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September 19, 2019 @ 7:30 pm - 11:30 pm



@Arcada Theatre
Thursday, September 19
Show = 7:30 pm
Ticket Starting Price = $39


Although they were initially grouped with the legions of pop-metal bands that dominated the American heavy metal scene of the ’80s, Queensryche were one of the most distinctive bands of the era. Where their contemporaries built on the legacy of Van Halen, Aerosmith, and Kiss, Queensryche constructed a progressive form of heavy metal that drew equally from the guitar pyrotechnics of post-Van Halen metal and ’70s art rock, most notably Pink Floyd and Queen. After releasing a handful of ignored albums, the band began to break into the mainstream with the acclaimed 1988 album Operation: Mindcrime. Its follow-up, Empire, was the group’s biggest success, selling over two million copies due to the hit single “Silent Lucidity.” Queensryche never sustained that widespread popularity — like most late-’80s metal bands, their audience disappeared after the emergence of grunge. Nevertheless, they retained a large cult following well into the ensuing decades.

Guitarists Chris DeGarmo and Michael Wilton formed Queensryche in 1981 in the Seattle suburb of Bellevue. Both guitarists had been playing in heavy metal cover bands and had decided to form a group that would play original material. The duo recruited high school friends Geoff Tate (vocals) and bassist Eddie Jackson (bass), as well as drummer Scott Rockenfield. Instead of hitting the club circuit, the group rehearsed for two years, eventually recording and releasing a four-song demo tape. The cassette came to the attention of local record store owners Kim and Diana Harris, who offered to manage Queensryche. With the help of the Harrises, the tape circulated throughout the Northwest. In May 1983, Queensryche released the EP Queen of the Reich on their own record label, 206 Records. Queen of the Reich sold 20,000 copies and, in the process, earned the band major-label attention. By the end of the year, they had signed to EMI, which released an expanded version of the EP as the Queensryche LP later in the year; the record peaked at number 81.

Queensryche returned in the fall of 1990 with the equally ambitious Empire. The album proved to be their commercial high-water mark, peaking at number seven on the U.S. charts and going double platinum in America; in the U.K., the album also cracked the Top Ten. Empire’s success was instigated by the stately art rock ballad “Silent Lucidity,” which received heavy airplay from MTV and album rock radio. All the exposure eventually sent “Silent Lucidity” to number five on the U.S. singles charts. Following the long Empire tour — which included a spot on the 1991 Monsters of Rock tour — Queensryche released the live Operation: LIVEcrime in the fall of 1991. Recorded on the Operation: Mindcrime tour, the album replicated their live performance of the rock opera that represented their 1988 artistic breakthrough; the package also included a video and a thick book.

In 2001, the band issued a double-CD/DVD package titled Live Evolution. Meanwhile, former member DeGarmo began gearing up to form a new band, which was purported to include former Alice in Chains drummer Sean Kinney and bassist Mike Inez; although he appeared on Jerry Cantrell’s Degradation Trip in 2002, no solo material materialized. DeGarmo then rejoined forces with Queensryche for a brief spell, appearing on the band’s subsequent album, 2003’s Tribe, but never officially joining the lineup. Three years later, Queensryche (sans DeGarmo, who had become a professional charter pilot) released Operation: Mindcrime II, the long-awaited sequel to their 1988 conceptual smash. The year 2007 saw the dual release of Sign of the Times: The Best of Queensryche and Take Cover, the latter of which featured cover versions of songs by U2, Buffalo Springfield, and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

In June 2012, the band fired founding vocalist and lyricist Tate and replaced him with ex-Crimson Glory singer Todd La Torre. Tate filed a lawsuit over use of the band’s name and his songs. He used the Queensryche name as “Original Singer Geoff Tate & Queensryche” to strike first in the recording department, and issued the studio album Frequency Unknown in April 2013. The La Torre version of the band countersued. It was this version of the band that issued the album Queensryche in June of that year. Tate eventually lost the lawsuit and started his own band called Operation: Mindcrime.

In 2014, Queensryche announced a PledgeMusic campaign called “Building the Empire.” Not only was it designed to fund a new album — with contributors receiving everything from music to gear — it also provided accredited investors with the opportunity to buy into Queensryche Holdings, LLC. The band re-entered the studio in December and emerged in February 2015 with a completed album. Three preceding video singles — “Hellfire,” “Guardian,” and “Arrow of Time” — revealed that the band had returned to a harder, heavier sound. Condition Hüman was released in October of that year, followed in early 2016 by a world tour. In 2017, Rockenfield took paternity leave, with Kamelot drummer Casey Grillo filling in for him at live shows. That year, the band announced they had written enough material for a new album and would be going in to record; however, the album did not appear until 2019. Entitled The Verdict and released on Century Media, it was produced by Zeuss and heralded by the single “Man the Machine.” (Source)