Concert Reviews

Dream Theater
Mar 6th 2004
Pantages Theater, Los Angeles, CA, USA

First off, sorry for such a long time between concert reviews. Does this mean I haven't been going to concerts? Not really, but a hectic schedule has meant this part of the site has been a bit sparse recently, and I've missed doing a bunch of reviews. My apologies, it will not happen again.

While I now live in San Francisco, A Dream Theater concert has invariably meant a concert with my friend Brian, whom lives in LA, so when the band goes out on tour again, it seems only natural to drive down to LA for the show. And boy am I glad I did. It sounded like a good deal, 3 hours of music, Dream Theater, no opening act. I wondered at the set, since previous shows have included all of "Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence", or "Scenes From A Memory", their newest album didn't have any hour long songs on it, so I wondered if the evening would be just a strong collection of individual songs from various albums.

The answer was yes, or at least at the start. After a slide show showing the band throughout the years, they started the show with "As I Am" from the new album, I'm sorry to say that particular song just does not work for me, it's far too derivative, so basically the concert got off on a bad start. But mind you, I decided to look at it as a positive, at least they're getting the song out of the way so I wouldn't have to hear it later. The rest of set 1 was quite good, with songs including 'Caught In a Web', 'The Test That Stumped Them All', and 'Through Her Eyes'. The first set ended with the other song off the new album I don't like, 'In The Name Of God'. Fortunately, those are the only two songs on the new album I don't like, so I was all pumped for the 2nd set.

The second set starts with Mike coming on stage and saying they're going to do something a little special for the LA crowd. And special it was, apparently this was the 15th anniversary to the day their first album was released, and to commemorate the event, the band was going to play "When Dream And Day Unite" in its entirety. And it was fantastic. I always really liked that album, while it was a little rougher than their later material, it always had some really great thrashy guitar work and some really nice hooks, like the bit right at the end of 'Killing Hand' or the final few minutes of 'Matter Of Time'. 'Afterlife' was also a great guitar fest. I love how these guys will just learn 1 hour of music for a single performance (even though the keyboard player seemed to be reading the music off a panel on his keyboard, but hey, he wasn't in the band for that album). It was nice hearing the music with LaBrie on vocals, he did a great job. It was also nice hearing it was Petrucci's new thunderous guitar tone.

After all that, one last surprise, Charlie Dominici (vocalist from their first album, now with short hair) and Derek Sherinian come out and perform in the encore's, the bonus track 'To Live Forever' and 'Metropolis Part 1', which features some great guitar / keyboard solos.

Anyways, a very special night, I hope someone got all this on tape and will sell it promptly.

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