Mindcrime At The Moore
Any band that opens and closes a show with a rockin' drum corp is going to get noticed. Even in a sea of hair bands back the 80s, Queensrÿche was significantly noticeable, mostly because they were light years ahead in terms of musicality. Safe to say the Seattle-based band has much more in common with Rush than Poison or Motley Crüe. When it came to 1988's Operation: Mindcrime, it was almost as if Queensrÿche was meandering into Pink Floyd land, getting all dark and conceptual like. They even took it on the road, staging a theatrical production with props, actors and video, which spawned a box set. When Operation: Mindcrime II came along in 2006, it seemed like a good opportunity to combine it with its predecessor for another tour. The band's hometown gig was filmed for a 2007 DVD Mindcrime At The Moore, and now makes it debut on Blu-ray Disc.
Wavering somewhere between the ambition of Pink Floyd's The Wall and the ghoulish facade of Alice Cooper, Operation: Mindcrime is the story of Nikki, a junkie, a political revolutionary and an assassin. Watching the frontline of guitarist Michael Wilton, bassists Eddie Jackson and guitarist Mike Stone attack the power chords and, along with drummer Scott Rockenfield, the jagged time signatures of "Revolution Calling" and "I Don't Believe In Love" certainly gives the piece that prog metal credibility. Watching singer Geoff Tate contort, writhe in pain or kick someone's ass, all while singing, is a feat to behold. While some of the "acting" that Tate and Pamela Moore, who plays hooker/nun Sister Mary, is a little over the top, the songs are exquisitely performed within the context of the story.
Operation: Mindcrime II is far less melodramatic, although Tate's characterizations of Nikki seem far more brutal. Musically, however, the sequel is just as evocative and assertive in its assault, with the musicians getting more of the spotlight. Ronnie James Dio, assuming the vocal role of Dr. X, shows up in a video for "The Chase" during the main show, but makes a live appearance on a bonus clip from Los Angeles of the same song. Encoring with "Walk In The Shadows" and "Jet City Woman," Queensrÿche shake off the theatrics and lay down their trademark melodically charged metal with, something they're still doing relatively well to this day. Recorded in DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby Digital 5.1, this high-definition Blu-ray of Mindcrime At The Moore also includes a couple of documentaries - one on the tour and another called "Queensrÿche Rock'n'Ride," which is about the band's charity motorcycle event. If you're a fan of metal, progressive or progressive metal - especially those who like it in hi-def - you'll want to add this one to your collection.
~ Shawn Perry