When a singer gives you goosebumps, that’s when you know they are good. For those who may be wondering who I’m referring to, it’s none other than Geoff Tate, who most people know as the original voice of Queensryche. On June 23rd 2018, The Machine Shop in Flint, Michigan hosted Operation: Mindcrime as they are on their 30th anniversary tour of Queensryche’s album ‘Operation: Mindcrime’.
Kicking off the show was local band Crimson Highway who dished out classic rock sounds with Tim Walsh on bass, Steve Bennett on drums and Bill Sargent on guitar and melodic vocals from Chris Kelley. Crimson Highway warmed up the crowd for an excellent evening of rock and roll.
Up next was Till Death Do Us Part, a band that revels in the dark nuances of alternative rock hinging on the haunting vocals from Emily Tate, daughter of Geoff Tate. Kieran Robertson on guitar led the band with high energy as Jack Ross on bass and Josh Watts on drums provided the rhythm section. Till Death Do Us Part kept the ever-growing crowd in a rocking mood.
As the venue filled up leaving little room up front as fans clamored to get as close to the stage as possible. Operation: Mindcrime made their way out onto the stage, Scott Moughton on guitar, Bruno Sa on keyboard and guitar were joined by Kieran Robertson on guitar, Jack Ross on bass and Josh Watts on drums pulling double duty as they all jammed out for an introduction leading to the arrival of Geoff Tate entering the stage.
The entire ‘Operation: Mindcrime’ album was played in its celebration of being 30 years old. Not only does the music hold up, but like a fine wine, the vocals of Geoff Tate still cause goosebumps and even tears being shed as he masterfully yet seeming so effortlessly delivered a stellar vocal performance. The chemistry between the band members is easy to see that they are having a great time performing as they smile and play around.
I had covered a Geoff Tate acoustic show last year and was blown away, so my anticipation was high as I had never seen Geoff in an electric form, he did not disappoint as his story telling through song is top-notch. The guitar work between Moughton and Robertson had those riffs flowing like a charm all night. Watts on drums looked like an animal with his hair flying around and intense looks. Ross plucked out the bass beats in his calm demeanor as Sa whirled back and forth playing keyboard and guitar. Geoff even did a beautiful duet with his daughter Emily on the song “Suite Sister Mary”.
Operation: Mindcrime is a tight group of talented musicians and that became even more clear on how well this band is when they played some more Queensryche classics “Best I Can”, “Silent Lucidity”, “Empire” and “Jet City Woman”. As the crowd sang along throughout the evening, it was evident how much fun the fans were having. For anyone who misses Operation: Mindcrime on tour, I feel sorry for you, this is one of the best bands performing and Geoff Tate’s vocals will have you in a trance. Do yourself a favor and catch these guys live in person.
Mike Shaler, Photojournalist for Go Venue Magazine