Queesryche still rocks after 30 years on stage
The crowd chanted "Queensryche, Queensryche, Queensryche" in anticipation of the show to come, then the lights dimed at Isleta Casino Showroom to almost complete darkness.
Two large, flat screens on either side of the drums started flashing pictures of flames and the covers of every album made by Queensryche from the start of their musical journey in the '80s to the present day while a recording of "Anarchy-X" played and cheers of approval rang out through the crowd of anxious fans.
The picture of the recently released album, "Dedicated to Chaos," filled the screen as the band made its way onto the stage, opening their set with the title track, "Get Started."
The set list included at least one song from each of their albums.
Many fan favorites, such as "I Don't Believe in Love" off "Mind Crime," "Lady Wore Black" from "The Warning" and "Silent Lucidity" off "Empire" were some of the selected songs Queensryche captivated everyone with.
Geoff Tate brought out his saxophone, showing his many musical skills in the song "A Dead Man's World" from the "American Soldier" album.
Queensryche rocked the showroom and entertained their fans for an hour and a half, leaving the crowd after the encore wanting more.
There was even the one crazy fan who managed to slip past the guards to jump on stage and run to give Geoff Tate a huge hug before being escorted away.
Tate, in an interview before the show, expressed how he had no idea that the band was celebrating their 30-year anniversary until their publicist mentioned it.
"I really don't have any expectations about anything. We write something, get done with it and move on to the next thing," Tate said. "Right now, we are working on the next QR record, which is coming along great."
In response to the question on almost everyone's mind: Will Chris DeGarmo ever come back?
"Never say never. You never know what could happen," he said.
Being a father of five children and recently acquiring the title of grandfather, Tate and the band have traveled the globe touring, seeing numerous cities and countries, which keeps them away from home and their families quite a bit.
"The family is used to dad being home today and not home tomorrow, on the phone and the video screen. It's getting tougher now the older I get," he said. "I'm missing all the family stuff and want to hang around the house more. It's tough these days — you have to tour, it's the life of the musician in order to make money. But we will be off for a month come October, which will be great."
After the month-long rest, it will be back on the road for the band.
Putting together a show takes quite a bit on everyone's part, from the band right down to the crew.
"First, it takes your imagination to dream it up and figure out what you're going to do," Tate said.
"Then it takes the mechanics to figure how to put it together, keep the crew happy and get everyone paid, which includes the band, publicist, tour manager and down the line.
It's a lot of people, plus we want to also keep the fans happy by keeping the ticket prices low."
The majority of Queensryche's crew has been with them for the past 20 to 30 years, including Kelly Gray, the youngest and newest crew member who has been with them for five years.
Tate said there are people who don't do well on the road and you learn to spot the people who will do well.
Quensryche has shown their dedication to the music and gained many an audience and fans through the years.
Although no one has ever really kept track, Tate estimated they have played many shows totaling well into the thousands.
"If I had a crystal ball, I would say in the next five to 10 years, I would like to be sitting in this room talking to you again," he said.
On that note, hard core Queensryche fans will have to remain dedicated and patient to see what the band has in store next.
Contact Jeana Lucero