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Geoff Tate // Live @ Ludlow Garage // 1.22.22

Article & Photos: Linda Carlson

Cincinnati, OH – It was a night for raucous celebration.  Just an hour before this show’s opening, the Cincinnati Bengals defeated the Tennessee Titans in a white-knuckle game and secured a position in the AFC championship.  The mood was infectiously celebratory, to say the least. What better way to cap off a devil of a football game than with a beast of a concert?

Ivory Lake

Opening the evening’s festivities was Ivory Lake (Josh Watts) who was previously drummer for Geoff Tate.  This young lad from Sheffield, England performed a compelling acoustic set.  Armed with a guitar and a soulful voice, Watts gave a moving performance, ending with a particularly emotional “Teddy Had A Temper.”  I found myself mesmerized by this song, and the guttural emotion he connected with it.  Throughout his set, Watts was delightful in his banter with the audience, and with youthful charm and wonderment remarked how his recent show in Minnesota left him convinced that the bitter cold there was unfit for humans.  Did I mention he lives in Spain these days?

Geoff Tate

Next…!  The anticipation was at full tilt for Geoff Tate, founding and iconic lead singer of Queensrÿche.  Accompanied by bandmembers Kieran Robertson on lead guitar, Jack Ross on bass, James Brown on guitar and Daniel LaVerde on drums, the band performed two iconic Queensryche albums in their entirety, Rage for Order and Empire.  In fact, this tour celebrates the 30 years since Empire was released in 1990.  Multi-platinum Empire showcased the band’s progressive metal sound and the song “Silent Lucidity” was nominated for two Grammys in 1992, Best Rock Song and Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group.

Geoff Tate

The crowd rose to its collective feet as Tate came on stage.  His commanding presence dominated the cozy, personal stage at Ludlow Garage.  It was a bit surreal to experience Tate, larger than life and in full glory, on such an intimate stage.  It was as if he was performing in your living room, but with spotlights and fog machines for a complete rock ‘n roll atmosphere.

Geoff Tate

The fans LOVED the show.  Although the venue has comfortable theater seating, nearly everyone stood for the entire performance.  I watched the crowd carefully.  Devil horns were raised, and it seemed that everyone sang along, each and every syllable of each and every word.  These were die-hard fans, and the mood was electric.

Tate and the band absorbed the fans’ enthusiasm and gave it right back.  Tate’s voice is as vibrant as ever, as is his showmanship.  Flash, flair and style.  And sheer passion for performing.

There was an intermission between Rage for Order and Empire.  A change of clothes, perhaps, but no change in enthusiasm.

Geoff Tate and his band continue their stateside tour before moving on to Europe in late February.  You can check tour dates:  If the band is performing anywhere near you… consider attending and experience it for yourself!

Linda Carlson
Linda has been photographing people since she was ten. Forever intrigued by the complex beauty of the human form, she brings the eye of a portraitist to the unpredictability and spectacle of the concert scene.