Queensrÿche to bring Operation: Mindcrime to the Sky Ute Casino Resort

Lead singer Geoff Tate
Lead singer Geoff Tate of the band Queensrÿche will be playing at the Sky Ute Casino Resort, Saturday, March 22.
Queensÿche will be performing at the Sky Ute Casino resort, Saturday, March 22. Doors open at 6 p.m., Hurricane will be playing in support of Queensrÿche.
Todd Gay Photography
Peter Ellenby

Queensrÿche performed in Syracuse, New York, Wednesday, March 12 to fans who braved a snowstorm. Queensrÿche is currently playing shows along the east coast and looking forward to warmer weather, trekking across the U.S. on their 25th Anniversary Operation: Mindcrime Tour, eventually making their way to the Southern Ute Indian Reservation on March 22 at the Sky Ute Casino Resort in Ignacio.

Geoff Tate, lead vocalist of the rock band Queensrÿche, stated during a phone interview from their tour bus, on their way to Virginia, “We will be featuring the 25th anniversary of Operation Mindcrime, we’re going to be playing that album in it’s entirety, followed by an encore set of some favorite Queensrÿche songs I’m sure people will recognize.”

Queensrÿche has never played on an Indian reservation according to Geoff Tate, the first for him, saying “I’m looking forward to it … it will be a really good time and I hope it’s warm.” Tate also expressed, “every tour is extra special, although touring is not easy, you have all kinds of logistic issues and challenges. Like for instance, we were in a snowstorm for about 6 hours, then the equipment trailer’s bearings went out it, so we had to stop and get it fixed. When the band makes it to a show it’s a special occasion.”

Their current Queensrÿche’s tour featuring original vocalist Tate, will be performing with an all-star line-up of musicians from bands like Ozzy Osbourne, Quiet Riot, Whitesnake, Dio, Blue Oyster Cult and AC/DC. Tate said, “this band is a group of really great players, exceptional musicians, the camaraderie amongst the band is incredible. The energy the band creates is infectious, and the audience feels it right away, it becomes a real shared experience with all the people that are there.”

Hurricane, who hasn’t played live in over 20 years, will be opening up for Queensryche, Hurricane’s current members are Robert Sarzo, lead guitar, Tony Cavazo on bass guitar, Mike Hansen on drums and Andrew Freeman on lead vocals and rhythm guitar.

Tate started his musical career in the early 80’s with Babylon, then with The Mob before changing the name to Queensrÿche. Being the lead vocalist for Queensrÿche for over 30 years, Tate expressed how his style has changed as a musician and a performer, “If you listen to our records, you will hear change happening from record one all the way until now. We abridged and invented the term progressive metal. For us it’s always been about changing and trying new things, bringing different influences into our music, writing about different subject matter.”

Tate continued by adding, “I’ve always held true to that belief, that music is a separate changing ever-evolving thing, not meant to be stagnant at all but to really reflect the journey through life of the writer. Change is a good thing, it’s evident on the records.”

When asked about what he enjoys most about writing and performing over the years Tate said, “writing and performing are two very different things, two very different experiences for me, writing is something I have to do. It’s built into me, it’s the best way I can express myself … is through music.”

Tate said of performing, “a live performance is another, completely different thing. It’s about the moment, being in the moment and being with the music and with the band, performing the music for an audience. It’s a very addictive thing playing live, I love it and I love traveling. I love being on the road, I love meeting people and talking to people. I feel very fortunate to experience two really different experiences with my job.”

Queensrÿche has been successful in the progressive scene, having sold over 20 million albums worldwide, including over 6 million albums in the United States. Since forming in the early 80’s, the band’s sound has evolved, members came and went, Tate commented about the direction and sound the band has taken, “the band is really a collection of the people, everybody comes into it with their own set of rules and their own experiences, their own musical influences and we take that group of influences, somehow find your own thing, then once you find your own thing then you work to accentuate it and develop it. I think for us, for Queensrÿche it happened on our third record, Rage for Order where we really found our voice, found what was unique about us and we took that and developed it over the years.”

Night to night performances, for Geoff take less time to prepare to go on stage. “Simply because I’m so used to it and practiced at it.” Of course there’s sound-checks which can take a couple hours, of which Tate enjoys, “I do like to sound-check every day, I particularly don’t like to go into a show without a sound-check. I like to prepare my mental state based upon the stage and how it’s set up and how it sounds on stage to make sure that all the monitors work correctly so that I’m able to give the best performance that I’m able to.” Tate added, “I think performances are very special I think you can be as prepared as you possibly can for them, so that you can do the best performance you can do.”

The lifestyle on the road is time consuming, “often times we are up at 6 a.m. to get ready for a 7 a.m. music performance on a radio station or a TV show,” Tate continued, “you gotta be ready for that, it’s pretty tough to play rock and roll at 7 in the morning, but you get used to it.”

There’s much more to being a musician than just playing on stage, Tate explains a typical daily routine, “simply there’s more performances in the city you’re in, more interviews, a lunch – finally, sound-check, then a meet and greet before the show, then you do the show, then you have a meet and greet after the show. So you get to bed about 2-3 o’clock in the morning only to get up at 6 a.m. again. Its pretty grueling, we do typically 6 shows in a row before we get a day off, the furthest I’ve ever gone I did 19 in a row.”

When talking about gaining new fans, Tate expressed that it’s an incredible expreience, “being in the band for all these years, playing thousands of shows, meeting hundreds of thousands of people, have gotten to know a lot of the fans. What’s interesting to me now is that people are bringing their kids to the shows who have grown up with our music as well. We are seeing second and third generation Queensrÿche fans to shows these days are really exciting.”

When asked if Tate has a favorite song, Tate said, “I don’t really have a favorite, being a writer you love all the stuff that you’ve created, all of it has special meaning for you, because it’s a reflection of your life. I love everything that we’ve done.”

The concert will be Saturday, March 22 at the Sky Ute Casino Resort in the Event Center. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m. Reserved seating tickets are $35 and general admission is $25, most general admission seating is standing room only.

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