Queensryche at Starlight Amphitheater at Frontier City (2018)
Starlight Amphitheater at Frontier City (Oklahoma City, OK, USA)
August 4, 2018
Over the years I've seen the band multiple times, yet this was my first experience seeing a QUEENSRYCHE not fronted by original vocalist Geoff Tate, and only my second time to see the band without guitarist and songwriter Chris DeGarmo. Nonetheless, I was excited for the opportunity to get to cover this show. Unfortunately, it didn't get off to a good start, and actually very nearly didn't happen.
The band was performing at Oklahoma City's Starlight Amphitheater at Frontier City. Frontier City is an amusement park full of roller coasters, cotton candy and things of that nature. Pulling in to the parking lot, I came to the quick realization that one had to pay $15 just for the ability to park. So all ready a bit chuffed, I made my way in, collected my ticket and photo pass. With show time approaching, I made my way through the park to the amphitheater stage. There was a man on the stage instructing those with the extra special VIP tickets to make their way to the side stage for the meet and greet with the band. Allowing those folks to work their way back first, I then inquired with the gentleman there about speaking with my band contact, the tour manager. He began asking who I was, and who I was with. Realizing I was there to photograph and review the show, his attitude changed quickly for the worse. He was with the promotions company, and they had their own photographer. The pit access I had been promised was suddenly denied. Furthermore, he effectively blocked me from speaking with the tour manager and wouldn't pass on any messages. He suggested several times I should "just leave". I ultimately had to email the tour manager, who came out and assessed the situation, apologizing for the situation. Apparently the venue,staff, promotions company and the band had been having arguments all afternoon. After several heated discussions between the three of us, I was told I would only be allowed in the VIP section for the first three songs. Better than nothing I suppose. Not the pit as I had been promised, but it would have to do.
QUEENSRYCHE took the stage promptly at 7pm and immediately launched into "Best I Can" and followed it with, "Damaged". Immediately it became that regardless of your opinion regarding the Tate vs. QUEENSRYCHE debacle, vocalist Todd La Torre is outstanding at what he does. No, he's not Tate, but he proved himself to me to be more than capable of handling the bands repertoire.