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Dream Theater

Live in Boston, MA, August 2005

Review by Josh Turner

Dream Theater was pretty good, but not excellent. With the exception of a couple songs, most of them have been performed untold times in past concerts. They represented most of their albums. Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence was grossly neglected and Awake, Scenes from a Memory, and Images & Words only got minimal attention.

The new choices were selections that sound awfully similar to many of their classics. They started with their most recent album and then went onto Train of Thought. For the most part, they played one of their new compositions and then gave an earlier album some attention. They went back and forth like this for the duration.

I thought the song that really came together impressively was "Just Let Me Breathe." The rest of the concert kind of blurred together. The last thirty minutes abandoned the new album completely. The encore for all practical purposes occurred immediately after the main selections as they didn't get as much applause as they usually do, but obviously had an intention to play what was previously picked.

I was itching to hear the title track off Octavarium. They didn't play it. To me, that made no sense. They are touring to support a new album. Their showpiece and title track was never played. Who came up with the logic behind this decision? In the end, they only played three songs off the Octavarium album and those were nothing more than re-hash of earlier numbers. Unless you were really familiar with the band, you'd be hard-pressed to isolate what was what. I happen to follow the band closely and I found myself asking, what song is this, and getting shoulder shrug responses.

Altogether a very good effort, but I expected much, much more. What's interesting to point out is this band toured previously with Queensryche and Yes. It goes to show their versatility and I can understand on some level how they chose songs from their catalog that would appeal to an allegedly hardcore audience. However, I found many people, myself included, came specifically for Dream Theater. While nobody wanted to admit it among such a heavy-metal-dominated crowd, numerous people secretly wanted to see the 24 minute title-track epic performed on stage. Personally, I was displeased by this omission. I guess I'll have to wait for a future tour. Maybe they'll someday team up on tour with a band that has epic-laden albums and the song will spontaneously surface in a live atmosphere..

All in all, the concert was good, but I've seen better. Personally, I wanted to hear the title track off their latest or more of Six Degrees or Scenes from a Memory or some of the golden oldies from their past. It's obvious what direction they're heading in. I've seen them many times. This was the most boring one yet as it were similar-sounding songs with simple power riffs.

In the end, they just didn't play up to their potential.
This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2005 Year Book Volume 4 at
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