I won’t bore you with the details of the acrimonious Queensryche break up and fall out that followed, but in summary after a court case in 2012/14 Geoff Tate is the only person that can perform the classic Operation Mindcrime and Mindcrime II albums in their entirety.
So with it being the 30th anniversary of the first Mindcrime, what better way than with a UK tour. I have seen Queensryche with Geoff’s replacement a few years ago and was blown away by how well he replicated Tate’s vocal range, yet there was something missing from that performance…Tate’s personality.
Granted, I had heard stories from the previous live shows where Geoff didn’t sound as good as people had hoped, and on social media there were still people slating him for his vocal prowess, so I went with an open mind and fingers crossed.
Tate’s daughter’s band, are support for the tour, with the rather happy monicker Til Death Us Do Part, and went down well considering they are a relatively unknown quantity here. A rather dark and sombre musical style, Emily has an expressive voice if perhaps lacking her father’s charismatic style.
With a full house, especially for a Sunday night, it is clear that by the time of the second song – ‘Revolution Calling’ – Tate’s voice was intact and in great condition.
Guitarists Scott Moughton and Kieran Robertson, in all honesty, lack the symmetry and precision of DeGarmo and Wilton but they do a sterling job of delivering that twin guitar signature sound that made Queensryche stand out, also being beefed up occasionally by keys player Bruno Sa .
Without the big screens or bigger production values of former times tonight becomes more about the quality of the songwriting. The frantic fret burning intro of ‘Speak’ through to the thundering drumming at the start of ‘Spreading The Disease’ are played as close to the originals as possible. Geoff’s daughter Emily obliged for the female voice on ‘Sister Mary’.
The two big crowd pleasers ‘I Don’t Believe In Love’ and ‘Eyes Of A Stranger’, sent the venue into wild eruption as the band brought the Operation Mindcrime Anniversary to a triumphant climax.
Tate seemed genuinely humbled by the reception, and a birthday cake(!), before the encores ‘Silent Lucidity’, and ‘Jet City Woman’ confirmed that – with so many more unplayed songs including the new album – this gig could have gone on all night.
Whilst some might bemoan the absence of his original band members, with them or without them tonight’s anniversary did their legacy justice and reaffirmed Geoff Tate’s contribution in terms of vocals and creativity.
Review and photos by Darren Griffiths
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Power Plays w/c 19 February
THUNDERMOTHER Revival (Despotz Records)
THE TEMPERANCE MOVEMENT There’s Still Time (Earache)
TAX THE HEAT The Last Time (Nuclear Blast)
DOOMSDAY OUTLAW Spirit That Made Me (Frontiers)
BAD WOLVES Zombie (Eleven Seven Music)
ALL THAT REMAINS The Thunder Rolls (Eleven Seven Music)
Featured Albums w/c 19 February (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 TOTO Greatest Hits: 40 Trips Around The Sun (Sony Legacy)
12:00-13:00 SHIRAZ LANE Carnival Days (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 THE LYNNES Heartsong For The Radio (indie)
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