TCC Music Hall, Monday, Feb. 14

Love, madness and depression filled the air of the TCC Music Hall on St. Valentine's Day, as a near-packed house of lovebirds, gigolos and singles witnessed a uniquely impressive performance from '80s rock sensation Queensryche.

What made the performance special was that it was broken into two sets, with no opening act. The first was a greatest-hits set, which only lasted 45 minutes (and included a lot of banter); the second was the group performing, in its entirety, Operation: Mindcrime, their classic 1988 concept album.

"Tucson, it's gonna get strange later tonight," announced frontman Geoff Tate midway through the first set.

Representing their 20-year catalog during their first set, Queensryche performed the arena-rocker "Open" from their latest release, Tribe, and dipped as far back as 1984's The Warning for "Take Hold of the Flame," with Tate hitting every note perfectly.

The band ended the first set with their radio power ballad "Silent Lucidity," then stepped offstage for a half-hour to prepare for a more sadistic way to honor Valentine's Day.

The Operation: Mindcrime set revisited the late '80s, when the band's popularity was at its highest. The same movie (an enactment of the album) played on video screens throughout the performance, portraying the troubled Nikki, along with various political, war and porn images.

Reliving her part and voice as Mary was Pamela Moore, who appeared on the original Mindcrime album, while Tate himself acted out the role of Dr. X.

During "Revolution Calling," Tate emphasized the end of each chorus by shouting, "It's time to make a change." The group's mindset during the Reagan presidency has obviously been re-fueled by the nation's current political situation.

After an hour of love, betrayal, human suffering and politics, the show finally came to an end. All players appeared arm-in-arm and bowed to the crowd before exiting the stage. Before the house lights hit, Queensryche teased the crowd by playing a track off the upcoming Operation: Mindcrime II over the PA system.

Strange, indeed.

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More by Jon Hobson


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