Sound — 9
So, this DVD is Dream Theater, live at Budokan. This DVD is a show during their tour following the release of 2003's Train of Thought studio album. 5 of the 7 songs off Train of Thought are on this album, as well as 13 other tracks. Much of the material produced by the band pre-1997 is not played here with the exception of their 1991 hit Pull Me Under, which is why some fans alienate this DVD. However, the sound quality on this DVD is simply amazing. There are some small tiny parts that you have to strain to hear a bit, but for the most part I was impressed with the sound production. All instruments and the fans are heard quite clearly througout.
Content — 10
As mentioned before, 18 songs played, 5 of 7 from Train of Thought. Beyond This Life off of Scenes From A Memory is a highlight here, as the band makes it into a 20 minute show of instrumetal prowess, Petrucci shines here. Other vivid stand-out tracks for me included Hollow Years, Stream And Conciousness, and In the Name Of God. Disc 2 has much bonus material, a lot I found quite interesting. There is a Japanese Tour Documentary, a Tour Opening video, a bonus angle views for the Instrumedley track found on disc, etc. To the delight of guitarists, John Petrucci goes through his set-up for the show and shows you how he gets all his presets and everything together for the show. Similarly, Jordan Rudess takes you on a trip through his unique rotating keyboard setup, and also Mike Portney shows off in drum solo. All quality material.
Production Quality — 10
This part of the DVD really excelled. Multiple camera angles showed many different shots of the band, much to my liking. Instead of using a lot of faraway shots, or focusing on the audience too much, a lot of the time the camera is focused on the band, and during an instrumental passage would focus on the masters at work, so you could really get a good view of Petrucci going to work, or Rudess's fingers flying over his keyboard. Really amazing job on this part.
Overall Impression — 9
This is the only Dream Theater DVD I own, so though not much to compare to in terms of the band, compared to other artist's DVD's I think this one was quite good. The fact that it had a lot of bonus material really appealed to me, as being a guitarist I found it really interesting to see Petrucci's set-up. All the songs are heard clearly, production/sound/lighting was fabulous, I can't say more about it. If it were lost, I'm extremely sure I would buy it again, as well get the Scenes From A Memory DVD. Small little things I didn't really like keep this from being a 10, and the fact that a lot of early DT material I wouldn't liked to see wasn't on here keep this from being a 10, but it is definately recommended to all DT fans.