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Queensryche Dresses Up "Mindcrime" Saga For Stage

Of the Oakland Press

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There’s a bit more to Queensrÿche than usually meets the eye this year as the group tours to promote its latest release, the conceptual “Operation: Mindcrime II.”

Playing both “Mindcrime” albums in their entirety — the first came out in 1988 — the Seattle hard rockers have employed actors to create “scenes” from the songs, as well as interactive video segments to further bring the story to life.

“It’s a unique show for a rock band, I guess,” says frontman Geoff Tate, who created the tale of mind-altered assassin Nikki who, in the second installment, is released from prison after 18 years and is seeking revenge on the killer of his girlfriend, Sister Mary.

“We wrote the fi rst (‘Mindcrime’) with the intention of having a sequel to finish the story up,” adds Tate, 47, who’s also working on a fi lm adaptation of the “Mindcrime” story.

“It’s a fun process, very challenging. Sometimes things happened very quickly; sometimes it took days to get an idea where we wanted it. And doing it live, the challenge is to stay true to the story — especially the second part, which takes place in Nikki’s head a lot of the time.”

Tate categorically rules out the possibility of a third “Mindcrime” installment, saying, “I think this tells the story and gets the point across. Anything other than these two parts, I think, is tacky.”

But he’s not ready to say what Queensrÿche’s next project will be.

“We just recently began throwing around some musical ideas, which is a good thing. It usually leads to a record,” Tate says. “When you’re a band, you never really know what you’re going to do next until it’s in your lap and you see what you have to work with. There’s always a little bit of fear involved with it; you just never know what’s around the corner.

“So you just kind of go with it. When the songs start coming and somebody gets an idea that sounds good, you throw yourself into it and, if it’s right, you’ve got a record.”

Queensrÿche performs Sunday at the Emerald Theatre, 31 N. Walnut St., Mount Clemens. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $36.50. Call (586) 913-1920 or visit

Web Site: www.emeraldtheatre.com

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