Speaking about the album to eonmusic in 2018, Tate revealed; "It’s one of my favourite albums that Queensrÿche did. That was an album that was very special to almost everyone in the band. It was a very special time for us”.
He continued; “It was a really interesting time of introspection and self-examination artistically, musically, professionally; all those things, those areas of your life that you look back on and think; “How did I get here?! Where am I?!” Especially after the whirlwind of years leading up to the ‘Promised’ album; it was a nice time to sort of reflect, at that point. It’s a very special album".
It's little surprise then, that the album struck a chord with the singer at its first full public performance.
Taking to the stage, and following the atmospherics of the original with intro ‘9:28 a.m.’, ‘I Am I’ kicked of what would be a very special evening for both the audience, and the man whose name adorned the backdrop. With a spectacularly on-point band behind him, Tate arrived to a hero’s welcome, attacking the ‘Promised Land’ material - which veers in mood, scope, and dynamics - with a renewed vigour.
Following sharply with underrated gem ‘Damaged’, it was clear, even from this early stage that the singer was in fiercely impressive form. ‘Out of Mind’, which faithful to the original releases running order followed, brought with it the first real revelation of the evening. Not performed by he nor his former band for almost three decades, Tate confessed; “I've not done it since ’95”, before introducing the track as; “a song about mental illness that seems to fit exactly in this day and age.”
Despite being written solely by guitarist Chris DeGarmo about his strained relationship with his father who died during the ‘Promised Land’ sessions, it was during ‘Bridge’ that the singer first became emotional, breaking down as the emotive song unfolded. Visibly weeping, clutching a handkerchief, and caught up in the moment, he confessed; “I was being interviewed earlier today was asked about what it feels like to perform the ‘Promised Land’ album. I had a clever answer prepared, but I can’t think of what that is right now”. Fighting back the tears he continued; “I just know that I’m very happy to be here tonight”.
Staying faithful to the album’s running order, the epic title track followed, which saw Geoff don his saxophone and take on an extended solo.
Reaching the second half, the albums deeper cuts continued, including the off-kilter ‘Disconnected’, the dark ‘Lady Jane’ and progressive ‘My Global Mind’.
Deviating marginally, ‘Last Action Hero’ soundtrack cut ‘Real World’ (recorded during the same period in the mid-nineties) saw the singer reminisce about the song’s recording with composer Michael Kamen.
Closing the first set with the stripped down piano an vocals of ‘Someone Else?’, the singer once more was reduce to tears, as the stirringly-emotional refrain of “Here I stand at the crossroads edge / Afraid to reach out for eternity” rang out across the venue.
With additional tracks being run to fill out the album’s various sound effects, strings, and vocal effects, it was a triumphant and faithful recreation of arguably Queensrÿche’s last truly great album, and a reminder of just how powerful they could be when firing on all cylinders.
Encoring with a trio of his greatest hits, in a glorious ‘Jet City Woman’, driving ‘Take Hold of the Flame’ and “one of my favourite songs” ‘Silent Lucidity’, it was a short but powerful victory lap on what had been an emotional trip back in time.
The Queensrÿche fanbase may have splintered, and he may have his detractors, but tonight’s performance was flawless, and proof that Geoff Tate still possesses one of the most powerful voices in rock and metal.