Exactly a week and a half ago, I went to see Queensrÿche and Armored Saint supply the Paramount, one of the best double bills of classic metal of 2024. It was a show so dedicated to the scholars of the encyclopedia metallum that as I traveled to Huntington, I thought, okay. Yeah, this is a night for the people that know their history. Queensrÿche and Armored Saint, better known to legions of metal heads worldwide as two of the most energetic bands in classic metal, graced the stage last Friday to perform some hits, new tracks, and a selection of deep cuts for the super-fans in the audience. I had been looking forward to it for months. I was not disappointed.

After making the most out of a mild May day, the older crowd filled up the theatre to have some drinks (it seemed they had not experienced an old-school night out since logistical priorities like raising a family seemed to take over). Delivering the Goods by Judas Priest blasted fast and loud over the P.A., getting everyone pumped up for the mighty Armored Saint as the night would reveal. The opener was End of the Attention Span, a lyrically fitting start considering how Orwellian this reality is becoming.

Armored Saint brought forty-five minutes of bangers that nodded to the best of their discography, like March of the Saint, Standing on the Shoulders of Giants, and Can U Deliver. Like the two previous times I have seen them, the always-great John Bush still sounds amazing now with his raspy howl. John has a voice like no other! The band played great and blew everyone away. John Bush and his band performed note for note as it was in the early eighties in California. Armored Saint can still, four decades later, perform the same way they did back in the day. Their entire was retroactive heavy metal ferocity consisting of air guitaring, rocking out, and clap-along songs, closing it out with the smoldering Reign of Fire to get the die-hards stoked for Queensrÿche. What more could you ask for from one of the house bands for Metal Blade Records?

I tried to catch Queensrÿche at least once, with Todd La Torre commanding the vocalist spot. I had a few chances to see them since 2013, but a local show was booked elsewhere in New York that wasn’t Manhattan, or it happened on a night when I worked in Williamsburg. By the grace of Apollo, I saw them during a tour honoring two legendary releases in their fountain of music, the first four songs from Queensryche and 1984’s The Warning. The whole Origins tour was for the fans who had been there since the genesis of the one true Queensrÿche.

For the first seventeen minutes, the band BLASTED through their 1983 namesake extended play with Queen of the REEEEIIIIICH alongside Blinded, the Lady Wore Black, and my favorite, Nightrider. Hearing Nightrider live was the first of many – holy FUCK – moments for yours truly. After a literal swift set changeover, it was time for all of the early U.S. progressive metal masterpiece, The Warning. The remainder of this celebration was a delight for me and others. Despite a lot of the majority of the crowd not knowing anything other than the Lady Wore Black and maybe Take Hold of the Flame, Queensrÿche instead unearthed En Force, NM 156, and Roads to Madness, the epic equivalent to Iron Maiden’s Alexander the Great. It was great to see them play these songs that have not been played in probably thirty-five years and in their standard tuning.

We all know the combined prowess of Eddie Jackson and Michael Wilton, but the other two newer factors that carved the chunk of the melodic metal mayhem are Todd La Torre and Casey Grillo. LaTorre’s vocal style is vigorous, striking a healthy middle-ground of gleam and backbone to differ from sounding like Geoff Tate. Todd flawlessly soared through an hour and a half of vocally demanding music. Casey Grillo, formally of Kamelot, has been handling drums since Scott Rockenfield became missing in action. Casey did a good job keeping up with the twists and turns for the band, now on par with Scott. Everyone got treated in two encores in the deep cut Queensrÿche classic, Prophecy, and Operation: Mindcrime to commend its thirty-sixth anniversary – a perfect way to end the night and the concert. It was a brilliant show at a great venue on Long Island. It was an evening for the die-hard fans as Armored Saint and Queensrÿche brought the thunder to the Paramount. Both bands owned the night. They proved that they never lost their touch.