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ConcertsAn Evening With Dream Theater-Civic Hall, Wolverhampton, UK 2/15/2014

Posted on Sunday, March 02 2014 @ 11:57:02 CST by Pete Pardo
Progressive Metal

With only three UK dates this was one hot ticket, to see the masters of modern progressive Metal in a theater setting as opposed to the usual enormousness is a rare thing.

As the title suggests this was a pure Dream Theater experience, three hours of musicianship at its best. A curtain showing projections shielded the stage until showtime then right on cue we entered Dream Theater heaven. A massive screen behind the band was used to great effect, new track 'The Enemy Inside' really gave the P.A. a pounding and encouraging signals for what sound quality was to be like throughout the night. The best song that Rush never actually wrote, 'The Looking Glass' brought memories of the Canadian outfit to the forefront in an almost paying homage kinda way.

The first saw some new material off their latest self titled album sitting effortlessly next to the established tracks. LaBrie was on top form and Mangini behind the kit was a monster, no longer the new kid he's certainly made this gig his own, firmly establishing himself as a concrete member of the band. 'Enigma Machine' showed off the musicianship on display with the crowd air drumming and guitar slinging in appreciation, along with a 'Spy Vs Spy' like animation on the screen. 'Along For The Ride' sees arms raised aloft swaying like a Rock concert should, it's good to see that amongst all the pomp and majesty there's still a place for some old school arm swaying. The intermission made way for some YouTube footage and various visual delights before the band re-appeared for Act 2.

Kicking off with 'The Mirror' it was soon obvious that we were going to get some much older material infiltrating the set, to the obvious delight of the die hard fans. As the evening progressed John Petrucci really came into his own, a true six string slinger with a delicate touch and a devastating degree of delivery, every riff and chord precise and punchy. Complemented by the soundscapes of Jordan Rudess it was great to see the pair duelling with pin point precision. 'Illumination Theory' brought the end of Act 2 making way for the inevitable encore, ending with 'Finally Free' it seemed an apt way to bring this Dream Theater extravaganza to its climatic conclusion. Since my first live introduction to Dream Theater in Las Vegas in March 2006 I've not looked back, that too was classed as an evening with and along with fellow prog masters Rush I'm sure there'll be plenty more entertaining evenings in the future.

Act One
1) The Enemy Inside
2) The Shattered Fortress
3) On The Backs of Angels
4) The Looking Glass
5) Trial of Tears
6) Enigma Machine (with drum solo)
7) Along For The Ride
8) Breaking All Illusions
Act Two
9) The Mirror
10) Lie
11) Lifting Shadows Off a Dream
12) Scarred
13) Space-Dye Vest
14) Illumination Theory
15) Overture 1928
16) Strange Déjà Vu'
17) The Dance of Eternity
18) Finally Free

Words & Pictures
Mark Davies

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