2011-05-20 / Local News

Opening act

Local man’s band ‘Shockopera’ warming up for ‘Symphony X’
By SCOTT POWELL Ledger Staff Writer spowell@gaffneyledger.com

Shockopera Shockopera David McBee is ready for the biggest concert of his life.

The Gaffney native’s band, Shockopera, opens for Symphony X Saturday at 8:30 p.m. at Tremont Music Hall in Charlotte. Shockopera appears on the concert bill with national heavy metal acts Powerglove, Blackguard and Symphony X.

Symphony X is presently completing a headlining tour in North America in preparation for the June 21 release of their new CD “Iconoclast” on the Nuclear Blast record label. Symphony X is one of the top progressive metal acts worldwide, selling more than 60,000 copies of its 2007 CD “Paradise Lost” in North America.

Symphony X guitarist and composer Michael Romeo is renown for mixing classical music elements with heavy guitars and keyboards to form a musical style often called symphonic metal. Lead singer Russell Allen has a powerful voice capable of singing a wide range of material such as the band’s 24-minute song “Odyssey” based on the classic epic poem by Greek poet Homer.

“It is an honor to have the opportunity to open for Symphony X, a band that I have idolized for many years,” McBee said. “I am looking forward to playing on stage with my brothers in arms in Shockopera and Symphony X to put on a great concert.”

McBee has been the lead singer for Shockopera since the progressive metal band was formed in 1999 in North Carolina. He took a year off in 2010 to record and tour in France before returning to his hometown in Gaffney.

Local record label owner Terry Harris has recently re-issued the band’s 2007 release “Ghosts of White Chapel,” a concept album which recreates the mysterious events surrounding the infamous Jack the Ripper’s reign of terror in England. Hollywood actress Ashley Laurence contributed voiceovers to the project which was first distributed at the 2007 ProgPower USA festival in Atlanta.

Symphony X bassist Michael Lepond recorded the bass tracks for the song “Playing with Fire” in 2009 and will perform the song live on stage with Shockopera.

“We plan to play songs from all our CDs and are writing some new songs,” McBee said. “We are excited about the opportunity to play before a big crowd with Symphony X. This show is going to be epic.”

Doors open at 7:30 p.m. at Tremont Music Hall for the Symphony X concert. The show begins at 8:30 p.m.

Tickets are still available for $25. There is a $3 surcharge for people under the age of 21.

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