Concert Reviews

Dream Theater - Spock's Beard
Aug 20th 2000

You may remember the situation earlier this year, Dream Theater performs at the palace, the palace sells too many tickets. The cops show up and close down the concert with riot police. Boy was I mad! We never did get refunds, but that's not the band's fault really, lets just say I won't be going to the palace again (unless someone really fucking special is playing there). So anyways, they're coming back to LA, this time, two shows at the House of Blues. But the band is now no longer playing Metropolis part II all the way through on the current tour, they're playing a new set of varied older material. So what do they do? They decide to play Metropolis part 2 anyways, just for the people who may not have gotten a chance to see it last time. I have to hand it to these guys, that was a really nice gesture.

So, well, Spock's Beard came on first, and they, were, well, too happy. Although great musicians and some good long and complex songs, they always had this really way too happy, I don't mean actually happiness, I mean the cheesy Brady bunch sorta happy look on their face through every moment of every song. Next!

Dream Theater took the stage with the sound of the grandfather clock, and Metropolis Part II began. And, they played it all the way through, all 75 minutes in a row. And I was drained after that (I bet they were too). Sound wise, the band had the perfect mix, although the bass player was a little low. All the other instruments were uncannily clear, with really beautiful sound. Jordan had this really long keyboard solo where he was doing 3 finger chords at the speed most piano players do single notes!!! John got a chance to break out a bit in the middle of the album, in general, everyone got some solo time, but it was all really well integrated into the songs, so it didn't feel like "Insert guitar solo here!" but it actually worked with the music which was really nice. We also got a little audio/visual presentation during the songs, some video footage that helped explain what really happened to Victoria and Nicholas. I don't know, the final note of the final part of the song ended, and I felt I had really just experienced something, not just seen a live performance. And I guess that is the cool thing about the band, and moreso about playing a 75 minute song, it's like seeing a play on broadway, only the music is like 100 times better. I am really not a fan of prog metal (since most of it tends to fall into the Spock's Beard category), but Dream Theater seem to have something a little different, a slightly angrier edge, and there's still some nice softer and quieter parts. Good shit. They came back for an encore of several songs (medleys, really), parts of 'Pull Me Under', 'The Mirror', a song from the Liquid Tension Experiment, and most of 'Metropolis Part 1', to name a few of the songs they touched on. If you're a fan, you will not be disappointed. Well, as long as they don't oversell the show :)

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