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Geoff Tate - Big Rock Show Hits

Geoff Tate - Big Rock Show Hits

by Luxi Lahtinen

Live pictures by Papu Marila

Geoff Tate needs no introduction. The man become known as the lead singer of progressive heavy metal powerhouse Queensrÿche between 1982 and 2012, singing on classic Queensrÿche albums such as The Warning, Rage for Order, Operation: Mindcrime and Empire; all of those albums being considered by many cornerstones of the band's long career.

Since his departure from the band in 2012, Geoff has been building his career as a solo artist with two albums under his own name, three studio albums under the Operation: Mindcrime moniker, singing on a couple of Sweet Oblivion albums, doing guest appearances on a number of albums (such as Avantasia's Moonglow, released in 2019) among many other things. He's also confessed that he has a soft spot for jazz music, so maybe we can expect something from him in that department in the future. It remains to be seen if we have the next great jazz artist in the making. ;o)

The last time Tate played in Finland, two shows in November of 2013, it was a huge success. Over the years, Geoff has become a regular visitor to Finland, as he has a steady fanbase in this northern European country.

The "Big Rock Show Hits" tour is something promoters asked him to do, which Mr. Tate and his band gladly agreed to do. This time around, the fans witnessed Geoff & co. at a venue called Vanha Ylioppilastalo in Helsinki, Finland, on May 4, 2024, which has a capacity of 800+ people. There were approximately 400-500 attendees who arrived to see this special show, which was a great number of people, keeping in mind some other concerts were also happening in Helsinki at the very same time.

The show was kicked off with "Empire," which set the mood for the rest of the magical evening. The attendees knew what they were about to get: a full show of some of the most memorable and best songs from Geoff's career, based on songs from his ex-band Queensrÿche (plus a cover of Queen's "Welcome to the Machine" included in the encore). There's nothing better than hearing him perform those iconic songs. As he's known as an enthusiastic winemaker, it made me think of one worn-out and overused cliché: Geoff's voice has been aging like a good, vintage wine. Watching him performing and singing onstage, it amazes me how little effort he seems to put into his singing. He still sounds great and keeps his pitch note for note.

Song by song, Geoff and his band mates won the hearts of the audience, encouraging them to sing along, cheer, dance, you name it. After the pleasure of hearing such outstanding hit songs as "Operation: Mindcrime," "I Don't Believe in Love," "Screaming in Digital," "Walk in the Shadows," "Silent Lucidity" and "Take Hold on the Flame" among others, it's easy to understand why he's gained such a loyal and supportive crowd over the years. He clearly enjoys what he's doing these days, smiling while performing for his fans, constantly interacting with them, and seemingly being in such great shape physically that he can give 100% of himself. How many vocalists at his age are able to do the same, keeping themselves at this level of performance, from one year to year?

In addition to Geoff giving his undivided attention and 100% performance to the audience at Vanha Ylioppilastalo, his band mates also made it a special night to remember. It was so heart-warming and uplifting to witness how supportive they were to each other onstage, each giving their very best and doing what they are basically obligated to do for fans who had bought their tickets for the show: offer a memorable and nostalgia-ridden performance, full of joy and happiness so people leaving the venue afterwards would have big smiles stamped on their faces. Well, that's exactly what happened to yours truly.

What an amazing and memorable night... phew! In closing I can only say, "You are welcome back to Finland, Geoff & co., anytime..." ;o)

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