Maybe its just because I had it drilled into my head by Eric Nowinski at the old Cats Records in Murfreesboro, but Ive got a soft spot for Operation: Mindcrime, Queensryches 1988 rock opera/concept album setting an amalgam of The Manchurian Candidate, The Parallax View and The Prisoner to a score of arena-metal ordnance. Even without Freddie Mercurys music-hall pipes or cock-rock bravado, singer Geoff Tate had enough theatrical panache to pull off the albums paranoiac revolutionary grandstanding both on record and liveenough, anyway, to banish that faint taste of Kilroy Was Here. The bands still riding its momentum more than 20 years later, but theyre currently touring behind their latest album, American Soldier, which features Tates 11-year-old daughter Emily on its lead single Home Again. As for Ford, even if the former Runaway went power ballad while bandmate Joan Jett went punkher Close My Eyes Forever duet with Ozzy Osbourne was a Top 10 smashshe remains a woman metal hero among precious few. Raise your lighter with respect.
Wed., Nov. 11, 8:30 p.m., 2009