OPERATION: MINDCRIME — LIVE RE-INVENTING THE PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE
Date: March 17, 2016
Venue: The Hawthorne Theater
Location: Portland, Oregon, USA
Reviewer: Ruben Mosqueda
Photos: Mike Lewis Photography
It’s been while now since Geoff Tate and his former Queensrÿche bandmates had their very public and venomous falling out. It wasn’t until the fall of 2015 that his former bandmates made their way back to Portland post-divorce; so it was logical that promoters would soon get enough interest and book Geoff Tate — the solo artist.
Tate issued a new album The Key in the fall of 2015. It is part one of a trilogy that will be issued during the course of the next 18 months. Tate no longer fronts his version of Queensrÿche. Instead, he has put together a band that he has dubbed Operation: Mindcrime after Queensrÿche‘s icon concept record.
This brings us to March 17th when Operation: Mindcrime’s tour made a stop at The Hawthorne Theater to a lively audience that was no question already lubricated by their St. Patrick’s Day festivities. Operation: Mindcrime features a revolving line-up with two mainstays: keyboardist Randy Gane and guitarist Kelly Gray. Joining Tate, Gane and Gray on this leg of the tour were guitarist Scott Moughton, bassist Tim Fernley and drummer Scott Mercado (Candlebox).
Operation: Mindcrime opened with a nice one, two punch in “Neue Regel” followed by “Screaming In Digital.” Tate mixed things up a bit by including deep cuts such as “I Am I” and adding ‘true acoustic’ renditions of “Jet City Woman,” “Take Hold of The Flame,” and “Silent Lucidity.” Tate and co. followed it up with a block of new cuts: “Re-Inventing The Future,” “The Stranger,” “Burn” and “The Fall.” Like with many legacy artists, you have to play the hits. “I Don’t Believe In Love,” “Eyes of A Stranger” and “Empire” made a predictable but well received appearance.
There’s no question that Tate has a tight, seasoned group of musicians with Operation: Mindcrime. Moughton brings a Chris Degarmo-esuqe type energy to the music and he was all smiles which seemed to have been contagious amongst his bandmates except for Kelly Gray. That guy is all calm, cool, collected; all business and dresses like he walked off the set of the film Tombstone. Let’s hope that Operation: Mindcrime make Portland a regular stop on their West Coast treks from here forward. It’s a great show.