Sound — 9
Dream Theater has been around for twenty years, and their experience hits a pinnacle on this DVD. It shows a great combination of everything in their line-up, from Another Won (a song from their early, early days), to Octavarium, their latest progressive epic. The first part of the DVD feels like typical DT live stuff (which is always mind-blowing). They sound a bit different live then on CD; this is shown quite a lot with James LaBrie's voice, as it is harder to discern the lyrics in concert then on CD. The second part of the DVD is where they shine; playing with a full orchestra seems to fill a missing gap in the songs they play. The full Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence, for example, seems made for orchestral play, and that song has never sounded more satisfying and complete. Metropolis gave me chills, I can't even go back to the original version!
Content — 10
I paid twenty dollars for the DVD. Well worth every penny. The concert alone clocks in at the very least three hours, which is more than you'll get with traditional DVD's. There's plenty of extra DT content, including clips of previous shows (all the way back to '92) and they even put the Octavarium Cartoon animation in! I still laugh everytime I see Mr. Rudess morph into Santa Claus. Even ignoring my obvious love of DT, this DVD is so packed with stuff that I was honestly wondering if it had been mispriced. There is nothing like having a visual of John Petrucci playing, not only his solo, but John Myung's bass at the same time. An excellent display of skill and music.
Production Quality — 9
Feels like you're there! I love how Dream Theater's DVDs always are. They are mastered and put together perfectly, and they put the same care into their DVDs as their albums (as it must pass under Mike Portnoy's quite observant eye). One great example is the very opening of the Root of All Evil. The darkness, repetition, and overall creepiness factor do an excellent job of injecting the concert with a huge amount of energy.
Overall Impression — 10
Dream Theater has been around a while. They've changed, progressed, and learned their way through twenty years of music. And it shows here. You can tell the difference between their new and their old stuff, and it makes you appreciate how even those who are incredible at what they do still learn over time. What will draw most people in is the orchestral session, and I think I will never forget the first time I heard the intro to Metropolis; I would have given my left arm to have been there. If, for some strange, incomprehensible reason my copy disappeared, I would be back out to find another one the minute I discovered it was missing. This is a must have in any musician's library.