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Geoff Tate – Operation:Mindcrime @The Robin, Bilston – Wednesday 17 January 2018

 Review by Dean Pedley, Images by Rich Ward

Marking the thirtieth anniversary of what will always be regarded as his former bands magnum opus, former Queensryche vocalist Geoff Tate has embarked on a lengthy tour that sees the album performed in full. Some six years since the much-documented parting of the ways Tate’s underwhelming The Key trilogy hasn’t exactly set the world alight and so it is hardly surprising to find him once again returning to the saga of Nikki, Dr X and Mary. And the prospect of an evening full of late 80’s nostalgia was enough to draw a decent crowd to The Robin who were rewarded with Tate in good voice and a band who delivered a faithful rendition of Operation:Mindcrime that was followed by a four song encore drawn from the Empire album.

Geoff Tate

Now bearing more than a passing resemblance to Fish, Tate takes the stage a minute or two after the five-piece band and immediately hits his stride with ‘Revolution Calling’, casting aside any doubts that his voice may not be in great shape. There is no pretence that this is anything more than a Geoff Tate show with the musicians’ role very much one of playing the role of supporting cast. A mix of experienced older hands and youthful enthusiasm, Queensryche alumnus Kelly Gray who has played with Tate since the split is absent although Scottish guitarist Kieran Robertson makes a strong impression as the set moves through the title track, ‘Spreading the Disease’ and ‘The Mission’.

Along with Tate’s daughter Emily, Robertson had played earlier in the evening in support band Till Death Do Us Part and father and daughter are united on stage later in the set when Emily reappears on stage to duet on ‘Suite Sister Mary’ and it is definitely a case of like father, like daughter as Emily is blessed with a powerful voice. Roared on by the audience the set winds its way to the dynamic and dramatic conclusion of ‘I Don’t Believe in Love’ and ‘Eyes of a Stranger’ and even without the huge stage production there is no question this was a convincing performance of what remains a timeless classic.

Geoff Tate

Having let the music do the talking for the previous hour, Tate takes time to praise both venue and crowd before introducing a song he “is always asked to play” which, inevitably, is ‘Silent Lucidity’. The title track and ‘Jet City Woman’ close out the show and with the ever-increasing demand for complete album shows it is conceivable that a tour centred around the Empire album could be something Tate will consider in the future. After years of muddling along with inferior material, Geoff Tate is back to simply singing the songs people want to hear and it makes for a filler-free and thoroughly entertaining night out.

 

Setlist:-
I Remember Now
Anarchy-X
Revolution Calling
Operation: Mindcrime
Speak
Spreading the Disease
The Mission
Suite Sister Mary
The Needle Lies
Electric Requiem
Breaking the Silence
I Don’t Believe in Love
Waiting for 22
My Empty Room
Eyes of a Stranger

Encore:
Best I Can
Silent Lucidity
Empire
Jet City Woman

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