The Token Lounge was invaded by Geoff Tate with support from Dead in 5, Wulfhook, and Downfall.
You know you are in for a great night of rock music when you arrive 40 minutes before the doors open, and the line of eager fans wraps around the building.
Opening the evening was Downfall from the Detroit area. They play straight-ahead rock music that pulls heavily from the 80s and 90s, something lead singer St. Betty took manages easily with her raw energy.
They powered thru a set that included some original songs â€œNo Love Will Lingerâ€ and â€œWTFâ€, as well as covering a few rock classics including â€œIf You Want Bloodâ€ by AC/DC and â€œHell is for Childrenâ€ by Pat Benatar. While the audience had not filled in yet for their set, those who did truly enjoyed it. And those who came late really missed out on some great rock n’ roll.
Downfall consists of St. Betty (vocals), Robin Roxy (guitar), Jim Cracraft (bass), and Scott Rochon (drums). They have been playing the Detroit music area since 2002 with St. Betty and Scott Rochon being the longtime members.
Next up was some hard-hitting metal from Detroit-based Wulfhook. They have been around since 2009 and playing live shows since 2011, including opening for some national acts like Warbringer and Accept.
Wulfhook did not waste any time whipping the crowd into a frenzy with their fast-paced metal. Lead singer Jeff has a soaring vocal style in the same vein as Rob Halford and King Diamond. This kind of metal is not for everyone, but everyone in the venue seemed to be enjoying it. This is a band definitely worth catching live.
The band consists of Jeff Schlinz (vocals), Matt Martin (guitar), Chris Wellman (guitar), Mike Mullaly (bass), and Jeff Ditner (drums).
Providing direct support for the headliner was Dead in 5, also from Detroit. They have been playing live since 2013 and has made a name for themselves headlining many of the top local venues, as well as providing support for national acts such as Five Finger Death Punch and John 5.
Dead in 5 plays what they describe as Detroit outlaw rock. You can hear influences in their songs from the likes of Motorhead and Soundgarden, but with an edge to it. Dead in 5 has several releases including their full-length release, Wreck Your World. They are currently working on new material for a future release.
Dead in 5 excels live with palpable stage presence and energy. Robert Libres is a powerful front man who commands the stage and pumps up the crowd. Not to be outdone, bassist Dana Forrester and guitarist Peder Seglund strike pose for the crowd along with other band members. It is evident that this group enjoys the rush of playing in front of an audience.
They opened with â€œBlack Friday Holidayâ€ and powered through six more songs, including “Trippin On the Inside,” “Schizophrenic Razor,” and “Shattered Faces.” They got the crowd energized for the headliner
Dead in 5 is Robert Libres (vocals), Brent Hall (guitar), Peder Seglund (guitar), Dana Forrester (bass), and James Trunko (drums).
By the time the headliner was to take the stage, the venerable Token Lounge was packed; the main room was wall to wall with overflow into the bar area and no room to move near the stage. You could feel the excitement in the air leading up to show time for OPERATION: Mindcrime. Fan reminisced about their favorite songs while waiting for frontman, Geoff Tate, formerly of Queensryche, to take the stage.
The lights dimmed, and the curtains opened as the powered into the opening song, “Neue Regel.” They followed by several more Queensryche songs, including classics like “Screaming in Digital” and “I Donâ€™t Believe in Love.”Â The evening was dominated by Queensryche songs from many of their releases, including Rage to Order, Empire, Promised Land, Hear in the New Frontier, and Frequency Unknown.
Mid-set, they settled down for an acoustic segment that included slow versions of some classics like “Jet City Woman” and “Take Hold of the Flame.” Tim Fernley played an upright bass, not something you would see at a typical rock show. The audience loved it and got amped when they broke into one of their biggest hits, “Silent Lucidity.”
Following the acoustic set, they band played four songs from their album, The Key, including “Burn” and “The Fall.”Â They followed with more Queensryche classics, including “Walk in the Shadows” and “Eyes of a Stranger,” before closing the evening with “Empire.” The audience loved it.
For this album and tour, Geoff Tate assembled a band that is loaded with talent and experience. The current OPERATION: Mindcrime touring lineup consists of longtime lead guitarist Kelly Gray (Myth, Queensryche), rhythm guitarist Scott Moughton, keyboardist Randy Gane (Myth, Candlebox), bassist Tim Fernley, and drummer Simon Wright (AC/DC, DIO).
Kelly Gray ran about using most of the stage, tearing up the leads, and striking poses for the audience. Simon Wright is a drum legend and he, along with bassist Tim Fernley, laid down a solid beat and lower end. They, along with Scott Moughton and Randy Gane, put on an incredible performance.
While Geoff Tate cannot quite hit the higher notes anymore, he still has one of the most recognizable and powerful voices in rock. He was clearly enjoying himself on stage as he easily and casually engages the audience. Fans ate it up and when it came to classics like “Silent Lucidity” and “Jet City Woman”; they sang along and many had their cell phones out to capture the moment.
Hopefully, Geoff Tate will continue to record new music and tour for years to come. There is a diehard group of fans out there that simply canâ€™t get enough.
OPERATION: Mindcrime setlist: Neue Regel, Screaming In Digital, I Am I, One More Time, I Donâ€™t Believe In Love, sp00L, At 30,000 Feet, Jet City Woman, Take Hold of the Flame, Silent Lucidity, The Weight of the World, Re-Inventing the Future, The Stranger, Burn, The Fall, Damaged, Walk in the Shadows, Eyes of a Stranger and the encore, Empire.