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Live Reviews : Queensrÿche, Vanishing Point & Elm Street @ Prince Bandroom, Melbourne 14/10/2016

By on October 16, 2016

Across Melbourne, there was an excitement building, the excitement of knowing that one of the world’s greatest and influential metal bands of all-time were set to take over the iconic Prince Bandroom. The legendary Queensrÿche have been a household name in metal since their inception in 1982, reaching peak prominence with their Operation Mindcrime and Empire albums in the nineties. In support of their latest release, 2015’s Condition Human, Queensrÿche were set to prove to fans that they were as relevant as ever, with a performance that could only be regarded as one of their strongest. In tow for the night were Melbourne’s own  progressive metal powerhouse Vanishing Point and heavy metallers Elm Street.

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The boys in Elm Street took to the stage with energy and favour, pumping the crowd up before the majority of them even got through the doors. Their dedicated and enthusiastic approach to the traditional elements of heavy metal gave birth to a sound that was aggressive as it was technical. Supporting their latest release Knock ‘em Out With A Metal Fist, Elm Street took the daunting task of taking the support and completely owned it. Closing their set with the crowd favourite ‘Barbed Wire Metal’, the boys left a taste in the audience, a taste of pure heavy metal that wasn’t going away any time soon.

From the local stages of Australia to the grand stages of Wacken Open Air, the progressive heroes from Vanishing Point were set to make their mark on the crowd. By the commencement of their set, the entire venue had been filled to the brim to witness the veterans do their thing. Showcasing a number of tracks from their most recent release Distant Is The Sun, Vanishing Point were as tight as ever, with the vocal delivery of Sylvio Massaro completely blowing away the minds of the audience whilst the shredding brilliance of guitarists Chris Porcianko and James Maier left jaws on the floor. No strangers to the stage, Vanishing Point made it their own, and left not only myself, butt he hundreds of others in the room completely in awe.

The calibre of quality of the night had been set high, very high, and it would take a band of such a calibre to carry it on. From moment they stepped on stage to the moment they left, Queensrÿche delivered a sublime, almost flawless performance of melodic brilliance and progressive rhythms. A truly diverse showcase of the bands entire back catalogue, Queensrÿche gave fans an unforgettable performance worthy of praise from all those who had the pleasure of seeing the show. From the nostalgic impact of ‘The Mission’ and ‘Operation Mindcrime’ to the more recent heavy hitters like ‘Guardian’, the American icons cemented themselves as a band as relevant and as tight as they have ever been.

What could not be ignore was the level of expectations and standards set within many fans that night in regards to the vocal duties of vocalist Todd La Torre. Not only did La Torre match the vocal styling of former singer Geoff Tate during the classic hits, but overshadowed the original recordings of the tracks with his truly powerful vocal delivery. Guitarists Parker Lundgren and Michael Wilton provided Melbourne with harmonies and melodies that could only be described as transcendental, as the level of complexity and feeling behind the six-string maestros had the audience within a firm grasp of attention. The rhythmic brilliance of bassist Eddie Jackson and drummer Scott Rockenfield felt dead on throughout nearly the entire set, with only very rare, minor timing issues occurring throw their ninety minutes on stage. What could not be mistaken as anything but a true highlight of the night, was the performance of the sorely missed ‘Queen of The Reich’, to which was performed brilliantly, with extra commendation towards La Torre, who owned the vocal styles of the track and proved to not only me, but to everyone there, that he truly is the perfect vocalist to continue in the name of Queensrÿche.

As the night drew to a conclusion, fans left the venue with expectations high and met. But for me, I felt as though there was more to be said about the night’s proceedings. Not only was the show a showcase of what is great about Queensrÿche. But it also felt like a statement, a statement that the band is alive and better than ever, and I wholeheartedly agree. Not a dull moment from neither Elm Street nor Vanishing Point, with both of them leaving the night with an extended fan base. As for Queensrÿche, there really isn’t much to say that hasn’t already be said, but for repetition’s sake, I’ll say it again…

Queensrÿche are a band that’s been around for more than three decades, and in their tenure as one of the most influential metal acts in the world, they’ve achieved great success and equally as impactful downfalls. But tonight proved that it is not only possible for band to carry on despite such events, but to renew to some and reaffirm to everyone else that Queensrÿche are still one of metal’s greatest exports.