June 11 [16:00 EDT] -- Secret dates seem to be the in thing these days and Queensrÿche got in on the action with a "Hidden Desert Show" in front of a small number of winning fans and 29 satellite dishes at the space age Very Large Array facility in Magdalena, New Mexico, June 5.
The performance was broadcast via satellite to 120 rock radio stations around the country. The band played an hour and a forty-five minutes although only eight songs were broadcast live on the air. The location was not disclosed prior to the event.
The Very Large Array is a major astronomical radio observatory openied in 1980, consisting of 27 giant (81-foot) antennas arranged in a huge Y pattern. The operation observes astronomical objects including the stars, the sun, the planets and most recently the Hale-Bopp comet and also tracks weather features and satellites. It¹s located on the Plains of San Agustin, west of Socorro, New Mexico.
The facility was also used as the backdrop in the forthcoming film "Contact" starting Jodie Foster, based on the Carl Sagan's novel of the same name.
Geoff Tate commented in a press release, "We had heard of this site for years. We thought this location was the most sophisticated listening post on earth and felt it was particularly appropriate with the theme of our new album."
The album, "Hear in the Now Frontier" has already seen the first single, "Sign Of The Times," lodged in the Top 5 at rock radio. The band's official 40-city tour will kick off in Rapid City, SD on June 17.
Says Queensrÿche, in hopes of foraging new frontiers for unsigned talent, the band will gracefully be offering the opening slot on their tour to one unsigned band in each market.