The Ranch in Fort Myers Florida welcome the former Queensryche front man on February 03 2022. By Joel Shover
Could it really be that over 35 years ago I was 14 years young coming of age to a new sinister sound of Queensrych’s Rage For Order? Boasted as one of the boldest metal albums of all time. With hit songs like Gonna Get Close to You and Walk in The Shadows, Geoff Tate had delivered a masterpiece far ahead of its time, or, was it really in time to withstand time? Either way it was too late to start overthinking!
Geoff Tate can cross this special tour off his bucket list because it has been a dream of his since the consummation of Rage for Order to play it in its entirety. That is what the night had in store, but there was more for the fans at The Ranch Concert Hall & Saloon in Fort Myers, Florida, a lot more with Geoff Tate also performing Empire in its entirety.
The night started with a very special and intimate acoustic set by Ivory Lake. Ivory Lake is the solo project of singer, songwriter, and drummer Josh Watts from Sheffield, UK. This tour became an acoustic adventure for Watts as right before leaving the UK his bandmates all tested positive for Covid. So, it was off to America with guitar in hand to open for the legendary Geoff Tate. Josh came out and started the set with a song called “Pillows” showing his high and low range of vocals after sixty seconds into the set I knew we were in for one hell of a treat.
Watts humbly accepted the crowds clapping in saying there are no better fans in the world than the fans right here in the good ole USA. Next song up was “Don’t Talk,” followed by a very rhythmic and touching song Josh wrote for his young daughter and son titled “Little Flowers.” With a little stage banter to get the crowd rocking for Geoff Tate, we were on to “Everything’s Fine…. But It’s Not.” Hearing these songs acoustic only makes you appreciate the true musicianship that Josh is putting out for this project. It was time for “Ocean” a song held special in Josh’s heart as he told me that he loved Florida the best out of all the stops because of its wildlife and, its wildlife. Josh finished out the set by belting out the rocking “Teddy Had A Temper.” Be sure to check these guys out at Ivory-lake.com and put your ear to them you won’t be disappointed.
After a brief intermission including some stage adjustments the Fort Myers crowd had filled in ready to hear some rock & roll and they weren’t going to have to flip a cassette tape over to hear the whole thing. The lights went dark and the intro was in front of our eyes Geoff Tate graced the stage, microphone in hand.
Now came the first lyrics of “Walk in The Shadows” to the enjoyment of the crowd, beer bottles, cell phones, and metal fists in the air. A little bit of banter of how things have been over the last couple years brought us back into the albums second track “I Dream in Infrared” into “The Whisperer.” With Tate’s operatic signature voice I couldn’t help but reminisce my young teen years just as the rest of the fans.
It was now time for “Gonna Get Close to You” followed by “The Killing Words.” Tate had a few words for the loud crowd, things were going to get louder with the booming sounds of “Surgical Strike.” “Neuve Regal,” “new order” or “rule” in German, was the next song delivered into a hammering version of “Chemical Youth” as Tate masterly spun and popped around the stage and could make a musical note appear with the flick of a wrist. This was the show you dreamt of seeing at Whiskey a Go Go back in the Circus Magazine reading days, and we were here living it in 2022. Tate flexed his superior vocal muscles once again for the song “London,” it didn’t stop there with “Screaming in Digital.” “I Will Remember” finished out the album.
Fans rushed to the merch stands for t-shirts and swag before the start of the second set. Was it the start of a Horror movie we were hearing with the piercing sounds of the keyboard? No, it was the intro to “The Best I Can” the first track off the Empire album. “The Thin Line” was next with bass thumping and guitar screaming I was reliving my youth once again. “Jet City Woman” ignited the whole place as everyone’s cell phones were out in full force for what was playing and what was coming next. “Della Brown” the fourth track off the album brought a lot of crowd anticipation for the next hit “Another Rainy Night (without you).” Geoff Tate then let the crowd collect themselves with a little bit of talk about how he “wouldn’t miss a lyric tonight because he could just read everyone’s lips”.
He then reminded the crowd that the next song, the title track, was 31 years young tonight, “Empire.” The first guitar licks were struck. How I held my phone steady for this song is beyond me as it is truly one of my favorite songs by Tate. (Now we all have the memory). The crowd put up no Resistance to the next track.
Geoff then proceeded to tell a story about grocery shopping and how a fella that approached him and wanted his autograph because of that song “Silent in Tennessee.” LOL. This brought out the chart-topping ballot we all know and love, “Silent Lucidity.” It was all “Hand on Hart” for the “One and Only” into “Anybody Listening.” Yes, we were all listening to Tate’s signature voice and what a pleasure it was. Tate then introduced his band and burst into a double encore of “Last Time in Paris” into the hit song “Eyes of a Stranger.”
Get out and see live music! Special thanks to Sound Engineer, Alex from Seattle for the setlists.
Till the next show………Joel
Geoff Tate: Vocals
James Brown: Guitar
Kieran Robertson: Guitar
Jack Ross: Bass
Daniel Laverde: Drummer
Remaining US TOUR DATES:
Tour: 30th Anniversary of Empire Winter USA 2022 Tour
02/06/22 Memphis, TN Lafayette’s Music Room
02/07/22 Memphis, TN Lafayette’s Music Room
Tour: 2022 Monsters of Rock Cruise
02/09/22 – 02/14/22 Miami, FL Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas
Tour: 30th Anniversary of Empire Winter USA 2022 Tour
02/17/22 Fayetteville, AR George’s Majestic Lounge
To submit an article an article or review, or to just say hello hit us at [email protected]
Also- check out the search feature in the upper right hand corner and search for your favorite artist, event, venue or genre. You’ll be surprised at what you find!
Check out the Live Music News and Review.com Facebook page for updates and announcements.