By Val Tapia, BADS Contributing Writer
Former Queensryche vocalist Geoff Tate seemingly never slows down when it comes to touring. For the better part of the last five years, most of Tate’s live shows have consisted of select Queensryche albums performed in their entirety.
To conclude 2022, Tate and his current band— guitarists Kieran Robertson, James Brown, and Alex Hart, along with bassist Jack Ross, keyboardist Bruno Sa and drummer Danny Laverde, respectively—will be hitting the road with a set list consisting of songs from various albums throughout Tate’s career on this particular trek.
However, I think it’s fair to say that the majority of the set will be songs he co-wrote during his 30-year run with Queensryche. And understandably so I might add.
I spoke briefly with Tate over the phone last month as he was commencing rehearsals in his home town of Seattle for the upcoming tour, which is heading to Phoenix on Fri. Dec. 9 at Celebrity Theatre.
BADS: Geoff, back in June you went public on Facebook about undergoing a “medical procedure”. Many fans voiced their concern obviously. To that point, how are you feeling now? To be candid… how were you able to commence touring so (relatively) soon after undergoing something like that?
Geoff Tate: I feel really good overall. This might be the first time I’m telling someone in the press what I went to the hospital for. I had a procedure done called an aortic valve replacement in my heart.
Long story short, I was feeling very fatigued one day while on tour. It was challenging for me to climb stairs! Anyway, I thought it best to get checked out, and after several tests from my doctor, he indicated that this particular type of surgery needed to be done.
I’d say it took around a month before I started feeling better (after the surgery). Honestly, I could barely walk after it, and I couldn’t sing at all. Before this, I’d never been in a hospital in my life.
I can’t say that I’m feeling “100%” better, so to speak. However, I’m definitely feeling a lot better now than I was over the summer. Just taking it a day at a time and am grateful to get back on the road.
BADS: You’re getting ready to commence your Big Rock Show Hits tour in December. What can you tell us about it?
GT: For the past four years, we’ve been playing some of (Queensryche’s) albums from front-to-back. We did Operation: mindcrime in 2018 and 2019. The demand for shows all over the world featuring that album was enormous.
Then in early 2020 and late 2021 we did Rage For Order and Empire back-to-back. For this new tour, I wanted to get back to playing songs throughout my catalog. It won’t be just the “hits” either. There will also be a few songs that I haven’t played in quite some time.
We’re going to have some cool visuals this time too, something we’ve wanted to do for awhile. Playing the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix again will allow us to do that. It’s going to be fun.
BADS: Two months ago I saw the Dio documentary Dreamers Never Die. You are seen very briefly in the film during a vintage segment on Hear ‘N Aid and the charity single Stars. By any chance, were you ever approached to participate in the film via a new interview?
GT: No I wasn’t. I also haven’t seen the film either, unfortunately. But I think about Ronnie all the time. He was not only an incredible musician, but an even better person. I miss him dearly.
BADS: On that point, what are your recollections of Queensryche opening for Dio in the 80s?
GT: I think very fondly of that time. We actually got to open for Ronnie twice, during the Holy Diver and The Last In Line tours. The whole band really were great to us. The latter tour in particular, Ronnie was at the top of his game.
We played about 40 or so shows all over Europe with Ronnie when we released our (full-length) debut album The Warning. It was a great time to be a young, upcoming band during that period. The audiences in Europe were amazing to us on that tour. Good times indeed.
IF YOU GO:
Geoff Tate w/ special guest Mark Daly are scheduled to perform on Fri. Dec. 9 at 8:00 p.m. at Celebrity Theatre. Doors open at 6:00 p.m.
Ticket prices range from $25 to $65 and can be purchased at celebritytheatre.com or https://dzplive.com/. The show is brought to you by Danny Zelisko Presents.
For our friends in Tucson:
Geoff Tate (w/ special guest Mark Daly)
Sun. Dec. 11 at Rialto Theatre
Showtime: 8:00 p.m. Doors open at 7:00 p.m.
Tickets: $30-$36, available at rialtotheatre.com