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Three decades have passed since Queensrÿche left their massive footprint on Rock with their impressive album, Operation: Mindcrime and a lot has happened since then. We all know the story about Geoff Tate's explosive departure from the band but through rough waters both Tate and his former band mates have pressed on separately to create some new and momentous works.

Die-hard fans of Geoff Tate's longstanding career stood outside Star Theater in Portland, Oregon and proudly traded stories about the last time they saw their heroes perform together decades ago. The members that made up the band, Operation: Mindcrime were a handpicked ensemble of talented musicians that would perform the album in its entirety along with some fan favorites throughout the night.

Rooted in Southern Hard Rock, Mark Daly, the talented singer/songwriter from Ireland, who also has a long history performing alongside Tate and Operation: Mindcrime, opened the night along with his band. With acoustic guitar in hand, Daly performed a handful of tracks off his latest release, When the Stars Align. His performance of the song, "Addicted to the Thrown" took a turn towards the somber and was the highlight for myself as was "Wasted Days," which Daly explained was the result of waking from a dream with a feeling of dread thinking his days were numbered. Overall, Mark Daly and his band were a welcome and unexpected surprise to the night.

After 30 years of its release, the album, Operation: Mindcrime is still hailed as one of the greatest Hard Rock releases of all time. Chills ran their way up my arms once that ominous recording of a doctor's visit gone bad on "I Remember Now" started playing overhead. For many, this was a chance to relive their prime and for others it was a chance to pay tribute to a living legend. And with Tate's strict "No Cell Phone Policy" in full effect, we were free to enjoy the performance without having to deal with a sea of tiny screens distracting from the performance.

Seasoned guitarist and Tate's right hand man, Scott Moughton, who worked with Tate on his first solo album and Operation: Mindcrime's trilogy of albums, added a much needed sense of legacy to the night which at times felt unbalanced with so many young musicians on stage; including guitarist, Kieran Robertson who rounded out the band adding a welcome but sometimes obtrusive, youthful energy to the night.

We sang along word for word to the album's hits, "Revolution Calling", "I Don't Believe in Love" all the way to the album's finale, "Eyes of a Stranger" as well as every song in between. One of the highlights and to much applause was the appearance of professional opera singer, Michelle LaJeunesse who joined Tate for a powerful rendition of "Suite Sister Mary." Towards the end of the night, Operation: Mindcrime performed a selection of their standards from Queensrÿche's hit album, Empire. There was absolutely no getting away from "Best I Can" and "Empire" as well as "Everyone's favorite song to make babies to, "Silent Lucidity," as Tate so proudly brought up before singing their biggest hit and finally ending the night with fan favorite, "Jet City Woman."

Even after 30 years, Operation: Mindcrime as a rock standard holds up surprisingly well, even by today's overcritical and demanding musical standards. An excellent album is just that, an excellent album. Geoff Tate and Operation: Mindcrime performed each song with the same enthusiasm and intensity as a young Queensrÿche still hungry to make a name for themselves. If there's one concert this season that you don't want to miss, it's Operation: Mindcrime's 30th Anniversary Tour, as it may never well happen again and you'll be kicking yourself till the end of time for missing your chance (or at least your dad will).

Raul Soria Jr.

Photojournalist - Portland

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