It is quite hard to imagine the demise of the legendary rock quintet of Queensryche, since their early limelight in 1981; we have relished some great music that spanned their musical career for more than 30 plus years, giving many of us eighties’ rock fans memories to last a lifetime through music. While Queensryche as a great band all these years has given us the greatest gift, not just with the melodies of great heavy hitters and joyous ballads, there is that one main element behind every single song from day one and that is the unforgiving voice of Geoff Tate.
We all know you can absolutely play musical musicians in a typical band, but when you remove the element that has that unparalleled signature vocal sound, well, we leave that to an untouched subject as people move onto a more rewarding chapter in their musical career, leaving behind a legacy of greatness.
First and foremost, you have to be a huge fan of Queensryche’s music to truly enjoy what former frontman Geoff Tate has filled our hearts with not just supreme lyrics as a writer, but as both a stellar vocalist and musician combined. I can long remember watching Geoff Tate in 2012 performing at the Keswick Theater, what seemed to be a flashback has made a forward reality for this individual with an all-star lineup of great musicians to celebrate not one but two landmark gems of his career: ‘Rage for Order’ and everyone’s beloved masterpiece, including mine, ‘Empire’. I thought for a second I was at a Queensryche show after closing my eyes for a brief moment just taking in every blistering high note Geoff was nailing on every song. I had to get a grip and go “oh wait this is the guy who made Queensryche what they once were – more than good, they were great when it was the original lineup in 1997, which included Chris DeGarmo on guitar back then”.
For the two-plus hours reminiscing through two great recordings of Geoff’s work, he has never lost that range on vocals that is something I can long recall being nothing but pure greatness as a vocalist he is. The highlights in the Empire set of the show were ‘Jet City Woman’, ‘Empire’ and the beloved power anthem of ‘Silent Lucidity’ which made everyone’s evening with a standing ovation. After all, that is one song that really put Queensryche in the spotlight on MTV way back when music television was actually great. I have to say I truly enjoyed sitting through this small, but intimate show as Geoff Tate had not just myself thinking we were in the nineties all over again. He shared with many of us the greatest gift of all, a talented legacy of music that will live on forever. After all, he wrote these masterpieces, recorded them, and now is sharing a timeless element in concert as a solo artist with a great band he’s put together.
All images credited to Steve Trager.