After Dream Theater’s terribly organized latest visit in Greece back in July, through no fault of their own of course, and with the extra motivation of seeing ‘Metropolis pt.2 : Scenes from a Memory’ performed in its entirety, I travelled to Amsterdam to replace these memories with fresher, better ones. All I can say afterwards is ‘mission accomplished’ and ‘you should do the same’!
An evening with Dream Theater: A three-hour-long full course meal, when conditions allow for it. I will not say much about the first part of the show, since the songs that were played were pretty much the same as in Athens recently, with ‘Barstool Warrior’ and ‘In the Presence of Enemies, Part I’ combining nicely and making a few jaws drop to the floor.
‘Scenes from a memory’ then, the main event. Apart from the 30 seconds of silence held in memory of great teacher Neil Peart midway through, the songs followed one another seamlessly, as if you were listening to the cd, annoying perfection all the way. James LaBrie, a favorite target for internet ‘connoisseurs’, struggled here and there with the really high stuff, but his endurance during such a long and difficult show is remarkable. The other guys really do make the impossible seem easy. ‘Home’ stood out, one of the best DT songs ever – inspiration, complexion, melody, all condensed – with John Petrucci really showing who’s the boss, playing the main riff with only one hand because he… can.
‘The Spirit Carries On’ and ‘Finally Free’ led to the grand finale with ‘At Wit’s End’ (with a few bars of ‘Closer to the Heart’ for good measure) played during the encore. Although the latter is one of my favorites ‘Distance over Time’ tracks, maybe a classic catalogue song would have been more appropriate to keep the momentum going after such a climactic experience.
‘Open your eyes, Nicholas’
Photos: Aggeliki Damilou