Former lead singer of Queensryche, Geoff Tate and his great four piece backing band took to The Kent Stage on Friday night for an evening of Queensryche hits and deep cuts.

Instead of your traditional hard rock/metal backing band,Tate decided to do something different on this tour.  He incorporated two acoustic guitarists, a violin player and a percussionist who played the cajon (which looks like a wooden box) and had a tambourine attached to his foot to keep the rhythm.  .

This stripped down affair really let the audience hear the intricacies of the song as well as the lyrical content.  Tate has said that this tour is like “reverse engineering” for the songs.  Instead of building them up in the studio and adding layers, he has stripped them down to how they were first written and performed.  

Opening the show with the one two punch of “Walk in the Shadows” and “Another Rainy Night” the band was on fire from the start and never slowed down.

Between some songs, Geoff would tell stories of a song’s origin or how it came about.  For instance he said that the band decided to go to Nashville to record a new record in 1997.  He wasn’t sure why a metal band from Seattle went to Nashville but there they were.  Because they were in the heart of country music, they decided to have the harmonica featured on one of their songs.  They realized that  Lee Oscar from War was living in Nashville and that is why he endup ended up playing on “Chasing Blue Sky.”

Tate’s voice was in fine form throughout the show.  The songs he chose for the set list fit very nicely into the acoustic setting especially songs like  “Bridge,” “Out of Mind” and the ever popular “Silent Lucidity.”

Towards the end of the show, Tate mentioned how everyone in Queensryche as well as

the record company loved Operation Mindcrime and had them tour extensively to support it.  They first did about a year touring with Def Leppard and then another nine months opening for Metallica.  However the record still wasn’t selling.

Finally, Abby Konowitch, the programming director of MTV, said that he loved the album and told them that if them made some videos, he would play them on MTV every day.

After two weeks of airplay on MTV, Queensryche sold over 500,000 copies of Operation: Mindcrime.  

Oh, the power of MTV.

The first set ended with two Mindcrime hits “I Don’t Believe in Love” and “Eyes of a Stranger.”

The band returned to play a raucous version of The Dropkick Murphy’s “I’m Shipping Up To Boston” where they were surprisingly joined by a guest violinist who jumped on stage to play with the band.

“Around the World” ended the show with the crowd on it’s feet still wanting a little more ‘Ryche.