Geoff Tate’s Operation Mindcrime at The Canyon Club 2/4/16
Written by Alison “MetalBabe” Cohen
Geoff Tate Photos by Jaymz Eberly ( EberlyPhoto.com )
One thing that you can always be sure of when you see Geoff Tate, whether it’s Queensryche, a solo performance, or newest creation Operation Mindcrime, is that he will take you on a journey. Geoff Tate is all about conceptualizing the experience. During his live performances, fans participate in a joined experience with the band, listening to stories about how the songs were created and his personal life. The band played 22 songs during their set and included a variety of songs from the Queensryche timeline. “Neue Regal” was the first song of the night, followed by “Screaming in Digital.”
When Geoff Tate asked if we remembered 1994, I was extra excited because I knew that meant he would be playing something off that year’s release, ‘The Promised Land.’ That was the first time I saw Queensryche live and it is still one of my top favorite albums. Tate said that he was going through a period of self-discovery at that time and trying to figure out how to label himself; put himself in a box and figure out who he is. The result was the “I Am I.” That song, which was followed by other ‘Promised Land’ song “One More Time Around,” were definitely highlights of the night. Another highlight was “The Hands,” which was the only song the band played off of ‘Mindcrime II.’
Next, Tate brought us to 1996, for “spOOL,” off of ‘Hear in the Now Frontier’ and told us a story about accidentally ingesting some ‘edibles.’ After “At 30,000 Feet,” from the ‘American Soldier’ CD, guitarists Kelly Gray and Scott Moughton traded in their electric guitars for acoustics, and bass player and newest member of the band, Tim Fernley, switched to an upright bass. Geoff Tate said that when you play a song acoustic, “it tells the truth about the song. The way the song started.” The band played us four back-to-back acoustic songs, including: “Jet City Woman,” “I Don’t Believe In Love,” and “Take Hold of the Flame.” It was a nice change, and interesting hearing these songs performed acoustically, but two or three songs would have been enough. It seems the crowd really just wanted to hear the last song anyway, “Silent Lucidity,” which Geoff Tate encouraged us to sing along to.
After the acoustic set, they plugged back in to play a song off ‘Frequency Unknown’ called “The Weight of the World” live for the first time ever. The majority of the audience didn’t seem too familiar with the song, but it was nice to be first to hear it live. They played a few new original songs, which sounded very reminiscent of the original ‘Mindcrime’ CD, and then picked it back up again with Queensryche songs “Damage,” “Walk in the Shadows,” and “Tribe” before playing my personal favorite Queensryche song of all time, “Eyes of a Stranger.” They came back for a two-song encore of “The Thin Line” and “Empire.”
Crack in the Shell, one of my favorite original bands in Los Angeles, were direct support. This was their first show as a 3-piece, and the first time they performed using added sequencing and programming, which gave them a bigger and fuller sound. Their seven-song set, which included songs from all three of their EPs and ended with the Lady GaGa‘s “Bad Romance,” got everybody pumped up and ready for night.