Panem Et Circenses: Live In Rome, Italy [DVD] review by Dream Theater

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  • Released: Jul 11, 2011
  • Sound: 8
  • Content: 9
  • Production Quality: 7
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 6 (6 votes)
Dream Theater: Panem Et Circenses: Live In Rome, Italy [DVD]

Sound — 8
The sounds is not bad, everything is generally balanced but don't expect audio quality like "Budokan" or "Score". There's nothing on the packaging that says who mixed/mastered the audio but the quality is on par with DT's bootleg live albums (best compared to "Dark Side Of The Moon") so I'm guessing it was Portnoy. Keys are little loud sometimes but I'm not complaining, you really get to hear some of the cool stuff Jordan does in the background that isn't as obvious on their studio albums (especially on "Panic Attack").

Content — 9
The set list is "Octavarium" in its entirety. The performance is great, Petrucci trips over a couple small notes in his solo on "Panic Attack" but otherwise there's no noticeable flaws. You get to see Myung do some two-handed tapping during "The Root Of All Evil" that the camera skips out on during "Score". There's a couple priceless moments during "Never Enough". During the second verse, the John have a special moment. You'll have to see it yourself because it's not something that can be explained in words. During the last chorus, something hilarious happens that involves Portnoy and LaBrie, I won't spoil it for those who haven't seen it.

Production Quality — 7
Something to note, this DVD was released in 2011 but was recorded in the "Octavarium" era so don't let the release date fool you. It might have been a bootleg before that but I'm not entirely sure. There isn't really much in terms of production, it's relatively raw so don't expect it to be as theatrical as some of DT's other live releases like "Budokan". You still get to see the insane light show that DT like to make full use of so that's pretty cool but don't expect to feel like you're sitting in the crowd. It doesn't have as live of a sound as some of their other stuff.

Overall Impression — 8
As I mentioned before, this doesn't stand up to some of DT's other live DVDs but it's still an essential for any hardcore fan, some songs like "These Walls" or "Never Enough" don't appear on any other official DVD releases so it's nice to have a live version of them. If you don't own any of DT's live stuff then I wouldn't recommend this as a starter. If you're looking to expand your collection then this is something you won't regret. I would most definitely buy a new one if the unfortunate were to happen.

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    You mean the live Bootleg ? Of course it's not going to have the same level of production.