In more ways than one...
Last night my friend Dave and I went to see the Queensryche concert. This was their 'Complete Mindcrime' concert.
Operation Mindcrime was an album that they came out with back in 1988. This ablum tells the story of Nicky, a man who becomes a government assassin. He ends up meeting a nun, who is a former hooker. They fall in love, but she is 'mysteriously' killed. He is accused of the crime and is eventually captured and sent off to prison. Yeah, it sounds like a pretty dark and violent album. It is, but it's also one of the best rock albums I've ever heard. I've been listening to this album for 18 years. I discovered this album back in college and I've lost track of the number of times I've listened to it since.
Earlier this year, they came out with a second album that acts as a sequal to 'Operation: Mindcrime'. This new album was called (cleverly enough) 'Operation: Mindcrime II'. The new album continues the story of Nicky. It's 18 years later, and he is released from prison. He immediately sets off in pursuit of Dr. X, the man who drove him into his life as an assasin, and the man who killed Mary, the nun/hooker. I suppose you could almost call this 'Mindcrime II: The Revenge of Nicky'. :)
I bought Mindcrime II the day it came out and honestly didn't like it much. It was nowhere near as good as the first Mindcrime. When I found out that they were coming in concert to perform both Mindcrimes, and that my friend Dave had already bought tickets, I told him that if he had a spare ticket, that I'd absolutely go with him. He had a spare ticket, which he offered me. That was months ago. Last night was the concert.
The concert started at 7pm. I left work at 6pm on the dot and hoped on the highway. It was raining. I was not happy about this, since the concert was in an outdoor ampitheater. I didn't have a rain poncho and I didn't think they'd let me bring an umbrella, but I went anyway. It took me 45 minutes to drive the 15 miles to the concert. Combine rush hour traffic with rain and you get a very slow crawl. Anyway, I got there at 6:45pm, and was in my seat at 6:50pm. Just in time! The concert starts in 10 minutes. I just made it! The rain had pretty much stopped by this point. It was down to a very light rain. Only a few drops every now and then. I bought a t-shirt and poncho on the way in. A few minutes later, Dave showed up. The concert didn't start until 7:30pm. As soon as the concert started, it started to rain! It rained nonstop for the next 1 1/2 hours. Just long enough for the band to finish performing the first Mindcrime. The performance of the first Mindcrime was a fantastic show. The audience was singing along and having a good time, myself included.
After a 15 minute or so break, the band came back out and performed the entire second Mindcrime. I gotta say that these guys really worked hard out there. It was just one song after another with no breaks at all. No talking to the audience. They just jumped right in and played nonstop. Other than a 15 minute break in the middle, these guys pretty much didn't stop playing for almost 3 hours! It was a great show. They finished the second Mindcrime, and after a couple of encore songs, the show ended. That's when things got really interesting...
Dave and I were just about to leave when these two girls in front of us turned around and handed these two small triangular passes to us and asked if we wanted them. I honestly didn't know what it was. I looked at the pass and all it said was "Queensryche Afterparty". My thought was, "Big deal, some bar in town is having a party after the show. Who cares?" Dave, however was very excited when he saw them. He told me to take the pass. I did. The two girls left. I then asked Dave what the big deal was about these two 'party passes'. He looks at me and says, "They are backstage passes!" Holy crap! I wasn't expecting that! The idea of being able to meet a band I've really liked for 20 years, was great! We went up to the security guys at the front of the stage to ask about it. The told us to sit down over at the front of the audience seats and wait, along with about 20-30 other people who had passes. Apparently the security team had to wait for the entire rest of the amphitheater to empty out before they could let us in. They were really strict about security.
After about 20-30 minutes of waiting, we were led off to a small side building to the side of the stage. We went inside. It was a very plain looking little meeting room. It reminded me of the kind of little side rooms you would see in a church where everyone plays bingo. Nothing to speak of. Just some tables and chairs. Dave and I had no idea we were going to be meeting the band. Apparently a lot of the other people did. They all brought different things for the band to autograph. One guy brought in an entire electric guitar to be autographed. Several guys brought in CDs and one guy even brought in some records to sign! All Dave and I had for them to sign was our new t-shirts. So, the two of us went around and had all the band members sign our t-shirts. Mine was wet! I was worried it would be too wet for the ink to set, but it seemed to work OK. And of course, me being the clueless person I am, didn't even know who was who in the band (other than the lead singer). I had to get Dave to point out who needed to sign my t-shirt. I think I still managed to miss one member of the band since I only got four signatures, but there are five guys in the band. Dave got all five signatures. Oh well. And of course since we had no idea we'd be there, the only camera I had with me was my crappy cell phone camera. But, I had a guy take my picture with the lead singer anyway. That's what that photo is up top of the blog. I'm the goofy guy on the left with the 'Incredibles' t-shirt. The guy on my right is Geoff Tate, the lead singer of Queensryche. How cool is that!
I gotta say that last night was an incredible night, and a night I'll never forget. Thanks for the ticket Dave, and thanks to those girls, whomever you are for the backstage passes!