Operation Mindcrime 30th Anniversary, The Garage, Glasgow Jan25


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Operation Mindcrime 30th Anniversary, The Garage, Glasgow


Operation Mindcrime 30th Anniversary, The Garage, Glasgow

Shock City productions steps out of Scotland and what a way to do it. They brought the tour that marks the 30th anniversary of this iconic album to the masses. England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland got to witness what could very well be the gig of the year.

Now the support for the whole tour was Till Death Do Us Part and I am sure this raised a few eyebrows. Lots of moaning about stars and family members but for us north of the border we are well aware of the talent within this band. Yes, the singer is Emily Tate and apart from the fact father and daughter have incredible voices, there the resemblance ends.

This band has been getting a lot of traction in what we will call the band’s home town of Glasgow. Before Emily, guitarist Kieran Robertson was well known and liked. For someone so young he has far too much talent(and although it pains me to say…good looks). You cannot fault his fretwork as can be proven later in the show and he can also sing his ass off.

The guitarist and singer are an item and very popular up here but when you see them on the stage the charisma and bond is very easy to see. As I said the band are very different from Geoff, for me looking and listening I have all manner of influences running through my head, from Toyah, Souxie to the very best female fronted bands from the symphonic metal genre.

The mix of punk, synth and flat out rock and metal is spellbinding. Emily just like her dad becomes the focus of the band instantly. Her voice is stunning, as she hits the higher notes you cannot fail to be impressed.

This band deserved the support slot and they grabbed the chance with both hands. Emily was never too shy to inform you that the EP was on sale at the merch stand and I would highly recommend investing in this as this is just the beginning for the band. Check them out now.

30 years, really? I can remember it like yesterday. An album that has changed my life more than once. I can argue for hours that Operation Mindcrime is the best concept album of all time. For me it is the most complete piece of work and something that Queensryche must have loved and hated all in one go. Do you as an artist know that you have just produced something so incredible it will always be known as your swan song?

But I jump ahead of myself( what? More than 30 years, yes I am afraid so). My first taste of Queensryche was in 1984. It was in my all time favorite venue in the Glasgow Apollo and it was as support to the one and only Ronnie James Dio. I had never heard of these young upstarts( are you seeing any reflections with the support tonight) before but even back then my love of music meant I gave every band a chance and although the band were very rough around the edges there was something there. A few songs really got me, the vocals were so unusual, the guitars were stunning. I walked away from that venue seeing Dio at his very best but I also had a seed planted, a seed that grew and finally blossomed like the most beautiful flower you have ever seen in Operation Mindcrime four years later.

I travelled many a mile to see Queensryche back in the day, I saw every tour and in 2016 I saw Geoff bring those songs on an acoustic tour and I will be honest that show tore every previous gig to pieces….so I had no expectations tonight. I was just here to witness my favorite album in its entirety but as soon as the noise of a hospital ran through those speakers goosebumps broke out.

Lets face it we have all probably read so much shit about Geoff Tate over the years but the one surfacing recently saying his voice is gone grinds my gears. Take it from me, having seen Whitesnake, Def Leppard, Kiss and Motley Crue in their later years….I know a busted voice when I hear one and Geoff is still note perfect to this day. There is nothing lost from those pipes and tonight can shove all those negative comments right down their throats.

I won’t go through the setlist(well it is the full album and if you are reading this I am sure you know it inside out but the album has so many highlights it is difficult to know where to begin.from the brilliance of the title track, through the frenetic speak which saw youngster Kieran let rip and shred his ass off to the beautiful “Suite Sister Mary”which saw Emily appear back onstage. Her vocals sat perfectly with the Pamela Moore parts and it would take this 10 minute classic to new heights. It was beautiful, haunting and one of those I was there moments.

This lead onto the Grammy nominated “I Don’t Believe In Love”. My all time favorite Ryche track and a song that can take me places in my life that have so much meaning. This version just like 2016 was stunning. The crowd were rapturous and the packed crowd sang note for note. We finished it all with another sing along in “Eyes Of A stranger” and was there ever a better way to bow out on an album.

The night was not over however, as the encore came around we now settled on four tracks from the best sounding album of all time. Empire was just gorgeous in every aspect. The clarity, the vocals, the perfect snap to every drumbeat. The synth, the backing tracks, perfection just like the version of “Best I can” tonight.

We were also treated to “Empire”, “Jet City Woman” and the always included “Silent Lucidity” which had a tear running down my face due to recent events in my life and just like that Geoff has captured another slice of my life, 34 years after I first witnessed his ass in dodgy spandex. Only music can break you free from your daily drudgery and only artists with the amount of talent that this man possesses can give you memories for life.

As I walked away tonight I knew I had witnessed something very special, I also thought this will probably be the last time I see this album played in its entirety so I pray that this is recorded for prosperity somewhere on this year long celebration. I need to have more than memories and for the people who don’t get to see it they can see what they missed.

Images and words Ritchie Birnie

Operation Mindcrime 30th Anniversary, The Garage, Glasgow

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