Meytal and Queensryche
House of Blues Anaheim
Jan 8, 2015
Over the weekend, metal heads got so watch head banging generations collide as Meytal, a band led by phenomenal Israeli drummer Meytal Cohen, opened for Queensryche at the House of Blues Anaheim.
Anyone who has found themselves trapped in a endless black hole of drum solo videos on YouTube is probably familiar with Cohen. The 31 year-old wunderkind became an Internet celebrity over the last six years for videos showing her covering several popular metal and hard rock songs on drums, most notably selections from Tool, Slipknot and Deftones. Her band, simply called Meytal, released a debut album entitled Alchemy last year, drawing comparisons to bands like All That Remains, Arkea and Killswitch Engage.
The band's 40-minute set on Friday night was explosive. Cohen, surrounded by a drumkit fortress of DW and Meinl gear, was as assaulting on the ears as she was easy on the eyes. Despite a few technical flaws here and there, watching the drummer pound her toms in a live setting was a mesmerizing first time experience for those who are used to seeing her on the other side of a computer screen. Singer Eric Emery is worth a mention, exhibiting a nice vocal range and tone, similar to that of Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington.
The band played various selections from the album, including music video tracks “Nothing” and “Shadow in Disguise.” They finished up with an adequate cover of Dream Theater’s “Pull Me Under,” which Cohen previously performed for one of her YouTube videos. The band was also nice enough to hang out at the merchandise table and talk to fans after the show, signing autographs and taking selfies.
The headliner for the evening were progressive metal pioneers Queensryche. They, along with Fates Warning and Dream Theater, are credited with first combining the technical musicianship of prog rock with the heavy metal sound back in the ‘80s. Just for perspective, their debut album was released the month after Cohen’s birth in 1984.
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The band has been a steady force in the metal world, releasing 14 studio albums with three of the five original members still active. Original singer Geoff Tate was acrimoniously dismissed from the band in 2012, leading to lawsuits over the name and rights to the music that has since been mostly resolved.
Queensryche performed like seasoned veterans; an eclectic 90-minute set of a few songs from their recent albums but mostly focused on tracks from the past. Old music video projections and colorful variations of the band’s logo emanated from large screens on either side of the drum stage. These accompanied the entire set, which included selections from their critically acclaimed concept album Operation: Mindcrime, as well as their popular 1990 release Empire. Fans of the band ranged from teens to retirees, belting out the choruses to try and mimic the sensational vocal range of current frontman Todd La Torre. They ended the night with a heartfelt thank you to the fans for years of support and closed the encore with “Eyes of a Stranger.”
1 Shadows in Disguise
3 Everybody Hates You
4 Tear Me Apart
5 Torn In Two
7 Pull Me Under (Dream Theater)
2 Operation: Mindcrime
3 Best I Can
5 The Killing Words
6 The Mission
7 In This Light
9 Anybody Listening?
11 Queen of the Reich
12 Jet City Woman
13 Take Hold of the Flame
14 Screaming in Digital
15 Eyes of a Stranger