TVD Live Shots:
Geoff Tate’s Operation: Mindcrime at the
Garage, 1/16

I’ve seen Queensryche about a dozen times over the years. They’re a band I grew up with and continue to celebrate. When they were fractured in two, I was devastated and confused. Always leaning toward wherever Geoff Tate took them, I followed him out of respect for his incredible work and his brilliant solo releases. But whatever happened, I still loved the band and wanted as much music from any incarnation moving forward.

The results were two very different things. Queensryche with a new singer went back to their roots and delivered a brilliant, crushing couple of records. Geoff Tate’s Queensryche focused more on pushing into new territories. The results were two releases that polarized the fan base and to be honest, probably cast a shadow of doubt on the future of both versions of Queensryche.

All that drama and bullshit was cast aside in London at The Garage on Monday night as Geoff Tate brought his band Operation: Mindcrime to perform the remarkable album with the same name in its entirety. Operation: Mindcrime (the album) isn’t just one of the best concept records of all time, it sets the bar for all others to be measured by—and continues to do so. I was a bit skeptical about seeing Geoff perform one of my all-time favorite records without the backing of his original bandmates, but holy shit was I happy that I went to this show. It was flawless, brilliant, sonically stunning—I can’t say enough good things about this show.

And as to Tate’s voice, it was perfect. There was a time over the past decade or so when critics and fans alike were taking shots at the legendary frontman’s vocal abilities, but I can say first hand that Tate sounded better than when I saw him back on the Promised Land tour. Having seen Queensryche (minus Tate) three times last year, I thought that was the best I would see the band perform, but I was wrong. Operation Mindcrime was better. Maybe it was the fact that the night was 90 minutes plus of hits, but either way, it was fucking brilliant from start to finish.

The set that night was focused on the 30th anniversary of the landmark record, and it was played in its entirety, but then it got even better. Tate and company came out and blew the fucking roof off of the Garage with the best of the best from Empire, my second favorite Queensryche record. “Best I Can,” “Empire,” “Jet City Woman,” and of course “Silent Lucidity.” This was a once in a lifetime show, and if I can figure out a way to see it again, I’m going to.

Geoff Tate’s Operation: Mindcrime released a trio of records over the past couple of years that are solid as well. Hopefully, he’ll swing back around and play some tracks from those records too. In the meantime, dust off that copy of Operation: Mindcrime and rediscover the brilliance of this classic and don’t miss this show when it comes to your city. Tate and his band are firing on all cylinders. You will thank me later.

Operation: Mindcrime continues to tour in support of the 30th anniversary of the landmark record. Check out the tour dates here. And take a look at the hi res shots from the show in the gallery here. 

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