it, I can now confirm that Queensrÿche still puts on one hell of a show.


Having been familiar with a bunch of the hits already, I was still curious to see how well the Geoff Tate-fronted back catalog would translate live. As everyone reading this probably already knows, the answer is REALLY GOOD. It turns out, my biggest challenge in reviewing this show is figuring out how to compliment La Torre's vocal performance without making him sound like Tate copycat.


Fortunately, while this was my first time seeing Queensrÿche, I brought along a few friends, one of which is a life-long die-hard. After the show, we chatted a ton about the evening, but my buddy had some choice feedback for one of his on this evening's performance from one of his favorite artists:


"For me personally, opening with a deep track and banger that is "The Needle Lies" had the crowd riled up. Pretty good response to the newer tracks. And big time reactions and sing-alongs with "Jet City Woman," "Silent Lucidity" and "Eyes of a Stranger" - Tony Csati

I couldn't agree more. It was great seeing the hits, all of the one's mentioned I was familiar with. Some additional stand-out songs for me were "Empire," "Operation: Mindcrime" and "I Don't Believe in Love."


When the show was over, I can say with certainly that Queensrÿche is still putting on a great show. I'll be sure to check them out the next time they come through town and I hope it's not another two year wait before that time comes. Additionally, the venue at Batavia Downs is fantastic. It's the same location they played back in 2019 and they've been a great addition to the summer concert series. The setup is such a great location for a live show, with vendors along the inside of the racetrack, as the stage is setup at the end. I'm planning on hitting at least one more show there this summer and already can't wait to hear what their 2022 lineup looks like!


Setlist:

  1. The Needle Lies

  2. Walk in the Shadows

  3. Prophecy

  4. Blood of the Levant

  5. I Am I

  6. Man the Machine

  7. The Lady Wore Black

  8. Breaking the Silence

  9. I Don't Believe in Love

  10. The Whisper

  11. Silent Lucidity

  12. Jet City Woman

  13. Take Hold of the Flame

  14. Queen of the Reich

  15. Eyes of a Stranger

  16. Operation: Mindcrime

  17. Screaming in Digital

  18. Empire




Queensrÿche - August 13th, 2021: All photos by Charlie Meister