USA (Anaheim), July 3, 2012
Cedar redaC, on july 17, 2012 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: My first Dream Theater concert. The band was HOT that night, and James hit every note perfectly. Great set, with a decent balance of classics and the new album. (I think that they played at least one song off of every album except for "Train Of Thought", "Black Clouds" and "Falling Into Infinity", as well as five tracks off of the new album.) Fantastic mix, everyone, including John Myung, was perfectly balanced and that made the show all the better. // 10
Perfomance: 00. Intro tape with "Dream Is Collapsing" by Hans Zimmer - Epic, simply great.
01. "Bridges In The Sky" - great opener, being my first concert, I didn't realize how massive John Petrucci was until the spotlights were on him for the opening riff. Anyway, the crowd was way into it. The band was super locked-in.
02. "6:00" - I don't own "Awake" (yet...), so I wasn't very familiar with this song, but it was great. James hit some crazy-high notes towards the end, not bad for nearly 20 years after the original, eh?
03. "The Dark Eternal Night" - Again, I don't own "Systematic Chaos" (again, yet...) but I am familiar with this song, and I liked it as much as, if not more than, the original. Hearing John Petrucci sing Mike Portnoy's parts during the pre-chorus was really cool.
04. "This Is The Life" - About as close to a "cool-down" as there was after the dark eternal night. Every one was singing along by the end.
05. "The Root Of All Evil" - First track from "Octavarium" and definitely carries the crowd's energy well.
06. "Lost Not Forgotten" - Yeah, the crowd simply went nuts during the "tickle section" as it's called (for the uninitiated, there's an insane unison section after the intro. Check it out.) Great heavy piece.
07. "A Fortune In Lies" - Definitely the wild card. For having not been recorded with James, he did a great job with it. I enjoyed it very much. Jordan did some improving which segued into...
08. "Surrounded" - First track played from "Images And Words". The whole crowd sang the whole thing, it was that great.
09. "On The Backs Of Angels" - The band's first Grammy nomination is certainly so for a reason. I enjoyed every second of it.
10. "War Inside My Head/The Test That Stumped Them All" - Again John Petrucci singing Mike Portnoy's parts, pulled off flawlessly. Some back and forth between John and Jordan and then...
11. "The Spirit Carries On" - Anyone who has seen this live can tell you how great it is, but to summarize my experience, I had cold chills throughout, especially after the solo. Definitely a highlight of the night!
12. "Breaking All Illusions" - My favorite track off of the new album. Performed perfectly and with the same level of emotion as "The Spirit Carries On". Easily the best song to end the set with, I would have paid for another ticket just to see that song and "The Spirit Carries On".
13. "Metropolis Pt.1 (The Miracle And The Sleeper)" - Possibly my favorite song on "Images And Words". It's on YouTube, so check it out for your self. Probably my second favorite version (after "Score") and one the greatest encores I've ever experienced! // 10
Overall Impression: The show was at The Grove of Anaheim, CA, which is set up as kind of a dinner theater, with rectangular tables set up in each "tier". (This has nothing to do with the show, but I had this amazing banana split before the show, so, you know, if you're ever there, get one.) The opening act was a tad eccentric for my taste, but they were actually pretty good (they had members of prog legends King Crimson in the band, if that gives you a clue to their style). Well worth the $45 tickets bought the day before. I live in southern Utah, so I drove down that morning for seven hours, had dinner and went straight to the show. I can easily say, the show was worth every penny, and every ounce of fatigue. I'll definitely have to make the next show they have, hopefully closer to home like Vegas. I hate to rate something all tens for fear of putting people off as a fanboy, but show was actually that good, seriously. // 10