's recorded output has sucked for 10 years, arguably longer. But that doesn't matter anymore, because the Seattle prog-metal outfit's current setlist includes an intensive re-creation of its career-justifying 1988 concept album Operation: Mindcrime
. For those unfamiliar with the plot, Operation: Mindcrime
follows street urchin and heroin addict Nikki, who becomes an assassin for raving megalomaniac Dr. X. Nikki falls for former-prostitute-turned-nun Mary, who is secretly an X agent. Mary dies under suspicious circumstances (this tour promises to reveal the truth), and Nikki wakes up in an asylum. In addition to containing the group's best musical moments ("I Don't Believe in Love," "Eyes of a Stranger," the lengthy, Latin-choir-assisted "Sister Mary Suite"), Operation: Mindcrime
conjures stunning stage imagery, such as when Nikki lights a candle for every political or religious leader he's killed and ends up surrounded by flickering lights. The encore offers a taste of this year's impending Mindcrime
sequel, and an opening greatest-hits set will satisfy casual fans who are only in it for "Silent Lucidity. "