Geoff Tate’s Operation Mindcrime
Greatest Hits Tour
The Underworld, Camden, London
Review by Dawn ‘The Metal Priestess’ King
Having attended Bloodstock at the beginning of August for the first time in what seemed like an eternity (it was actually six years, but you know how time can play tricks on us!), I was in the mood for some more live music. Tickets for this had been booked well in advance so it was a gig I was really looking forward to.
Having seen Queensryche perform a stonker at Bloodstock with the fantastic Todd le Torre, I wanted to see just how Geoff Tate’s Operation Mindcrime would measure up. Would they have the magic of the “old” Queensryche (although I had only seen the “original” Queensryche once before at High Voltage Festival way back in 2011 and, if I’m honest, they were pretty dire then!) or would they just sound like a covers band, which, I guess, technically, they are!?
So, the venue? The Underworld in London’s Camden Town. I, personally, like The Underworld. Its small so you don’t get the humungous amounts of people but large enough to have a decent crowd. There are a few pillars (holding up the ceiling I’m guessing!!) so depending on where you stand, your view could be obstructed a bit, but it really is only a problem if the downstairs (half a dozen steps down) is jam-packed!
So, amazingly for me, I arrived at the venue in plenty of time, so I actually managed to watch the support band (something I very rarely do!) I must admit I hadn’t heard of them before the gig but then I was expecting a band with ‘Wolf’ in their name for some reason!! Must be the blonde in me!!
Anyway, the support were a hard rock band called ‘Gin Annie’ and I must say I was VERY impressed. Hailing from Wolverhampton in the UK they feature (and I quote this from their website) “heavy guitar driven songs whilst maintaining a melodic vocal style; hook-laden choruses, and classy melodies.” I couldn’t have put it better myself! They were absolutely fantastic and judging by the reaction they were getting from some of the crowd, I am guessing they were already pretty well known (late to the party AGAIN!!)
They had a contagious energy that just made you want to get up and dance along with them, and if I had drunk one or two vodkas, I think I probably would have done. The guitarists were awesome, and the singer’s voice just blew me away. There was nothing fancy about them. They are a good old-fashioned heavy rock band, who obviously enjoy what they do. I don’t think there was a time when all five of them weren’t up on that stage smiling! A great sign of a band that work hard but have immense pleasure in what they do.
They played nine tracks in total and I must say I was rather disappointed when they had to leave the stage! I wanted more…..so on my way out I bought the CD from the merch stand and had it in my car for over a week! Instead of getting bored with it each time I played it, I loved it more and more!! I would really love to see these guys as a headline
band, and I will now make it my mission to see them as such!
Outstanding work guys!!
So, after a break of what felt like forever (I don’t understand why there must be such a long break between supports and the headliners. Festivals manage a quick turnaround, so why can’t they?) it was Geoff Tate’s turn. I was looking forward to it, but I must admit I also had a bit of trepidation about the gig. Going by the previous time I had seen him perform, and reports of other gigs over the years, I wondered if it was just all going to be a waste of time.
The band came on first, playing the introduction to track ‘Neue Regel’ followed by the main man himself, to rapturous applause and cheering!
Now, I have been a Queensryche fan for as long as I can remember and to hear all of my favourite Queensryche tracks being played right there in front of me was awesome BUT….and yes there is a but….there was just a little something missing for me! I loved Geoff’s voice during his heyday, but I don’t think he can quite cut some of the notes now. And yes, before I get bombarded with messages of hate etc, I know singers can tend to lose their voice as they get older, but this is a review and I have to be honest!
Despite this, he did do the songs justice, but then he should have done, shouldn’t he? He has been singing these songs for three decades and should know them inside out and upside down. The heroes of the evening, for me, were the musicians he had backing him, Felix Bohnke, the drummer from EdGuy and Avantasia being one of them.
These guys were simply magnificent and if you closed your eyes it could quite easily have been the Queensryche of yesteryear up there on that stage. Personally, I think they are all too good to be in what could only be described as a Queensryche covers band but if that’s what they are happy doing, then good luck to them.
I had heard of Geoff being somewhat arrogant (something I really do not like), and this did come across occasionally while he was onstage and again, I am ducking to avoid anything that could be thrown at me at this point!
Overall, though, Geoff and the boys did a grand job. They played all the old Queensryche classics from ‘Operation:Mindcrime’ (the track) to ‘Empire’ to crowd favourite ‘Silent Lucidity’ and more. I am gutted I missed them on the tour when they played the whole of Operation Mindcrime 1 and 2 but this gig did make up for that.
So, Gin Annie get massive double thumbs up, for me, being the better band on the night and I WILL be going to see them again, while Operation:Mindcrime, although great, came in second!
Gin Annie – Setlist:
New Bad Habit
All I Want
Next 2 Me
Dying To Live Again
Love Ain’t Here
Born To Rock n Roll
Gin Annie Links:
Geoff Tate’s Operation Mindcrime – Setlist:
Screaming In Digital
Spreading The Disease
Take Hold Of The Flame
I Dream In Infrared
The Lady Wore Black
Walk In The Shadows
Breaking The Silence
I Don’t Believe In Love
Jet City Woman
Eyes Of A Stranger
Geoff Tate’s Operation Mindcrime Links:
Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.