Live review: Pam and Mark Schaff
Photos: Pam and Mark Schaff
On Saturday night at The Rockpile in Toronto Ontario it was like taking a trip back in time to our teen years when Geoff Tate’s music was the soundtrack to our lives. Tate brought his band Operation Mindcrime to Toronto and played a night of classic Queensryche and some new material from their recent release, the first of three concept albums, ‘The Key’. The Rockpile was definitely the place to be if you were a fan of his music. Operation Mindcrime certainly brought out the “Rock” at the Rockpile.
The opening act Crooked Zebra got the crowd pumped up with covers of bands like AC/DC, The Cult, Van Halen and Alice In Chains. Bringing a party bus full of their own fans, which provided a great party atmosphere to start off the night right.
Next up was Second Pass. The band was heavier than we thought they would be. Great guitar riffs and a wide range in vocals from their singer “Vee” (Veronica McNamee) drew the crowd in with her powerful yet passionate performance. This is a band worth checking out.
Now it was time for who we came to see. The crowd filled in in front of the stage in anticipation of Geoff Tate. Tate known for his operatic singing style took to the stage and started out with ‘Neue Regel’ and ‘Screaming In Digital’ from the album ‘Rage For Order’. Showing early on that he still had a voice that could carry the old classics from his days with Queensryche.
Throughout the set Tate took time to tell the backstory of certain songs which was great. Giving fans a glimpse into the song writing process. During the mid point of their set they performed an amazing four song acoustic set. They performed a great acoustic version of ‘Take Hold Of The Flame’. And no acoustic set would be complete without the huge hit ‘Silent Lucidity’. Back in the day the lighters would have been out for sure.
Tate then introduced the crowd to their new album ‘The Key’ with four songs from it including ‘The Stranger’ and ‘The Fall’. Hearing the new songs for the first time live, we were impressed with how they stand out on their own and fit well with his older material.
Ending the show with some of our favorite songs from Rage for Order & Operation Mindcrime were ‘Walk In The Shadows’ and ‘Eyes Of A Stranger’. As the band walked off stage the crowd screamed for more. They came back out for the Encore and closed out the night with fan favorites ‘Breaking The Silence’ and ‘Empire’.
They performed 20 songs and played for two hours. The set list didn’t disappoint, they performed all the songs a die hard Geoff Tate fan would want to hear. Tate’s still a great performer, getting the crowd involved every chance he could, everyone was singing along to nearly every song. As he remarked at one point in the night he’s nearly 60 years old and he feels great and that holds true by his performance, which spoke for itself. His voice is still strong, powerful and dynamic. Tate still rocks like he did back in the 80’s. The band sounded tight and complimented Tate perfectly.
We had an amazing time at this show. We don’t think anyone left disappointed. If you get a chance, do yourself a favor and get out to see Geoff Tate’s Operation Mindcrime next time they come through your town.
1) Neue Regel
2) Screaming In Digital
3) I Am I
4) One More Time Around
5) I Don’t Believe In Love
7) At 30,000 ft
8) Jet City Woman (acoustic)
9) Take Hold Of The Flame (acoustic)
10) Silent Lucidity (acoustic)
11) The Weight Of The World (acoustic)
12) Re-inventing The Future
13) The Stranger
15) The Fall
17) Walk In The Shadows
18) Eyes Of A Stranger
19) Breaking The Silence