April, a time for spring and new beginnings is upon us. The
fifth of April 2016 held new beginnings to the extreme in
Niagara Falls, New York as the long awaited return of
Disturbed had final come. Performing in Niagara Falls own
historic Rapids Theatre, fans were ready. Lined up hours upon
hours early, the line to enter had already snaked it’s way from
the front admission door to half way around the entire venues
grounds. No surprise really since fans have been waiting for
such a show beginning in 2011 when the band took its official
“hiatus” to pursue other side projects and re-group. Another
point, which again comes as little to no surprise, is how this
show sold out in a matter of just a couple days from it’s initial
To behind the nights sold out capacity escapades was FT
Lauderdale’s own Nonpoint. Hailing from formation in 1997
and celebrating their highest US Billboard 200 chart ranking
with 2014’s “The Return”, these Florida based thrashers had
their work cut out for them. Opening for a band with five
number one albums, and having had a rapid anticipatory
return since 2011? Starting the set off “Miracle”, vocalist Elias
Soriano immediately got the crowd into the night’s
performance. With each song of the ten-song set, tension
seemed to build as fans anticipated what was to come. A
special treat, and the spark that lit the fuse was Nonpoints
cover of the Phil Collins classic, “In the Air Tonight”. For a
more serene song, it drove the mosh-pit into overdrive.
Opening with “10, 000 Fists”, the energy of the crowd
exploded to near riot levels. This is what fans had waited for,
This is what fans expected. This is what fans have desired for
several years since 2011! Not slowing down in the set and
shredding right into the destructive hit, “The Game”, the entire
floor transformed and portion of the balcony transformed into
one act of controlled aggressive power. Everyone was moving,
clawing, scraping in the pit trying to get closer to the “Sickness”
performing for his or her pleasure. Song three of the night
brought a new helping and track in the form of “The Vengeful
One”, to be heard live for the first time by the dedicated fans of
Disturbeds massive seventeen song set-list included a
couple highly anticipated covers of their own. “Land of
Confusion” and the new “Sounds of Silence”, both received the
updated “lighter” treatment, with the entire house raising their
cell phones to illuminate the venue. A third cover of sorts
included a mash up medley of “Closer/I still Haven’t Found
What I’m Looking For? Baba O’Riley/Killing In the Name Of”,
showing the band more fun spirited side and how they
themselves are fans of music just as we are. Being slightly
camera friendly, really camera friendly actually, Disturbed
gave photographs personal poses and played up to the lenses.
Most importantly, Disturbed played the crowd, the fans, their
lifeblood. Each member in their own way shouted out to the
crowd, fist bumped fans, exuding evidence that Disturbed
themselves are back, happy to be back, and ready to destroy a
town near you. Check out Disturbeds’ official page for dates
and venues near you.
AS Buffalo, NY was continuing with it’s unseasonable
weather residents and music fans alike were ready for a much-
needed reprieve of the cold gloom called winter. On April 7,
2016 at Buffalo, NY’s Tralf the call of the masses was heard.
Operation:Mindcrime, fronted by former lead singer and song
contributor of Queensryche, was the one and only Geoff Tate.
Bringing new ideas a new band, and a new sense of
invigoration, Operation:Mindcrime was touring in support of
its 2015 debut, “The Key”. In the genius musical story telling
style of Tate, it is slated to be the first installment of three,
making it a trilogy album. A brave and very daring move on
Tate’s part to tackle a three-part concept album. Really though,
would we expect anything less?
In grand fashion, the set list was enormous. Premiering a
healthy dose of cuts from “The Key”, and several Tate led
Queensryche classics, the nights performance boasted twenty
songs. Fans were even treated to a small acoustic set sporting
the large bass of the “big band” era. When Tate is involved, it
will always be done with taste and style. Speaking of style, the
bands on stage presence seemed to represent a “grey area” as
most band members were adorned with a dressier
sophisticated look, but at the same time a contradiction. The
one obvious contradiction came in guitarist Kelly Gray.
Adorned in a black “western” attire, but sporting a silver badge
of the law. I thought it was the bad guys who wore black?
Then we come to Tate himself that sported a greyish
sophisticated look. Maybe the message was there is no
absolute in life but what we perceive or constrain ourselves
too? I digress.
The special acoustic set consisted of “Jet City Woman, Take
Hold of The Flame, Silent Lucidity, and The Weight of The
World.” These unorthodox spins on the songs were well
received by fans in Buffalo this night. For such an intimate
venue, the Tralf had the energy of a large-scale concert hall
with how fans reacted to the performance of “Silent Lucidity.”
At one point that particularly caught this writer’s attention,
was Tate’s musical part during the song, “The Fall”, Tate had a
saxophone solo. The significance to me was the thoughtful and
tasteful use of an instrument not known to make regular
appearances in the realm of hard rock.
To round out the night, and a spectacular encore, Operation:
Mindcrime performed “Breaking The Silence”, and “Empire”.
Just like that, in a blink of an eye, the show was now done.
Mindcrime will be hitting a city/venue near you so check out
their official site and don’t say the closest date is too far. A
lovely couple made the journey from Pittsburgh, PA, nearly
four hours away to catch this night’s performance and was
gallivanting to Rochester, NY for the following show. Pack
your bags and dot it. You know you want to!