At Trillians, Newcastle, U.K., January 16, 2018

Geoff Tate with OPERATION: MINDCRIME (Live At Trillians, Newcastle, U.K., January 16, 2018)
Photo: Mick Burgess

It’s not everyday that a million selling album is performed in its entirety by the creator and voice behind the music in a small bar in Newcastle.

Trillians pulled off a major coup in signing up former Queensrÿche lead singer for a show in celebration of the ground-breaking Operation: Mindcrime album that celebrates its 30th anniversary this year.

The buzz that has been going around the City for the last few weeks crystallised into a huge queue, snaking around the block as punters braved the icy weather to get pole position down at the front.

It’s hard to believe that it’s 30 years since Queensrÿche’s magnum opus Operation: Mindcrime put the Seattle Rockers on the map not only defining Progressive Metal in the process but also delivering one of the most inspired Rock albums of its era.

From the humble beginnings of their self-financed EP inspired heavily by Iron Maiden and Judas Priest they quickly outgrew the tight constraints of their early influences.  The hi-tec Rage For Order was a shot across the bows but Operation: Mindcrime was where the stars aligned and a masterpiece created.

Based on a story of intrigue and corruption in a broken society, the complex tale developed across the whole album backed by a dynamic and dramatic soundtrack.  A concept album shouldn’t have worked in the ’80s, but it did and earned Queensrÿche their first platinum album in the process.

Although going on to even bigger commercial success with the follow up Empire, it is arguably Operation: Mindcrime that defines the band. With the widely publicised break up of the band a few years ago, lead singer Geoff Tate left to pursue his own vision with his new band titled after his defining moment.

By the time the opening salvo of “I Remember Now” / “Anarchy-X” burst from the speakers, Trillians was packed to the rafters and when Tate himself arrived on stage for “Revolution Calling” the crowd went nuts.

The last time these songs were heard in Newcastle, the Operation: Mindcrime album and its successor were played from end to end with a full blown theatrical show to accompany it. Tonight, it’s all about the music.  No bells and whistles, just Tate’s golden voice and a young, enthusiastic multi-national band.

Over the next hour, the Mindcrime story unfolded with the fast paced “Speak” punching home while “The Mission” showed Tate’s voice has lost none of its impact and reinforced just why he’s considered one of the finest singers of his generation.

The albums centre piece, “Suite Sister Mary,” sounded regal with Tate’s daughter Emily, taking Pamela Moore’s role as Sister Mary and a fine job she made of it too.

Trillians may be just about the smallest stage Tate has performed on over his career but he gave an arena sized performance and looked visibly moved as the packed crowd sang every word from start to finish as “Breaking The Silence” and “I Don’t Believe In Love” took the album to its final stretch before the searing climax of “Eyes Of Stranger” brought the album to an emphatic close.

Rather than walk off and back on for an encore Tate instead slammed through four songs from the double platinum follow up Empire, including “Best I Can,” the supremely classy “Silent Lucidity” and the soaring “Jet City Woman.”

Tate is at the start of a year long tour celebrating Operation: Mindcrime‘s anniversary and it’s doubtful whether he’ll get a better or more enthusiastic reception than he got from the Newcastle crowd.


  • Mick Burgess

    Mick is a reviewer and photographer here at Metal Express Radio, based in the North-East of England. He first fell in love with music after hearing Jeff Wayne's spectacular The War of the Worlds in the cold winter of 1978. Then in the summer of '79 he discovered a copy of Kiss Alive II amongst his sister’s record collection, which literally blew him away! He then quickly found Van Halen I and Rainbow's Down To Earth, and he was well on the way to being rescued from Top 40 radio hell!   Over the ensuing years, he's enjoyed the Classic Rock music of Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, and Deep Purple; the AOR of Journey and Foreigner; the Pomp of Styx and Kansas; the Progressive Metal of Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, and Symphony X; the Goth Metal of Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Epica, and a whole host of other great bands that are too numerous to mention. When he's not listening to music, he watches Sunderland lose more football (soccer) matches than they win, and occasionally, if he has to, he goes to work as a property lawyer.

    View all posts

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.