Blissfully, little comes across my desk in terms of concert announcements as one year gives way to another. (I say “blissfully” because I’m still a bit in holiday mode.)
Today, the most noteworthy announcement I’ve gotten is that Queensryche will play the Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park on May 4.
I go back quite a bit with the progressive-metal act from Seattle. Well, as far back as many do, I’m sure, to the high of the band in the early 1990s. That’s when Queensryche released “Empire,” a tremendous album — at least for its time — powered by mellow megahit “Silent Lucidity.”
Ready to move on from the cheesy hair metal of the 1980s and not yet aware of the coming grunge movement, I really took to Queensryche, buying up some of their earlier music, most notably 1988 concept album “Operation: Mindcrime,” which boasted some really killer tracks — at least for their time — and some I’d prefer never to hear again.
As you may recall, Queensryche got into a hairy legal dispute with its former lead singer, Geoff Tate — who was at the helm for “Mindcrime” and “Empire” — over the use of the name. Long story very short, the band continues with a new lead singer, Todd La Torre, and Tate performs under his name.
If you’re interested in what the 2018 version of Queensryche looks and sounds like, you can find ticket info for the Rocksino show here.
Stream of the week: It’s been too long since I’ve immediately fallen head over heels for a rock album, but that’s what happened when I gave a listen last week to “Go Further Into Lightness,” the second album from Australia’s Gang of Youths.
The album, featuring lushly arranged strings on a number of tracks, scored a handful of ARIA Awards, which I’ve come to learn is another name for the Australian Recording Industry Association Music Awards. To me, the band sounds like a cross between Gaslight Anthem — check out opening track “Fear and Trembling” — and The National (“Keep Me in the Open”).
I’m early in my experience with the album, but I can’t help but agree with a quote from James Clements of Rolling Stone Australia featured on the Wikipedia page for the album that it “poetically explores the human experience in all its bleakness and triumph, confusion and clarity, heartbreak and joyousness” and that it’s a “remarkable odyssey of an album that’ll engulf you, leaving a bewildered smile on your face, a tear in your eye and a heart that’s full.”
Just try not to get sucked into this video for the track “The Deepest Sighs, the Frankest Shadows”:
Mark Meszoros is standing next to you (in silent lucidity). Follow him on Twitter @MarkMeszoros.