Mark Daly was playing at a small pub in Ireland when a woman asked him if he was playing original songs. He said yes, and she suggested singing more of them.
The woman was Susan Tate, the wife of Queensryche lead singer Geoff Tate, and that led to his breakthrough.
“People don’t usually ask for original music in a pub,” he said. “I told her, ‘No problem!’ So, we played some original tunes.”
The two chatted after the set and, by the end of the conversation, Daly was touring with Queensryche, “which is crazy,” he said.
“That was back in 2011,” Daly added. “That’s what kick-started my career. Our first show was the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. It was a sold-out crowd. I couldn’t believe we went from a pub with 10 people in it to that. It was like night and day.”
Since then, he has toured with the likes of Candlebox and Tate’s supergroup, Operation: Mindcrime. At 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9, and Sunday, Dec. 11, he’ll open for Tate at his “Geoff Tate’s 2022 Big Rock Show” at the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix and the Rialto Theatre in Tucson, respectively.
Daly is touring to support his four-song EP, “Nothing to Lose.” He’ll showcase those songs as well as those from “Peace in the Panic,” an album set for release early next year.
The EP and album were produced by Avantasia guitarist Sascha Paeth. Daly’s friend Clodagh Kearney provided backing vocals on “Nothing to Lose” and “Bottled Up.”
“I recorded the whole EP in Germany,” he said. “We released it first — before the album — because we decided it would be crazy to go to the U.S. with nothing new to show. So, we rushed through the four-track EP. Two of the singles, ‘Gotta Run’ and ‘Crying Shame,’ have already been released.
“So, when it comes out, half of the EP has already been heard and the other half hasn’t.”
Daly describes his sound as raw and energetic, influenced by classic and modern rock bands. He enjoys moving on stage to really connect with the audience, with whom he meets at the merchandise table after gigs.
Paeth clearly understood Daly’s direction with his music, which was a hard rock slant. His previous album was more laidback.
“I really wanted to get into the hard rock stuff,” he said. “That’s where my passion is. That’s my style of choice. He played guitar and bass on the record with me as well. It turned out to be everything I wanted it to be. Working with Sascha was a dream come true, to be honest.”
Geoff Tate w/Mark Daly
WHEN: 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9
WHERE: Celebrity Theatre, 440 N. 32nd Street, Phoenix
COST: Tickets start at $15
INFO: 602-267-1600, celebritytheatre.com
WHEN: 8 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11
WHERE: Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress Street, Tucson
COST: Tickets start at $30
INFO: 520-740-1000, rialtotheatre.com