Operation: Mindcrime, in support of their début album took to the legendary venue of The Chance to showcase material from The Key (Frontiers Records) album and as well as Queensryche classics in 90 minute set full of musicianship. With openers Mike Campesa, Christian Gisondi and Parallel Universe the crowd was well primed for a night of stories through songs.
Opening with a string of ‘Rchye songs starting with ‘Neue Regal’ and ‘Screaming in Digital’, the show was one big sing-a-long. Along for the ride again with Geoff Tate are drummer Simon Wright, the masterful time-keeper who just handled everything with such ease. Keyboardist wizard Randy Gane and guitar maestro Kelly Gray (who looks more like a frontiersman sheriff nowadays) bring their A game and some solid harmonies. New to the fold is second guitarist Scott Moughton and bassist Tim Fernley who both fit in smoothly with the bunch. They gel so well you forget they’re the rookies of the group.
Keeping the crowd guessing, the band went into an acoustic set of ‘Jet City Woman’, ‘Take Hold of the Flame’, ‘Silent Lucidity’ and ‘The Weight of the World’. After another story intro from Geoff, they preformed a slew of songs from The Key. From opener ‘Burn’ and ‘Re-Inventing the Future’ you get a glimpse at what this band has in store for this first act of a massively planned trilogy. With saxophone in hand they went into ‘The Fall’ which is one of my favorite songs off the album. Ending the night with ‘Breaking the Silence’ and ‘Empire’, everyone in attendance seemed well satisfied with the song choices of the evening.
From opener to headliner, this was a great night for progressive music fans. The year’s early, but this is easily one of my favorite shows of 2016. Operation: Mindcrime is a must see live act.
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