by Deb Rao
– Senior Columnist —
April 4th, 2014 at the Hosue of Blues in Las Vegas, NV. —
Back by popular demand, Queensryche featuring Geoff Tate returned to Las Vegas to perform at the House Of Blues on April 4. In celebration of the 25th anniversary of Operation Mindcrime, Queensryche performed the album in its entirety tonight.
Opening the night was ‘80s band Hurricane. Back in the day, I never had an opportunity to see the band and was happy to see they were on the bill tonight. Founding member’s guitarist Robert Sarzo and Tony Cavazo were the only original members. The band was fronted by new singer Jason Ames and drummer Mike Hensen. Highlight of the set was “Over The Edge” and cover song “18.”
Anticipation filled the air this very special Hump day. It was a great way to kick mid-week into high rock gear. The night was packed with special guests and highlights. In the city of glitz and glamor, Geoff Tate would not have it any other way. The audience was filled with die-hard fans waiting to hear one of the more popular ‘80s albums Operation Mindcrime once again in its entirety. From the opening chords of “Revolution Calling” to “Eyes Of A Stranger”, Queensryche was ready to rock. Geoff Tate strolled the stage with much enthusiasm with his haunting melodic vocals soaring. One thing that I noticed since the last time I had seen the band was the way guitarist Robert Sarzo and Kelly Gray dominated the stage with their excellent axe assault. The pair traded off lead riffs and cranked out the signature mesmerizing riffs wrapped around Tate’s vocals. On drums tonight, Brian Tichy was on fire.
The first special guest star of the evening was Sass Jordan who portrayed Mary on “Spreading The Disease.” She did a great job and added special effect on the song. On bass tonight was John Moyer from Disturbed.
Highlights of the set were “Breaking The Silence” and “I Don’t Believe In Love.” Geoff Tate anointed the audience with water on this song. Even after 25 years, this song still reigns as one of the best songs written. Fists in the air, many of the fans agreed. The set ended with the haunting “Eyes Of A Stranger.” This is another Queensryche song that just drags you in and is so compelling.
The night didn’t end here. As Queensryche returned to the stage for four encores. With Robert Sarzo on his acoustic Ovation, “Silent Lucidity” filled the air. This song is so beautiful and Geoff still sounds so amazing on this song. Next up special guest star Sean McNabb of Dokken played Bass on “Best I Can.” Sean is one of the best bass players around. It was great to see him onstage. One of the most popular Queensryche songs “Jet City Woman” rocked the house. The band ended the set with the mighty “Empire.”
25 Years and Operation Mindcrime still remains one of the most popular albums from the ‘80s. Onstage Geoff Tate seemed so proud to be still performing it live. One thing is for certain; Geoff Tate has one of those rare stellar voices from the ‘80s that you just can’t emulate. As the show came to a close, there were a lot of smiling faces in the house. After the show, Queensryche did a meet and greet. It was a great night of music and good to see the band just getting tighter and tighter with each performance.
Special Thanks to Geoff Tate and his Management for making this review possible.
Visit the band online: www.queensryche.com