Saturday, April 9th, 2016
Geoff Tate’s Operation Mindcrime
Live at The Rockpile West Toronto Ontario Canada
I have been a fan since 1983 when I first saw the “Queen Of The Reich” video hit the TV stations. It has been 25 years since I saw Queensryche front row center at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto. Lots of controversy in the last few years with the band and their lead singer doing his own version of the band. The last two years on The Monsters Of Rock Cruise I got to see Queensryche without Geoff Tate on vocals. The new singer Todd La Torre is doing an awesome job filling in for Tate. This is the night I have been waiting for since the announcement, as I got to hear the original vocalist Geoff Tate with his band Operation Mindcrime touring in support of their 2015 release The Key.
I wasn’t sure what to expect but I was staying positive and with a just under 2-hour set list and 20 songs, Tate didn’t disappoint. He took a handful of breaks throughout to talk to the crowd and a few acoustic tracks to mellow things down.
With tracks spanning throughout his career filling out the setlist, it all started with 2 songs from the Rage For Order CD, “Neue Regel” and “Screaming in Digital“. When this CD first came out it took a while to grow on me and it is now likely my favourite Queensryche album. Next up was “I Am I” and “One More Time”, both from the 1994 Promised Land release. “Sp00l” from the Hear In The Now Frontier album, and “At 30,000 ft” from the 2009 American Soldier CD finished off the first part of the electric part of the show.
Slowing things down, we got to hear “Jet City Woman”. This sounded great acoustic as well as “Take Hold Of The Flame”, but for me I would have loved to hear these songs plugged in. The classic song “Silent Lucidity” had the crowd singing along and Tate‘s voice was spot on.
Now for something a little newer from the Frequency Unknown album, we received “The Weight Of The World”. I didn’t mind this album but not something I have played too often. Then it was on to the newest release The Key from 2015. I’m personally not too familiar with this album as yet but after these 4 songs, “Re-Inventing The Future”, “The Stranger”, “Burn” and “The Fall”, I will revisit it and likely quite often.
Time to go back in time to the Promised Land CD again with “Damaged”, followed by the highlight for me with “Walk In The Shadows” from Rage For Order. The crowd pleaser “Eyes Of A Stranger” finished off the regular set. The band left the stage only to come back shortly afterwards for the encore to play “Breaking The Silence” and then closing out the evening with “Empire”.
Overall this was a great show and I am so glad I didn’t let the negativity throughout social media spoil this moment of seeing this incredible vocalist. He was entertaining and very involved with the crowd. The band played well together with Simon Wright on drums, Kelly Gray and Scott Moughton on guitars, Tim Fernley on bass and Randy Gane on keyboards.
The Rockpile in Toronto is a great place for all of us rock fans to meet up and enjoy some live music. They always put on great shows and this evening the place was packed. If you get a chance to see Geoff Tate’s Operation Mindcrime, don’t miss it.
Shawn “Animalize” Irwin
PHOTO GALLERY: Caroline Lauder & Shawn “Animalize” Irwin