Queensryche stormed the stage at Bergen Performing Arts Center on a warm, late April night, flexing their old school mettle with “Nightrider”, grabbing their steadfast, die-hard fans by the throats, straight out of the gate. It was clear where loyalties lay, between ‘Team Ryche’ and ‘Team Tate’. The fans were there to see the band, stripped of cabaret cache, and back to the roots of their meaty, melodic metal. No one was mourning the absence of former lead singer Geoff Tate. Fans, for the 3rd year in a row, were there for the band they fell in love with 30 years ago, led by lead guitarist and co-founder Michael Wilton, drummer and co-founder Scott Rockenfield, bassist and co-founder Eddie Jackson, as well as rhythm guitarist Parker Lundgren, and stood behind a most impressive Todd LaTorre, successor to the Mighty Ryche Mic. Two hours and 19 scorching classics later (including “The Lady Wore Black”, “I Don’t Believe in Love”, “Queen of the Reich”, “Empire”, “Eyes of a Stranger”, “Jet City Woman”, and “Take Hold of the Flame”), Michael “Whip” Wilton and Team Ryche took hold of the flame of the true spirit of Queensryche and drove it down home for each and every fan in that packed house. And I was most fortunate to catch that spirit from the pit right in front of Whip. Please enjoy the best of the best captured that night.