Dream Theater – Live in Chicago – 11/3/17

Dream Theater, Live at the Chicago Theater, Images, Words, and Beyond tour, November 3, 2017

Setlist:

Act I: The Dark Eternal Night, The Bigger Picture, Hell’s Kitchen, To Live Forever, Don’t Look Past Me, Portrait of Tracy (Jaco Pistorius cover by Myung), As I Am (with excerpt from Metallica’s “Enter Sandman”), Breaking All Illusions

Act II: Images and Words – Pull Me Under, Another Day, Take the Time (with extended guitar solo outro), Surrounded, Metropolis Pt. 1: The Miracle and the Sleeper (Mangini drum solo and extended instrumental jamming), Under a Glass Moon, Wait for Sleep (extended piano intro), Learning to Live

Encore: A Change of Seasons


Pre-show

Last night, I saw Dream Theater live for the very first time, and I was not disappointed. I’ve been wanting to see them for a while, and it turned out that getting to the Chicago Theater from the far north side of the city is quite easy on the sheep herding machine… er public transportation. The Chicago Theater is absolutely gorgeous, and I’m amazed at how big the theater itself is. The theater has around 3,600 seats, and I’d be willing to bet there were over 3,000 people in attendance last night. Even though I was in the second to last row of the balcony, I could see the stage perfectly. The theater is designed in such a way that you can see from anywhere, so there are really no “bad” seats.

The band started off strong with the heavy “The Dark Eternal Night,” which was a perfect way to start the show. Heavy and intense, it pumped the crowd up instantly. When James Labrie came out after the instrumental opening of the song, he connected with the audience right away, including high fiving the people sitting in the pit. Throughout the entire concert, he spoke to the audience and interacted with them. Having only seen official live footage, I always saw Labrie as sort of aloof because there isn’t much interacting in the live footage. However, it is clear that he only acts distant for the filmed shows, because he did a phenomenal job as a frontman. I was thoroughly impressed.

Continue reading “Dream Theater – Live in Chicago – 11/3/17”

Metal Mondays – 30 Years of Dream Theater – Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes From a Memory

medium_ScenesFromAMEmoryAs Dream Theater quietly celebrates their 30th anniversary as a band this year, I bring you a look back at what is likely the group’s best album, Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes From a Memory. Many might argue that Images and Words is their best, but I believe that Dream Theater reached unmatched levels of brilliance on their 1999 album. It is also one of the greatest albums ever created, in my humble opinion.

In the grand scheme of things, I’m a very recent fan of Dream Theater. I didn’t really “get into” the band in earnest until early this year. Somehow, though, I feel as if I have been listening to the band for years. Their music seems to transcend time and emotion, particularly on Scenes from a Memory. This album manages to capture so much emotion, feeling, and spirit through both the lyrics and the music itself. From the seemingly strange concept of a man discovering he is a reincarnation of a woman murdered in the 1920s to the blisteringly brilliant musicianship, Scenes From a Memory grabs the listener and doesn’t let go. The album also manages to reach back to the band’s first album with James Labrie, 1992’s Images and Words. As many of you know, Scenes From a Memory is an extension of the song, “Metropolis Pt. 1: The Miracle and the Sleeper,” and the album manages to include and build upon many of the themes and musical motifs introduced in that song. Continue reading “Metal Mondays – 30 Years of Dream Theater – Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes From a Memory”