TVD Live Shots:
Geoff Tate’s Operation: Mindcrime, Mark Daly, Fire Sets Fire, and Jump for Joey at the Canyon
at The Rose, 9/29

Seeing Operation: Mindcrime performed live was just what Doctor X ordered on Sunday night. The venue was packed, the band was tight, and fans were treated to one of Geoff Tate’s best vocal performances in recent memory. It was if we all time-traveled back to 1988 to partake in one of the best rock operas of all time.

If you know anything about me, you’d know that I am a huge Queensrÿche fan and have been since I first watched “Take Hold of The Flame” debut on Night Tracks back in 1984. I’d stay up for hours watching this video on rotation and have been a fan of the band ever since. Who would have thought that almost 35 years later I’d be covering Geoff Tate, one of my childhood idols? As an added bonus, I’d be witnessing a complete performance of arguably one of the most iconic concept albums of all time, Operation: Mindcrime. This was going to be one special night at The Rose, and I was lucky enough to have a front row seat.

Opening the show were a trio of bands hand-picked to warm up the Pasadena crowd and each kicked some major ass. Opening sets by Mark Daly, Fire Sets Fire, and Jump for Joey were all unique in their own way and seemed to energize the near capacity crowd with their own brand of rock and roll madness. My favorite of the three was Irish singer/ songwriter Mark Daly. His thoughtful lyrics and constant engagement with the crowd stood out to me and couldn’t help but compare his amazing voice to that of an early Kurt Cobain. No doubt I’ll be digging into his catalog in the days ahead.

Now on to the main attraction, Geoff Tate’s Operation: Mindcrime. This one had been circled on my calendar for some time and was excited to see how Geoff and the band have matured since I last saw them a few years ago. As the house lights dimmed, you could hear the familiar intro of “I Remember Now” filling the theater:

“Telephone please. Dr. Davis, telephone please, Dr. Blaire, Dr. Blaire, Dr. J. Hamilton, Dr. J. Hamilton. It’s 10 minutes past curfew, why are you still up? Hello, Hellooo? Perhaps you need another shot…”

And in that instant, the now capacity crowd went ballistic. A deafening roar filled Rose as Tate finally took center stage and launched into “Revolution Calling.” It wasn’t 1988 by any means, but by the energy engulfing the room you might have thought so. This one went from a 4 to an 11 in seconds, catapulting the crowd into warp drive which would last the entire evening.

Over the next few hours, Geoff Tate’s Operation: Mindcrime dazzled Southern California with a cover to cover performance of their critically acclaimed album and it didn’t disappoint. Geoff’s voice sounded incredible as he ripped apart classics such as “Spreading the Disease,” “Suite Sister Mary,” and “I Don’t Believe in Love.” I’ve heard these performed from various incarnations of the band through the years and have never been overly impressed. Tonight, I was. I also felt the band as a whole had a much better on-stage chemistry than it has in the past and it showed throughout the entire set. And a tip of the hat to guitarist Kieran Robertson. This guy was straight fire all night long and is one unbelievable guitarist.

Upon completion of Operation: Mindcrime, the band took a few well-deserved moments off stage and returned with a four-song encore from 1991’s critically acclaimed Empire. The band smashed fan-favorites “Best I Can,” “Silent Lucidity,” “Empire,” and “Jet City Woman,” and wrapped up an incredible night of metal memories in Pasadena, CA. Walking back to the car, I couldn’t help but smile as I remembered just how special these songs were to me so many years ago. Great music lives on and Geoff Tate’s Operation: Mindcrime is living proof of that.




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