Geoff Tate Brings His Story To Patchogue, NY 2-19-17

What better way to tell one’s story than to tell it themselves? Famously known as the original voice of Queensrÿche, Geoff Tate does just that while on his The Whole Story Ryche Acoustic Tour. Playing his music, telling behind-the-scenes stories of his life and how the songs came to be, the tour kicked off in January with dates scheduled through mid-April. An exciting run, with a long rich history, Tate brings fans all the way back to the early 1980s for the recording of Queensrÿche’s first EP, taking them on his journey to his latest project, Operation: Mindcrime. 

With a great deal of ground to cover, seventeen albums in thirty-five years to be exact, on the surprisingly warm winter’s evening of Sunday, February 19th Tate made a stop at 89 North, located in the quaint town of Patchogue, NY. Joining Tate was Kieran Robertson (rhythm guitar), Evan Kleve (violin), Ollie Jordan-Kelly (percussion) and his Operation: Mindcrime band mate Scott Moughton (lead guitar). With a long line outside the venue’s doors, once they opened, the place filled with fans that have been undoubtingly following Tate’s music for many years.

Starting this acoustic-themed night off was Long Island’s own J.Rad. This band, Gino Rudolph (lead vocals), Jared Cannata (guitar/vocals), Kareem Clarke (bass), as well as Mo Sticky (drums/vocals), have been together for more than a decade and they have a diverse Hard Rock sound with a melodic feel. With three CD’s to their credit, they played a suite of their own songs including “Into The Water,” from their latest 2014 release, Sick Fantasy; “Crazy About You,” from their second release in 2012, Falling Apart; along with “Tired And Broken” and “I See Red,” from 2010’s Rise. Even playing acoustic, there was no mistaking the power of this band.

Keeping the night moving along, the next act to take the stage was Voices Of Extreme. This tight trio of experienced musicians, Don Chaffin (vocals/guitar), Steven G Knight (bass) and Bobby Marks (drums/percussion), hails from New York. They also kept to the acoustic theme and played a nice mix of covers and original songs, including one song they wrote special for these acoustic shows, “From The Inside.”

With the excitement of an upcoming EP, Defiance, to be released in the spring of this year, they played “Call My Name,” “Give Me Your Love,” and “Unbroken,” as well as “Apocalypse,” from their Break The Silence album. As much as the audience was enjoying their original music, they played several covers in their own style to draw them in deeper, includig “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” by the Beatles and two Led Zeppelin covers, “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You” and “Bring It On Home.” This band’s enthusiasm and energy was well-received by the audience, some fans were singing along to the lyrics, and they surely made new fans during this performance as well. Keep an ear out for the release of the aforementioned EP and be sure to catch them at a show near you, as they are well-worth catching again, acoustic or electrified.

After a brief intermission, then came the moment the room full of diehard Tate fans were waiting for. As excitement ran through the air, Tate and the band walk out on stage, tearing right into “Jet City Woman,” from 1990’s Empire. All smiles, and with eyes/ears wide open, many sang along from the first word of the song. Not going unnoticed, Tate said, “You all sound good tonight, singing along really well,” and with a huge smile of his own, he continued with, “It’s nice to be here!”

Taking it back to Queensrÿche’s 1986 album Rage For Order with “Walk in the Shadows,” they soon went into Empire’s “Another Rainy Night (Without You).” Taking a brief break, Tate raised a glass of wine and spoke a little bit about 1997’s Hear In The Now Frontier before playing the tracks “Some People Fly” and “Chasing Blue Sky.” From here, it was off to 1994’s Promised Land with “Bridge,” after which Tate stated the next song was written for the love of his life, his wife. That song would be the beautiful cut “Until There Was You” off 1999’s Q2K.

Allowing the music time to breath, Tate took several moments to talk about how he was a small boy being raised by a single working mother. His mom was a nurse at a mental institution and would often bring him to work. An intriguing story, it came as no surprise the next song would be, “Out of Mind,” another from Promised Land. Then, with the stroke of the first few guitar chords, cell phones rose high in the air to catch the classic hit “Silent Lucidity,” which was met with deafening cheers. 

Covering a nice chunk of  the Queensrÿche years, it was time to bring everyone to Tate’s latest project, the powerful Operation: Mindcrime. Speaking about the project and the cd trilogy, he also spoke about the state of the world today and the “lack of respect in this era” before they played the track “The Fight.” Keeping with the state of the world, he talked a bit more about it and some of what he said was, “I’m not political but I’m human,”opening his heart, going on to say, “I’m not smart, I’m just a singer and that is why I sing this song.” That song was 2003’s telling track “Blood.”

Needing no introduction for the next track, “Take Hold of the Flame,” from Queensrÿche’s 1984 debut album The Warning, had everyone chanting “take hold” each time it came up. With the room sweating with energy, Tate stepped back one more year to 1983 and let the audience in on how the lyrics came to be for this classic song, “The Lady Wore Black.”

Keeping it personal, after sharing earlier in the night how his mom had been single, Tate then stated how she remarried while he was still a young boy. He had never thought of this man as a stepfather and instead thought of him as his dad. His dad was a military man and served in two wars, Korea and Vietnam. As a child, he would ask his dad about the war, but his response was always, “I don’t want to talk about it.” Some forty years later, his father finally opened up to him one day and shared some of his experiences. Tate said, “I not only wrote a song for him, I wrote an entire album,” and that album is 2009’s American Soldier. Honoring his dad, they offered the track “Hundred Mile Stare” from that album to a positive reception. 

Having covered so much ground already, it was time to take everyone into the timeline that launched Queensrÿche into commercial stardom. Here, Tate reminisced about the writing of their conceptual album, 1988’s Operation: Mindcrime, and how initially sales were not that good. After the release of the album, they toured relentlessly, first with Def Leppard and then with Metallica, but album sales were still weak. They forged ahead and went back into the studio to create their next album, and soon after, they received a phone call from Rock music pioneer Abbey Konowitch. He said to them, “Boys, I love the record, I want to make a video.” He did, they played that video on MTV, and in two weeks album sales soared. An album that sold over five hundred thousand records, before they knew it, it went platinum. Tate then asked everyone to raise their glasses as he made a toast to Konowitch before kicking into “I Don’t Believe in Love” and then “Eyes of a Stranger.”

Seeming like the ride was all but over, with a wave and a smile, Tate and the band left the stage. Immediately, the crowd began to chant and yell for more before Tate graciously returned to introduce the band. Then, jolting forward, Kleve ripped into some serious violin work as they played Dropkick Murphy’s “I’m Shipping Up to Boston.” Closing out the night, Tate said, “It’s been a really fun night, thank you for coming out!” leading into the finale of 2011’s Dedicated To Chaos’ “Around the World.”

All night long, Tate’s vocals were packed with power and his delivery was absolutely stellar. Making everyone feel welcome, he was warm and charismatic while telling his story. His accompanying musicians were full of energy and vibrant as every note was played on point. Tate’s The Whole Ryche Acoustic Tour has dates announced through April 15th, but according to Tate more will shows will come in the summer, so do not miss a chance to be a part of an intimate evening of music like no other.

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