The Coach House, located in San Juan Capistrano, opened its doors for what is to become an amazing evening with multi-platinum selling, GRAMMY-nominated singer/songwriter Geoff Tate. The lucky people in attendance that night experienced what Geoff is calling “The Whole Story ‘Ryche’ Acoustic Tour”. The band will be highlighting songs from all 17 albums of Geoff’s illustrious 35-year career.
With hundreds of artist saying that Geoff Tate is a major influence on them should be enough to make anyone look into his career. Geoff is regarded as one of the most skilled vocalists in rock and fronted the band Queensryche for over 30 years.
Tonight the Coach House will be in for a treat. Geoff will present his all-acoustic show with himself, and joined by Scott Moughton (Lead Acoustic Guitar) from his ‘Operation Mindcrime project’ and Kieran Robertson hailing from Scotland on acoustic guitars and background vocals, Ollie Jordan-Kelly from Ireland on the Cajon percussion “box”, and Evan Kleve from Cleveland on violin.
From the moment Geoff took the stage wearing a tie and vest and holding a tambourine, you knew it was going to be a different kind of show…but as Geoff’s iconic voice poured over the familiar lyrics of “Walk in the Shadows,” you began seeing a lot of smiles on the faces of his fans at the Coach House.
Fans were treated to the stories behind some of our favorite Queensryche classics like “The Lady Wore Black” and more personal stories about Tate’s childhood and relationship with his stepfather. Despite the mellower delivery of the songs, this was turning into a party and the crowd was enjoying every moment. Tate explained, he would play some “old tracks you may recognize and some new songs that hopefully you’ll like!” but he need not have worried about this song selection as he had the audience in the palm of his hand from the first verse to the very last note of the night.
There was a sole new track played during the set, “The Fight”, which is from ‘Resurrection‘, and as Tate explained was written about how different we all are. The song was positive proof that Tate has lost none of his song-writing skills. There were a couple of gems in the set list, namely “Blood” from Queensrÿche’s 2003 ‘Tribe’ album and “Hundred Mile Stare” from 2009’s ‘American Soldier’ album. The stripped down feel of “Blood” suited it better than the original version and made the audience warm up to it. The violinist Evan Kleve and Scott Moughton seemed to enjoy it as they had a good musical duel halfway through while Tate really put his heart and soul into the performance.
Of course there were more than enough classic Queensrÿche songs in the mix. From the 1994 ‘Promised Land‘ album came “Out Of Mind” and this acoustic version simply shined with Moughton doing the songs guitar solo justice.
From that album’s successor, 1997’s ‘Hear In The Now Frontier’, came “Some People Fly” The stripped down version highlights just what an under-rated classic this song is. It was worth the price of admission just to hear this song live.
Three tracks from the classic ‘Empire‘ album were played – including “Another Rainy Night (Without You)” early in the set. “Jet City Woman” had a totally different feel to it as it had no booming bass guitar intro and instead relied on Evan Kleve who added a different dimension. The crowd was singing louder than Tate during most of the song which allowed Tate to sit back and enjoy the moment. And let’s not forget the ever-present “Silent Lucidity” which was dead center in the set as opposed to being held over until the finale. Classics like “Hold on to the Flame” and “The Lady Wore Black” had the crowd going crazy, which is hard to do at an all acoustic show.
Songs like, “I Don’t Believe In Love” and “Eyes Of A Stranger”, both of which received a well-deserved huge ovation, still sound good even with the power of the electric guitars removed and Moughton did especially well with the guitar solos.
And, after an overwhelming round of applause from the audience, the band returned with a lively rendition of, “I’m Shipping up to Boston” with Tate hopping around on one leg and further fueling the applause. Closing out the night was a lesser known track, “All Around The World” taken from 2011’s album ‘Dedicated To Chaos‘, may have seemed like a strange choice for a finale but it received a good reaction from the audience with its positive message of “All You Need Is Love”. A classy end to an outstanding performance, those who weren’t at the Coach House missed an absolutely classic evening of entertainment. This was one of my favorite shows and it was a supreme performance from a vocalist very much at the top of his game, and from relatively unknown musicians that I thoroughly enjoyed!
Geoff Tate setlist:
- Walk in the Shadows
- Another Rainy Night
- Some People Fly
- Jet City Woman
- Chasing Blue Sky
- Until there was You
- Out of Mind
- Silent Lucidity
- The Fight
- Take Hold of the Flame
- The Lady wore Black
- Hundred Mile Stare
- I don’t believe in Love
- Eyes of a stranger
- I’m shipping up to Boston
- Around the World
Venue: The Coach House
Artist: Geoff Tate “The Whole Story ‘Ryche’ Acoustic Tour”
WATCH OUR INTERVIEW WITH GEOFF BELOW