Sunday, 11 October 2009

Dream Theater Live Report

Got in around 7pm and Bigelf were playing as I walked in. They sounded ok. Warm, fuzzy, heavy prog rock played by very 70s spaced out looking people. I saw about 4 songs. Portnoy got on the drums for one of their songs. I had already missed Unexpect but not a massive loss for me as I don't get their brand of technical weirdness. Mind you it would have been cool to see if they can pull it off live, anyway I didn't lose any sleep over it.

Next it was Opeth or Odear as I called them last night. They bored me shitless. The sound was less than good for them when they played the heavier songs. I listened to about 3 songs and I thought fuck this for a game of soldiers - I'm going for a pint and a hot dog. So I went for a little walk round to the other side of the arena and poppped my head in to see that Odear were still on stage .......yaaaaaaawwwwnnnnn. (Sorry Opeth fans they bored me badly)

Finally they left and the roadies got the stage ready for DT behind a large black curtain which meant you couldn't actually see what they were doing. At 9.15 their intro started playing, being a DT first timer and non DT fan I didn't really know what to expect but have heard so many good things about their live performance. The thing is I don't listen to DT much at all but when I listen it's quite enjoyable. Anyway as the show started the sound was way way better than it was for Odear. Much crisper and clearer. I can't even tell you exactly what songs they played well apart from the encore which was Count of Tuscany and the best song of the night no doubt. I must say the live James Labrie experience is much much better than the one on plastic. The guy is a supreme live prog metal singer, sounding much much more powerful than I was expecting. Petrucci and the keys guy whose name I forget were both great. The bassman Myung was ace too and Portnoy was solid as well.

I think enjoyed the over the top progressive jam session parts best of all with the band members really playing tighter than the proverbial nun's whatsit. The drum solo section was a bit too much though lol. Portnoy called each individual drummer from the other three groups out to jam with him on his ginormous kit and then finally all four of them were bashing away! Now if you've seen his drum kit you'll know that it's like a spaceship landed at the front of the arena or something. It's really massive so four guys sitting at it was not really a problem but that part probably took up 15-20 minutes of the set when we could have done with a Pull Me Under or something a song which was sadly omitted. I guess they are sick of playing it but being a first timer I would have liked to hear it.

Anyway the 5000 or so metalheads of various ages were well happy with their heroes as DT took a final bow and the show ended at 10.50. So now I have "wanting to catch DT live" out of system I doubt I will go again. They were damn great and professional as hell, but the ticket price prohibits me in general from wanting to see them again. I will leave that to the fanboys and trust me they were out in full force last night. Speaking of the crowd I must say that DT attracts some of the most varied crowds I have ever seen at a metal show. You get absolutely all sorts of folks there. From professor looking types to 12-13 year old fanboys to black metal fans and even a few goths and a lot of regular looking people who don't probably normally attend metal shows. I guess DT music can appeal to anyone really which is all the more credit to them.

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