Saturday, August 30th, 2014, Geoff Tate’s Queensryche underwent a rebirth amid a wall-to-wall, sold-out show at Tailgaters Sports Bar and Grill in Bolingbrook, Illinois. While Geoff Tate’s Queensryche have been on their Farewell Tour since last year, it was this particular night where a culmination of decades of memories, performances and Tate’s signature sound lamented their well-known monikor- setting the stage to give way to spawning a new cycle of growth, maturity and enthusaism for what they will officially now be identified as; Operation: Mindcrime.
The line-up of distinguished musicians facilitating the band’s metamorphosis include veteran bassist Rudy Sarzo (Quiet Riot, Whitesnake, Ozzy Osbourne and Dio), along with his brother, guitarist Robert Sarzo (Hurricane), drummer Simon Wright (AC/DC and Dio), guitarist Kelly Gray and keyboardist Randy Gane (from Tate’s pre-Queensryche days in the band Myth) who all displayed solidarity and redefined brotherhood beyond the boundaries of a shared bloodline through their 13-song set list.
Like a shot of adrenaline to the heart, the night began with familiar echoes of the past found in the jagged-edged chant of Best I Can, which inspired the crowd to their feet (where many remained throughout the course of the evening). Three more songs followed, pushing the plunger in deeper, including Another Rainy Night and Cold.
At the haulting end of Cold, Tate warmly welcomed the audience and immediately addressed that this was their final perfomance under the Queensryche name. While Tate has confessed during a previous interview with me in July 2013 that he’s not one to reflect heavily on the past by stating, “I never listen to the records after I finish them. I’m usually working on new ones, so they’re always kind of in my head, and so when we get ready to play live, I just go off memory of what I did and try to recreate a song as best I can live”, he proved to be a man of his word, delivering fan favorites like The Needle Lies, Della Brown, The Thin Line, and I Don’t Believe in Love, between dedicating The Real World to conductor/orchestral arranger Michael Kamen [of The Warning], and thanking his wife, Susan, daughter Miranda, agent and everyone who’s stood by him throughout his expansive career.
It wasn’t until the end of the show during their stand out deliverance of the night with Breaking the Silence when Tate belted out the line “Can’t look back” pointed the mic to the fans who unanimously fired back with “It’s just a waste of time,” which was followed by a long pause coupled with approving screams. It was in this moment Tate cut the cord by prying the signature Queensryche buckle off of his belt chain, handing it to an audience member, to then complete the song.
Stellar encores of Silent Lucidity, Jet City Woman, Empire and Eyes of a Stranger capped off the evening, with Tate exiting stage right as the band played on, extinguishing the embers of Queensryche, paving the way for a new phoenix to rise from the ashes.
Operation: Mindcrime are set to release a trilogy of albums come this fall.
CLICK HERE to view more photos from the show.