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Non-Prog Concert Reviews

Geoff Tate

Live in Lincolnshire, Illinois, May 2012

Review by Greg Olma

It has been quite a while since Geoff Tate (of Queensryche fame) hit this area of the country as a solo artist.  The last time he did so was in 2002 and he was promoting his first ever solo album. This time around, he decided not to promote new material but to strip down the music from his past and present it in an intimate acoustic setting.  Joining Tate were 2 guitarists, a keyboard player, and his son-in-law on stand-up bass.  Now, the idea of an acoustic concert leads you to think of a very sedate and “mellow” performance but this was one of the most rocking acoustic shows I have ever seen.  How could it not be with songs like “Jet City Woman,” “Got It Bad,” and “Eyes Of A Stranger?”  Even some of Tate’s solo material like “Helpless” and “Touch” possessed the same groove that can be found on the “full band” version on his solo record.

The show started with “Got It Bad” from Queensryche’s latest Dedicated To Chaos and ended with “Someone Else?” from Promised Land but in between we were treated to a mix of more obscure Ryche tracks and a healthy amount of Tate’s solo outing.  Aside from the couple of songs mentioned earlier, the band performed “This Moment,” “Forever” and “Grain Of Faith” from that solo disc.  I was surprised at how many people knew the words to those songs and it proved to me that the crowd was more than just a Queensryche audience. This was a Geoff Tate crowd. 

As mentioned earlier, the band performed some more obscure Queensryche songs like “Sacred Ground,” “Someone Else?,” “Out Of Mind” and “Until There Was You.”  These are tracks that Queensryche normally don’t add to the set list, so it was great to hear them performed again.  The whole concert was a great mix of songs that with a “Storytellers” vibe about it.  In between songs, Tate spoke about what the songs meant to him or his family, giving us a glimpse into the inner workings of his mind. 

It’s not often fans like myself get to see one of their favorite stars up close and personal. So, when a show like this comes around, you have to jump at the chance.  Tate has been playing much bigger stages and has had to operate in the confines of the Queensryche machine but this short solo tour was all about the singer and songs and the rest was left outside the venue.  We got to witness a performer that did not have the ability to hide behind a light show or ear-splitting volume.  Instead we got to see an artist who let his talent and his songs stand on their own. If nothing else, Tate can be proud of the fact that even in stripped down fashion, these songs still rock.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2012  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.
 
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