Dream Theater Live in Stockholm

By Tokemaster General, Contributor
Tuesday, February 3, 2004 @ 10:55 PM

Dream Theater Live at Hovet in

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Reviewed by: jakemusic

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This concert was part of Dream Theater's 2004 European tour and was ”An Evening With,” which means no support act. The fact that there was no support act was a bummer, since DT usually brings great openers to their shows. At least I've never been disappointed here in Sweden, or what do you say about openers like Fates Warning, Spock's Beard or Pain of Salvation? On the other hand DT played two sets and two encores which totally lasted for more than 3 ½ hours.

The consert was great, but I will start with some complaints and then I will go over to the good stuff. First of all, I have to say that I used to be very proud of the Swedish metal scene. It's amazing that such a small country can produce so much quality metal. Even though I know it happens from time to time, I have to say that the audience made me very disappointed. You'll have to exuse my language, but the audience was, with some exceptions of course, too fucking lame. Even the pit was lame. One can argue that the venue (Hovet) they played at is famous for a lack of intimacy and bad acoustics, but that's no excuse in my book... C’mon Sweden – THIS WAS NOT GOOD ENOUGH!!! The response from the audience came out much better after the 15 minute break though. Also, the vocals were too loud and the bass was too muddy, but the guitar sound was awesome. Part of Petrucci's trademark is his ability to always sound great. Of course he has some very good gear, but it's just as much in his fingers. Mike Portnoy was not as good as we're used to. He did a few dramatic mistakes, but I heard he had a cold which could be an explanation to that. This was probably not the best DT concert I've seen, but that doesn't mean it was bad. DT is a professional band and they always deliver.

Now to the good stuff: The music.

The first set started with a video which was a short summary of DT's career all from the Majesty years to their latest album. Then John Myung entered the stage as the intro to ”As I Am” began. When he hit the first notes, you just knew this was gonna be a great night.

The stage was quite large and it was very clean. Nothing except the band and their instruments. They had three large video screens that sometimes showed the band and sometimes showed videos on the theme of the songs (like the ones they had on the ’Scenes From a Memory’ tour/DVD) or just some, not very good, animations. As soon as someone broke out into a solo they made close-ups on the largest videoscreen, which was very cool. I think most of their audience are musicians and, at least for me as a guitar player, it was great to get a good view of John's technique. Mike's drumkit was huge and was actually two kits merged into one, just like on the last tour.

After ”As I Am,” they broke into ”This Dying Soul” just like on the CD. Both songs sounded very good with the only drawback that the vocals were too loud. After two songs from the latest album, it was time for an oldie – ”Under a Glass Moon.” This is, in my opinion, one of their finest songs and it made me go crazy. They played it very tight and accurate. After three songs it was time for the first instrumental jam. It was a short keyboard solo by Jordan Rudess. He played very good and with a lot of feel, even though I head he had an acing back. In my opinion, Jordan lifted this band to new hights when he joined. He definitely classifies as one of the greatest keyboardists in the progressive genre.

I won't go through all songs in detail, since that will take up too much space, but I will go through the high spots. You're free to have a look at the set-list provided below.

In ”Beyond This Life,” they made a very cool jam. At first it seemed like everybody was into their own thing, but eventually it grew into a unison jam to finally return to the song. Much in the spirit of Liquid Tension. VERY COOL! ”Hollow Years” had a new guitar solo which was dirtier than the old one. The new solo gave the song a huge energy boost. I also think that the songs from the 2nd disc of Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence turned out much better than on the CD. Especially The Test That Stumped Them All and DT's homage to YES – ”Solitary Shell” -- in which John had a very cool double-neck Music Man/Ernie Ball signature model. The piezosystem he is using is so good. I don't think anybody could tell if he was playing electric or acoustic in a blind test. ”Finally Free,” ”In The Name Of God” and ”Metropolis Pt1” were also outstanding.

This was a very good concert and DT never seems to disappoint. Only drawback was the lame audience during the first set and the bad sound mix. I also have to mention that James' singing was very good. He often gets much bad reviews, but he has really improved his singing during the last years. I would say that he sang near perfect on every song, except on ”Hollow Years.”

I didn't bring pen and paper, so I tried to memorize the set-list. With a little help from the very similar set-list from Copenhagen, Denmark, I think I managed to nail it.

Intro Videos
As I Am
This Dying Soul
Under A Glass Moon
Keyboard – Jordan Rudess
Through My Words
Fatal Tradgedy
Beyond This Life (including jam)
Hollow Years (with new raw guitar solo)
War Inside My Head
The Test That Stumped Them All
Endless Sacrifice
Trial Of Tears

15 min break

The Mirror
Lie (the last part of the song that is the continuation of The Mirror)
Another Day
Honor Thy Father
Goodnight Kiss
Solitary Shell
Stream Of Consiousness
Finally Free

Encore 1: In The Name Of God

Encore 2: Metropolis Pt1

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