Geoff Tate – London, The Garage – 15 January 2018 Print E-mail
Written by DJ Astrocreep   
Tuesday, 23 January 2018 04:40

The opportunity to see an album as legendary as ‘Operation: Mindcrime’ performed in full, but by its original singer, is not one that comes along too often. When you add in the mix of a concept album and rock opera, you realise how few times this has actually been done before, meaning passing up the chance of seeing it performed live would be silly. This in mind, I ventured down to London for the second time in four days to see Geoff Tate perform.


On entering the venue, I went straight over to the merch table, to be greeted by Emily Tate, daughter of vocalist Geoff and front of her own band, Till Death Do Us Part, who just happened to be playing support this night. She chatted with myself and another quite friendly chap, before having to disappear off and prepare for her set.




On she came, with her band and started to perform. The band seemed fairly well rehearsed for this and it is clear that Emily has adapted some of her father's techniques, changing between spoken and sung in a similar manner as well some of her choices in wording and other mannerisms, though this is hardly a negative when considering who he is and the level of talent he has. Between songs, Emily was able to talk with the audience and did so in a quite self-deprecating manner, which made it harder to not like her. She perhaps needs to work a touch more on stage presence, as at times she seemed a touch self-aware, but that is the kind of thing that will only be worked out as she performs more. The band's music is probably closer to modern alt-rock than anything else, in terms of sound, though being female fronted in that sense does bring in thoughts of the likes of Evanescence. While the range is not quite the same, the vocals, occasionally shared with the lead guitarist Kieran, are still good and Emily does rise to the occasion more as the set goes on. They go down well with the crowd, after initially not getting much response, which shows how they did eventually win over the crowd. A good performance.


Next, it was on to our headliners for the evening and in addition to Geoff and his usuals, TDUDP guitarist Kieran and bassist Jack join the rest of the band on stage to perform the whole of ‘Operation: Mindcrime’. There are repeated technical issues with Kieran's guitar through the first six songs, which eventually leads to a prolonged gap between songs after it, while the fault is corrected. Geoff fills in the gap talking about a previous visit to London, about how the city has changed since he recorded ‘The Warning’ there with Queensrÿche. Eventually, this is corrected and the band can continue on. Emily joins her father on stage now for ‘Suite Sister Mary’, performing well in her task, before exiting the stage quickly at the end of the song, as the 3/4 full venue cheers loudly.




The worry before the gig was of hearing previous reports that Geoff had lost his voice over the years, that the ability was not quite as it once was. He quickly laid this to rest, showing he still has the ability he had all those years ago when this album was first recorded. While he may not be able to sustain some of the notes he once could - he is now, after all, 59 years of age, the fact that he can still hit them says a lot. His interaction with each band member, walking over to them as they played a solo and himself appreciating their talent, speaks volumes about the rapport he has with the other band members. The band perform generally well, with a few off notes through the set - perhaps a touch more practice time together would be a positive - mainly from one guitarist excepted. The main set concludes with album closer ‘Eyes Of A Stranger’, as the crowd screamed along with Geoff to the lyrics. There is time for two encores, four songs, then another, though lots of people don't seem to realise there is a song left and leave after the other tracks tracks. All in all, a very enjoyable performance from both bands on the night, once you get past the technical problems that the first third of the set contained, which is not a negative against the band.


PHOTO CREDIT: Photos © Darren McVeigh/MetalPlanet Belfast. Taken at Empire Music Hall, Belfast.


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