jakub | March 4, 2024

Geoff Tate, with Co-Headliner Adrian Vandenberg, Graced Center Stage Theater in Atlanta, Georgia, on Friday, March 1, 2024


 

The historic Center Stage Theater in Atlanta, Georgia, kicked off its March slate of concerts on Friday night with co-headliners Geoff Tate and Adrian Vandenberg. Built in 1966 to honor Atlanta’s performing arts community and to memorialize Helen Lee Cartlidge after she and 100 other arts patrons perished in the Orly plane crash of 1962. Center Stage is an iconic live performance destination that has played host to Sir Elton John, Lady Gaga, and Katy Perry, just to name a few. With a large stage experience supported by great acoustics, this intimate 1,000-capacity venue was the perfect indoor space to enjoy live music on another rainy night in the South.

With the clock ticking just past 8:00 pm, the house lights dimmed to the theme from the movie “Jaws” as drummer Koen Herfst, bassist Randy Van Der Elsen, and vocalist Mats Levén entered the stage. The crowd then erupted as guitarist Adrian Vandenberg appeared from behind the curtain and took his spot as the band launched into “Hit the Ground Running” from their forthcoming fifth full-length album SIN which will arrive on August 25th via Mascot Records/Mascot Label Group.

Billed as a night that would celebrate Vandenberg band and Whitesnake classics, the 70-year-old Vandenberg delivered upon that promise for the fans that haven’t seen him tour extensively in the United States for decades. In fact, the last time I saw Vandenberg perform live was on the opening night of Whitesnake’s Slip of the Tongue tour back in 1990.

Vandenberg put on a guitar masterclass for 60 minutes, with a setlist that heavily featured Whitesnake favorites such as “Fool For Your Loving,” “Crying in the Rain,” and “Still of the Night.” Dedicated fans were also treated to Vandenberg band catalog favorites in “Your Love Is in Vain” and “Burning Heart” from their 1982 debut studio album. Much to the crowd’s delight, Vandenberg also punctuated the band’s night with a resounding performance of the Whitesnake hit, “Here I Go Again.”

As a long-time Whitesnake fan, I can certainly acknowledge that no one can replace an iconic vocalist like David Coverdale. However, Levén has a distinctive delivery all his own, and the audience sang along in full support as he paid homage and respect to all these classic tunes from my adolescence. With that said, the best way to sum up Vandenberg’s night is to simply share the quote he put up on his official Instagram page: “Last night in Atlanta rocked like Oprah’s ass on a trampoline!”

 

Vandenberg

Adrian Vandenberg – Guitar
Mats Levén – Vocals
Koen Herfst – Drums
Randy Van Der Elsen – Bass

 

 

Setlist:

1.) Hit the Ground Running
2.) Fool For Your Loving (Whitesnake cover)
3.) Your Love Is In Vain
4.) Give Me All Your Love (Whitesnake cover)
5.) Freight Train
6.) Sailing Ships (Whitesnake cover)
7.) Judgement Day (Whitesnake cover)
8.) Crying in the Rain (Whitesnake cover)
9.) Burning Heart
10.) Still of the Night (Whitesnake cover)
11.) Here I Go Again (Whitesnake cover)

 

Following a roughly 30-minute stage turn from Vandenberg’s performance, Geoff Tate, whose iconic voice fronted the band Queensryche for three decades (1982-2012), took to the stage shortly after 9:30 pm. I last caught Tate and his band here in Atlanta a bit over a year ago, and since that time guitarist Kieran Robertson departed for Faster Pussycat and has since been replaced by Amary Altmayer and Dario Parente. With returning musicians James Brown (guitar), Jack Ross (bass), and Danny Laverde (drums) rounding out the crew, the band launched into “Empire” from Queensryche’s triple-platinum 1990 studio album of the same name.

With three guitar players now permanently in tow, the band has elevated their thunderous sound since my last experience, delivering a deep, hard rock-driven tone to the legacy Queensryche catalog. This was most obvious to me when following “Desert Dance,” “I Am I,” and “The Thin Line,” the band delivered three consecutive tracks off arguably Queensryche’s most beloved album, Operation: Mindcrime. Tate’s 65-year-old voice continues to amaze, executing powerful renditions of the tunes “Operation: Mindcrime,” “Breaking the Silence,” and “I Don’t Believe in Love” in succession. Sadly for me, like in January 2023, Tate left “Eyes of a Stranger” out of rotation yet again.

After mixing in a few recognizable tracks in “NM156” and “Screaming in Digital,” the band then reached back to 1986’s Rage for Order album for one of my favorite tunes, “Walk in the Shadows.” Tate then topped off their main set by once again revisiting the 1990’s Empire release. Given the weather in Atlanta on Friday night, it was apropos for the band to perform the familiar song “Another Rainy Night (Without You),” which was immediately trailed by the recognizable bass beat intro for fan favorite “Jet City Woman.”

Taking a momentary breather, Tate paused to introduce the band and story tell. He reflected that he was recently at home and was out filling up his car when a fellow patron was eyeballing him. When Tate engaged him in conversation, the person mentioned to Tate that he had all his albums (which Tate found out he didn’t), and when he pressed on what his favorite song was, the “fan” responded “that slow one called Silence of Tennessee.” When the audience laughter subsided and with cellphones recording the moment, the band closed out their main set with the 1992 Grammy-nominated emotional single, “Silent Lucidity.”

The band returned to the stage following a quick break and introduced the fourth guitarist that was going to join them for their encore, Irishman Cillian Plummer. With Plummer strapped in with his Fender, the band took on the Pink Floyd classic “Welcome to the Machine.” With a journey back to his early days with Queensryche, the fans then eagerly sang along as Tate emptied his lungs for energetic performances of “Take Hold of the Flame” and “Queen of the Reich” to cap off the night.

This co-headlining tour with Geoff Tate and Adrian Vandenberg continues for just a few more weeks, wrapping up on Saturday, March 16th, at the Aztec Theatre in San Antonio, Texas. If you are looking for a night out to celebrate classic songs from your rock and roll youth, you won’t be disappointed with this tour.

 

Geoff Tate Band

Geoff Tate – Vocals
James Brown – Guitar
Jack Ross – Bass
Amaury Altmayer – Guitar
Dario Parente– Guitar
Danny Laverde – Drums
Bruno Sa – Keyboards (* did not appear in Atlanta)
Cillian Plummer – Guitar (encore only)

 

 

Setlist:

1.) Empire
2.) Desert Dance
3.) I Am I
4.) The Thin Line
5.) Operation: Mindcrime
6.) Breaking the Silence
7.) I Don’t Believe in Love
8.) NM156
9.) Screaming in Digital
10.) Walk in the Shadows
11.) Another Rainy Night (Without You)
12.) Jet City Woman
13.) Silent Lucidity

Encore
14.) Welcome to the Machine (Pink Floyd cover)
15.) Take Hold of the Flame
16.) Queen of the Reich

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Follow Adrian Vandenberg Online

Follow Geoff Tate Online

 

 





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