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Non-Prog Concert Reviews

Geoff Tate

Live in Bolingbrook, Illinois, November 2012

Review by Greg Olma

The divorce of Geoff Tate and Queensryche has been dragged through the mud recently.  It has become a “he said, they said” situation and quite honestly, it is dividing the fans.  I, myself, don’t really care about the backstage drama since the real reason I am a fan is because of the music.  No matter what happens behind closed doors, the real reason we know who Geoff Tate is, is his musical legacy.  Tate’s new solo record Kings & Thieves was about to be released as he performed to an adoring crowd in Bolingbrook in early November.

If you went to one of Tate’s acoustic shows earlier this year, then you would have recognized some of the familiar faces up on stage.  The lineup consisted of players that might not be as well known but they certainly had the skills and talent to play any of the tunes from Tate’s canon of work.  The set consisted of pretty much equal parts solo material and Queensryche tracks.  He managed to break up the song selection so that the focus was not really on one or the other but instead highlighted hits along with new material.  Tate and company performed four cuts off Kings & Thieves and the crowd seemed to enjoy them as much as older tunes like “Bridge” or “The Thin Line.”  While “The Way I Roll” and “Take a Bullet” have been on the internet before release, the crowd seemed to welcome them like old friends.

Greg Olma
Greg Olma

I was a big fan of Tate’s first self-titled solo record so I was happy to see that he included a healthy amount of material from that release.  Tracks like “Off The T.V.,” “Flood,” and “Grain Of Faith” really shine when performed in a live setting.  The biggest surprise for me was the inclusion of a couple of what I consider “deep cuts.”  They performed “Real World” off the Last Action Hero soundtrack and “Disconnected” from Promised Land.  Both of these are great songs that are often overlooked but make the show memorable.

Greg Olma
Greg Olma

A Geoff Tate show would not be complete without some hits so Tate obliged and saved them for the encore.  While “Silent Lucidity” was performed just like on Empire, “Jet City Woman” was given a little bit of a make-over with a nice piano intro and first verse.  I liked that the band could stretch out a little and change the arrangement enough to be different but not enough to be unrecognizable.  Tate mentioned that he had a cold during the show but had he not mentioned it, we would have never known.  I guess that is the sign of a true professional.  In music, like football, the great ones play even when hurt.  I’m sure we will be seeing Geoff Tate’s name a lot more in the news but I will look past that and just focus on his music.  Based on his performance, he still has a lot to offer.

Greg Olma
Greg Olma
This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2012  Volume 6 at
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