Arts and Entertainment

Queensryche headlines Pain in the Grass concert Saturday

Queensrÿche, a long-established and successful heavy metal band formed in Bellevue, headlines today’s KISW Pain in the Grass concert at the White River Amphitheatre. - Courtesy
Queensrÿche, a long-established and successful heavy metal band formed in Bellevue, headlines today’s KISW Pain in the Grass concert at the White River Amphitheatre.
— image credit: Courtesy

This Saturday's Pain in the Grass rock concert will feature all the usual sounds rock concert concertgoers are used to hearing.

Distorted guitars, rumbling bass and thundering drums will mingle with a wide range of vocal stylings courtesy of the seven band lineup – including supporting acts Seether, Shinedown, Sevendust, Drowning Pool, Earshot and Jet Black Stare.

For headliner Queensryche's set however, attendees can expect something a little different.

"We're playing with a full orchestra [the Empire Orchestra]," lead singer Geoff Tate said. "I think we're going to be doing 45 to 50 minutes of music with them. It's really going to be a treat. It's pretty amazing sounding, a real onslaught of sound."

For the Seattle-based quintet mixing their heavy sound with orchestration is not a new idea. As far back as 1984 Queensryche was dabbling in a more orchestrated sound than their metal contemporaries – working with the late-composer Michael Kamen on their sophomore album "The Warning."

Kamen, who gained fame for his work on several Hollywood blockbuster movies – including the "Lethal Weapon" series and "Robin Hood-Prince of Thieves" – as well as conducting the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra on heavy metal heavyweights Metallica's orchestra-accompanied "S&M" album, returned for Queensryche's multi-platinum selling record "Empire," released in 1990.

In 1992 the band played their Grammy-nominated ballad "Silent Lucidity" on the Grammy awards show in New York accompanied by Kamen and a full orchestra.

For the Pain in the Grass show the band will be performing with the 24-piece Empire Orchestra.

According to Tate the band will play a split set with several of their hits performed with the orchestra, coupled with a set of songs featuring just the five-member band themselves.

Queensryche formed in 1981 in the Seattle area, releasing their debut eponymous E.P. on independent record label 206 Records.

The band was signed by EMI Records in 1983 and released their best selling records, "Empire" – which peaked at number seven on the Billboard charts – and "Operation: Mindcrime", on the label.

Now, more than 25 years into their career, Tate said there audiences are a mixture of new and old fans.

"We have our diehard fan base that comes to our shows and then there is the next generation of kids that are 14 or 15," he said. "We all have kids of our own now who are in bands and making records."

Pain in the Grass kicks off at 1 p.m. this Saturday at the White River Amphitheater in Auburn, Washington.

Ticket prices range from $29 for lawn seats, to $45 for reserved seats and $60 for pit passes. Tickets are available online at or at Ticketmaster outlets.

For more information visit

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