» Blog Archive Geoff Tate Makes the Rounds to NJ -
Evan Conway Hard Music, News, Tours

I‘m a simple man – I hear that Geoff Tate is playing Operation: Mindcrime in full, and I go. I’m not hard to please, and we’ve already been over the fact that I love this album and that getting to experience it in full is something special. Everyone know’s it’s perfect, right? In the event that it’s news to you, Operation: Mindcrime is kind of a big deal and is highly regarded as a classic by heavy metal/prog metal standards. Geoff Tate toured to celebrate the album’s 30th (!!!) anniversary last year and the party’s still going in 2019. In a time when everyone’s playing albums in full, rarely is it appropriate for an album of this significance to be performed.

I wanna talk about the concept of sameness for a moment, or deja vu. There’s one thing to do something similar to another tour you’ve done before, and then there’s doing the same tour over again. Realistically, most people don’t like to see the same show a second time and would like something new when they go see their favorite band. What I’m getting at is that the touring bill consisted of Geoff Tate’s Operation: Mindcrime band, as well as Till Death Us Part, his daughter’s band, and the local openers. I have no complaints with Tate’s daughter, Emily, opening, but I think there’s a lost chance in having up and coming heavy metal/proggy bands open, as well, on a proper touring bill. Maybe it’s a touring finance thing, I dunno, but I think what’s already a great draw for Operation: Mindcrime (On a Wednesday night, impressively) could be elevated with another band that’s up and coming and has some draw to them just to really change things up and get people out to the show earlier.

Just a thought, really, but whatever.

It shouldn’t surprise anyone to expect Geoff Tate and company to be as impressive as they are. Tate is a multi-seasoned musician and has the gusto and swagger his legacy would entail, and at 60 the dude looks great, sounds better than so many musicians younger than him, and knows the right moments to let the crowd scream into the mic. Dude’s talented, and compared to last year he sounded even better. I dunno what it is, honestly. Maybe a new diet? Some new vocal exercise? All I know is that Tate killed it on the album in question, as well as the encore of Queensryche classics.

For reasons unknown to me, the band was a five-piece this time around and were down a keyboardist this time, but… Everything sounded fine? Nothing to worry about. Guitarists Scott Moughton and Kieran Robertson had strong enough tones to occupy the entirety of the soundscape and impressed the entire time. In particular Moughton, who made me stop and reconsider my musical practices by how impressive and photogenic he was when running scales and, as the kids say, “melting faces.”

If you saw Operation: Minecrime last year and had a great time, then find a way. to see Geoff Tate and co. perform it again. It’s just as good the second time, maybe even a little better. It’s impossible to ruin a classic album, and with the perfect crowd you’d be a part of a massive chorus for once singing an objectively perfect album. Like me, honestly. No shame. It slaps, it’s a banger, and the encore is a cherry on top of a perfect cake. When all’s said and done, you’re a fool for passing up on this one.

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