Queensryche with Geoff Tate at Center Stage, Atlanta

Geoff Tate’s Queensryche, featuring Rudy Sarzo on bass, Robert Sarzo on guitar, Kelly Gray on “flying V” guitar, Randy Gane on keys, and Simon Wright on drums, touring in support of the 25th anniversary of their seminal 1988 release Operation: Mindcrime, slammed down an energetic and exciting show at Atlanta’s Center Stage on Friday, January 10.

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Queensryche – Geoff Tate and Robert Sarzo – at Center Stage, Atlanta, 10 Jan 2014

“This is the 25th anniversary of Operation: Mindcrime – good thing you are here; if you missed it this time, you’d have to wait another five years.” -Geoff Tate

From drum and guitar solos to rock stars acting like rock stars – aka “working it” – the show was a display of musicianship and gratitude and friendship to the clearly long-term fans pushing toward the front. By all reports Tate sounded the best he has in several years and was much smoother than their last show in Atlanta two years ago. Opening with “I Remember Now,” joined by Sass Jordan for “Suite: Sister Mary,” and working down to “Eyes of a Stranger,” the band brought the audience to its feet, if they weren’t already, with a four-song encore introduced by Tate’s shouts of “Should we do one more?” and answered by a deafening cacophony of positive responses. 

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Queensryche – Kelly Gray and Rudy Sarzo – at Center Stage, Atlanta GA, 10 Jan 2014

Despite the ongoing legal saga between “the two Queensryches,” it’s clear any focus on it is set aside when the more important concern is the music. Unless this band are actors as well as musicians, they obviously were happy playing together and outside problems were not affecting the performance on Friday of Tate and his experienced lineup.

Joining Queensryche was special guest opener Kickin’ Valentina, a bluesy-hard-rocking quartet – “If your a fan of Marshall stacks and double kick drum attacks, if you’re a chick who loves hot licks, if you like your ROCK to RUMBLE like LOUD pipes, then get ready” – who not only riled up everyone with their driving beats before the main event, they also allowed the photographers to shoot pretty much their whole set – much appreciated. 

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Queensryche – Geoff Tate and Randy Gane – at Center Stage, Atlanta GA, 10 Jan 2014

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Queensryche – Rudy Sarzo – Center Stage, Atlanta GA, 10 Jan 2014

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Queensryche – Geoff Tate and Randy Gane – at Center Stage, Atlanta GA, 10 Jan 2014

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Queensryche – Randy Gane, Simon Wright, Robert Sarzo, Geoff Tate, Rudy Sarzo – – at Center Stage, Atlanta GA, 10 Jan 2014

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