May 3, 2009 – Enigmatic progressive rockers Queensrÿche infiltrated the Northern Lights Casino in Walker, Minnesota on Sunday May 3rd as they provided a long set consisting of 3 suites, delivered with the passion and mystery that only Queensrÿche can create. Since their emergence from Seattle in the early 1980s, Queensrÿche has set themselves apart from other rock acts by recording epic concept albums, creating an image of mystique, and earning themselves a reputation for dynamic live performances. Fans in Walker got a taste of it all during the show as the band, consisting of full time members Geoff Tate, Michael Wilton, Eddie Jackson, and Scott Rockenfield, showcased their new album American Soldier, the seminal Empire, and the powerful Rage for Order. Known for their ability to mix music with deeper political and philosophical messages, this year Queensrÿche has set out to pay tribute to the American soldier with a unique rock show that places impeccable musicianship alongside a timely moral.
The Northern Lights Casino isn’t a very large venue, but it became packed with Queensrÿche fans young and old as the band tore into “Neue Regel“, the first of the Rage for Order suite. Singer Geoff Tate’s stage presence is indeed part of what makes Queensrÿche such a captivating band. He took ownership of the stage as he nailed high notes and sang the lower key sections to perfection with his hand guestures and body movements enhancing the delivery. The stage lighting stayed dim for the moody and heavy Rage set, and the crowd grew louder with each song with a few fans singing along to the every word.
Seven tracks from the new release American Soldier followed, and fans got a taste of the band’s latest offerings. The rousing beat and chorus to “The Killer” ensured that no one was left sitting down, and Geoff shined again as he revealed his vocal prowess during an emotional conveyance of “If I Were King“. During “Home Again“, much to the surprise of the crowd including myself, Goeff Tate’s daughter Emily joined her father on stage for a solo and a duet. The song is a moving insight into the pain felt by a father who misses his family while overseas in the military, and the bravery of his 10-year-old daughter is remarkable.