Dream Theater at The Tower Theater July 2009

Dream Theater put together and is headlining the Progressive Nation Tour featuring three other progressive rock bands -- Scale The Summit, Bigelf and Zappa Plays Zappa. The Tower Theatre offered a perfect venue for both sound quality and atmosphere.

Dream Theater took the stage behind a giant black curtain. As the curtain dropped, a striking light show and stage setup was reveled. It is hard to say how many pieces were in Mike Portnoy's drum set but more than could be counted. Just the 3 bass drums were hard enough to comprehend.

They started with two songs from the most recent album Black Clouds and Silver Linings. A Nightmare To Remember opened the show followed by Rite Of Passage. Perhaps the biggest crowd pleaser was Prophets Of War from their last album Systematic Chaos with the entire audience singing along and throwing their fist into the air.

With the amazing abilities of all the players, it was difficult to not get hypnotized into watching any one of their performances. John Myung plays the bass as though he were a lead guitar virtuoso. John Petrucci guitar work is considered by many to be the best in the world. Watching Mike Portnoy, you are not sure whether he is man or machine... until you see him spit. Not only does James Labrie offer soaring vocals, he also brings plenty of heart and soul to the stage. Jordan Rudess is both fun and interesting to watch. As a performer, he is a joy to behold. As a musician, he offers complex playing and obscure synthesizers. Because he is such a keyboard wizard, he is portrayed in a wizard costume on the animation that plays on a screen beside him.

Not only does Dream Theater present great eye candy with their light show, they also have two on-stage screens. One is next to Jordan, and the other is a large screen that hangs above the band. Sometimes the large screen is used to show live shots of the musicians playing, but more often than not, it is used to show the story line of the song. On Prophets Of War, animation of an ant colony carrying bullets relayed the message. Whether it was a wheelchair or drops of rain, the video portion would complement the live performance. It is really one of those shows that you have to see (and hear) to believe.

A Nightmare To Remember
Rite Of Passage
Hollow Years
Prophets Of War
Count Of Tuscany

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