Rock singer Geoff Tate of progressive metal band Queensrÿche and solo notoriety will celebrate the 30th anniversary of “OPERATION:MindCrime” at the Canyon Santa Clarita Saturday night, Aug. 18, by performing the epic 1988 concept album in its entirety.
Tate is No. 14 on Hit Parader’s list of the “100 Greatest Metal Vocalists of All Time” and the million-selling “OPERATION:Mindcrime” ranks No. 34 on Kerrang! magazine’s “100 Greatest Heavy Metal Albums of All Time.”
Through powerful tracks like “Revolution Calling,” “I Don’t Believe in Love” and “Eyes of a Stranger,” Tate and his five-piece band – also named OPERATION:Mindcrime – will replay the album’s bizarre storyline, which he said started as a study in human nature.
“Nikki, the lead character, is a confused young (recovering drug addict) who gets caught up in a revolutionary movement that’s trying to make dramatic, sweeping changes,” Tate said in late July, calling between shows in Italy.
“Along the way, Nikki falls in love with a Mary, who happens to be a nun. And it gets even more strange from there,” Tate said, as Nikki gets tangled up with bad actors including the evil Dr. X and the corrupt Father William.
Along with “OPERATION:Mindcrime,” Tate’s Canyon Santa Clarita set will include Queensryche favorites like “Jet City Woman,” “Empire” and “Silent Lucidity.”
While Queensryche famously added spectacle to their concerts with big multimedia production, Tate’s solo shows focus more on the music and message.
“I have a great band who performs the album in its entirety to perfection and have a great time doing it,” he said. “It really comes off to the audience as being very sincere and real. That’s how I want the audience to feel about the album.”
On the “OPERATION:Mindcrime” 30th anniversary tour, Tate, now 59, and his longtime collaborator Scott Moughton (guitar) are backed by much younger guys
Kieran Robertson (guitar), Jack Ross (bass), Josh Watts (drums) and Bruno Sa (keyboards).
Tate’s daughter, Emily, fronts her own group before joining her headlining dad to sing the parts of Sister Mary.
“She’s an incredible singer – really delivers night after night,” he said. “And she’s also our opening act. Her band Till Death Do Us Part has been opening all my shows over the last year.”
Tate can’t explain why “OPERATION:Mindcrime” still blows people away after 30 years, but he’ll take it.
“It’s magic,” he said. “I just know the album really struck people and held on tight, and now my fans have grown up and they’re bringing their kids to the shows. It’s a strange phenomenon, but I feel very fortunate the album stands the test of time and still has people buying tickets to see and hear it performed 30 years later. That’s a wonderful feeling.”
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Find the Canyon Santa Clarita on the ground floor of the Westfield Valencia Town Center. Get tickets at the box office 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Saturday, by phone at 888-645-5006, or via TicketMaster.com. For more info, visit www.WheremusicmeetstheSoul.com.
Stephen K. Peeples is a Grammy-nominated record producer and award-winning radio producer and journalist based in the Santa Clarita Valley. He has covered the SCV music scene for local media since 2004. Contact him via stephenkpeeples.com.