We spent a warm, rainy night in Newcastle at a rather modern bar and venue in what looked to be an old mill. Having gotten tickets for my dad for his birthday as he is a massive Queensryche and Operation: Mindcrime fan, I was even more excited when our good friends Daxx and Roxane were announced as the support. So we just had to let you know what we thought to the last night of the tour!
Pretty quick after the doors opened Daxx & Roxane took to the stage. Right from the opening note, the bands energy is infectious. Every time I have seen them they seem to be getting better and better performers. They were using the tiny space to their advantage, bouncing all over the stage. Guitarist Cal Wymann in particular is so fun to watch, bouncing around the stage, jumping off stuff, and even taking over the drums at one point so Luca could come out and mess around with the others.
The band played an excellent setlist, too. From crowd favourites like ‘Ticket to Rock’ and ‘Heal’ to even yet-unreleased tracks. All three sounded amazing too, and I’m so excited to check them out when they are all recorded and released.
We had a quick chat with bassist and frontman Cedric after the set. He was filling us in on how great the tour was, about how they’re playing in front of so many people who are now becoming fans. He was also saying how they are looking at securing a record deal as they have a whole album nearly ready to go. We were also talked up about Steel Paws festival, our closest next gig and for a great cause as well!
After a brief break, the legendary Geoff Tate took the stage. Launching straight into the reason everyone was there, launching straight into ‘Anarchy-X’ and the mammoth single ‘Revolution Calling’. The very first thing I noticed was that Geoff Tate was on top form, vocally. I’d been slightly worried heading in, given the age of the album and some of his peers struggling recently, that he would struggle. However, he sounded like he barely needed to try, effortlessly hitting the incredible notes that those decades younger would struggle with.
The rest of the band stood out a little from being a fair bit younger than Geoff. However, they were clearly fans of the source material as they played it all to perfection. They also knew when to turn it on, not taking the attention away from the man himself, but showing off their skills when the time was right.
After ripping through the entire Operation Mindcrime album perfectly, Geoff and his band still had time to play some other Queensryche bangers, much to the love of the crowd. From ‘Silent Lucidity’ through ‘Empire’ and to the amazing ‘Queen of the Reich’ we got a real treat of a setlist. They played practically the perfect Queensryche set, a great tribute to his former band and the songs that got him big. Part of me was a little surprised he didn’t even touch on his solo work, but that wasn’t what the evening was about. I have nothing but praise for the set, everything about it was awesome!
This really was a show and a tour not to be missed. Both bands gave it their all and, considering both are in very different stages of their careers, meshed well. I can’t imagine Geoff Tate doing a similar tour too soon in the future, but I’d recommend seeing him anyway for all the other amazing Queensryche music. And Daxx & Roxane are a band that have been on the up and up for a couple of years now. They are going to be huge once their third album comes out, and you all need to see them before it does!