The penultimate tour for Queensryche starring Geoff Tate wowed fans in Detroit with the performance of his epic concept album, Operation: Mindcrime.
Hailing from the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan, Reign was formed in 2009 as a progressive rock band with influences such as Dream Theater, Rush, Queensryche and Journey. They had me hooked from the first song as they kicked out some jams that took me back to the early days of metal with a fast and heavy hook.
Reign has opened for bands such as Queensryche and Stryper, and has toured with bands like King James. They are entering the studio in late June 2014 to record their second album which is expected to be quite a departure from their dÃ©but album, The Greatest Story Ever Told, released through TMG Records in 2012.
I had never heard of this band before, but they most certainly have my attention on the local scene now. They will be returning to play with Stryper again on June 14th at Diesel Concert Lounge.
Scotty Miller – Lead Vocals
Kari Stein – Vocals
Jarrod Grumblatt – Lead Guitar
Jaimi Grumblatt – Keyboards
Scott ‘Reno’ Parker – Bass
Mike Klaiber – Drums
Up next on stage were the heavy prog-metal band, Imminent Sonic Destruction. A sheer blast in the face of mathematically mutated and distortion of progressive metal sound that encompasses all that is great from the likes of Dream Theater to Meshuggah is a good way to describe this band. Complex melodic tones that scintillate your synapses built upon thunderous bass that rumbles to your core, ISD are a band that knows how to take the best of each genre and meld it together in a blissful wall of sound.
Each member of this band really stands out as a master of their respective instrument, and all of them have spent time touring as support acts for bands such as Dream Theater, Kings X and Sonata Artica.
Imminent Sonic Destruction is:
Pat DeLeon – Drums, Percussion
Pete Hopersberger – Keyboards, Synthesizers, Vocals
Bryan Paxton – Bass, Clean and Harsh Vocals
Tony Piccoli – Lead Vocals, 6 and 7 String Electric Guitars
Scott Thompson – 6 & 12-String Acoustic and Electric Guitars, Classical Guitar, Vocals, MIDI Pedals, Piano
The venue was already packed to the walls front to back when Hurricane had taken the stage in the the main theater room of the venue. No strangers to the concert stage, they brought the spirit of a hard rock show to the hall in full force. Leather clad Jason Ames was a more than capable frontman for the reformed group, commanding a towering stage presence with powerful vocals and a swaggering attitude. Founding members Robert Sarzo and Tony Cavazo strutted about the stage slinging their axes like the eighties had never ended and a full blown MTV video shoot was in process. Mugging and posing for fans in the crowd to take shots with their cameras, you could tell they took great pleasure in having the band back in action. Drummer Mike Hansen was an animal behind the drum kit, pounding the skins in to submission, pulling out every trick in the drummer handbook and then some.
Robert Sarzo – Lead guitar, backing vocals
Tony Cavazo – Bass guitar, backing vocals
Mike Hansen – Drums
Andrew Freeman – Lead vocals, rhythm guitar
The lights dimmed as the opening soundtrack to Operation: Mindcrime echoed across the room with the immediately recognizable whistle of ‘The Nurse’. One of the most epic concept albums ever created, it’s timeless story of revolution, love, despair and redemption transcend the drama that has daunted the factions of the Queensryche fan base over the past few years. The crowd was here to partake in this story that night, experience it, sing it, live it, and have a good fucking time. And that’s what they did.
Stage lights came alive as the anthemic Anarchy-X was delivered with a stunning consistency by guitarists Kelly Gray and Robert Sarzo, with Rudy Sarzo on bass, the haunting keyboards of Randy Gane overlaying the ferocious drumming of Simon Wright. On cue, Geoff Tate emerged from the rear of the stage delivering the message of Revolution Calling, a song that holds true just as much today as it did 25 years ago when the album was first released.
The entire Mindcrime setlist was performed start to finish with the more than capable Sass Jordan filling in for the role of Sister Mary in the duet portion of Suite Sister Mary, the closing song to Act I of the album. The only thing missing from the entire performance were the synchronized video screens that accompanied the show in tours past, but that really didn’t matter; those visuals have long been implanted in the minds of fans long ago. Rounding out the encore of the night were a set of songs from Empire, including what is perhaps the band’s most recognized song, Silent Lucidity.
Throughout the evening I hardly heard any fans discussing the split between the bands. No one really seemed to care at all. They came to hear a masterpiece of work one more time, to celebrate the magic that is Operation: Mindcrime. They came to have fun, and fun they had. At the end of the day, that’s all that really matters.
Queensryche starring Geoff Tate is:
Geoff Tate â€“ vocals
Kelly Gray â€“ lead & rhythm guitars
Robert Sarzo â€“ lead & rhythm guitars
Rudy Sarzo â€“ bass, backing vocals
Simon Wright â€“ drums
Randy Gane â€“ keyboards
Sass Jordan â€“ vocals on ‘Suite Sister Mary’
Photos and article by Mick McDonald