February 23, 2020
Review/Photos: Joseph Suto
Geoff Tate made a triumphant return to town Sunday evening to the Town Ballroom. By the end of the evening Tate very satisfied with the reaction of the crowd announced we will be back. The turnout for a Sunday night in Buffalo in the dead of winter to hear two iconic albums played front to back was more than enough to convince Tate to make that statement. Also the Ballroom was the perfect venue for his band to play with its great sight lines. This was also one of the best sounding shows this writer has ever attended inside the venue.
The first set featured Rage For Order as Tate took the fans back to 1986. Tate was in excellent voice all night even with this his fifth night of the US tour as well as his fifth show in as many nights. Tate mentioned it had been a long time dream for him to play this album in it’s entirety. Highlights from this album were “I Will Remember”, “Surgical Strike” and “I Dream In Infrared” all songs Tate has rarely ever performed live in the past.
With this year marking the 30th anniversary of Empire, which coincidentally was the album that broke Queensryche into a headliner status, Tate decided to play it. Another reason why Tate wanted to perform it was many of the songs had never been played live and a few like “Resistance” and “Anybody Listening” had very seldom been played over the years.
Following a brief intermission between the two albums Tate and Company returned with a forceful version of “Best I Can’ the opening track from Empire. While the crowd enjoyed Rage For Order, it appeared the majority came to hear Empire judging by the crowd’s reaction to the songs. Tate donned a saxophone for “The Thin Line”.
Tate mentioned how many of the songs still apply to many of the things still going on in the world some thirty years later. This is one album that has not aged and it probably never will. Other highlights from the nights performance included “Della Brown”, “Empire” and the closing track “Anybody Listening?”. The latter was the best song from the night from my perspective. It sounded so fresh and invigorating.
It was so good to hear the crowd take over on vocals at various points of the big songs. Even better was seeing the fans sing the words to “Hand On Heart”, a song that never received any airplay but many in the crowd seemed to know it despite that fact.
As the band came back for the encore Tate said that fans asked if he was going to play the bonus tracks recorded during the Empire sessions and he responded with we sure as hell are going to play “Last Time In Paris”! They also reached back to Operation Mindcrime for “Eyes Of A Stranger” to close out the night.
Tate has done many types of shows over the recent years. This marked the first time he performed any album other than the illustrious Operation Mindcrime album, in its entirety. Following the show many fans left disappointed but in a good way. Many who haven’t seen Tate recently were amazed at how good the show was are thinking this may well be the only time they get to see these two great albums in one show. A few are already searching for the next closest show on this tour to experience it all over again. Needless to say Tate has hit a home run with this show. It left me thinking how will he be able to top it in the future? Has he reached the pinnacle? Stay tuned.
Rage For Order
Walk In The Shadows
I Dream In Infrared
Gonna Get Close To You
The Killing Words
Chemical Youth (We Are Rebellion)
Screaming In Digital
I Will Remember
Best I Can
The Thin Line
Jet City Woman
Another Rainy Night Without You
Hand On Heart
One And Only
Last Time In Paris
Eyes Of A Stranger