Dream Theater Live in San Francisco

By Tokemaster General, Contributor
Sunday, March 14, 2004 @ 11:43 AM

Dream Theater Live at The Warf

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REVIEW BY: Alex Fruehsamer

Dream Theater blew the crowd away Friday night -- for a little bit. This was my first Dream Theater show and I had high expectations. Unfortunately, for me they were only fulfilled during the first hour or so of the concert.

I made my way into the Warfield Theater with my friends at exactly 8:00 and was relieved to find that the band hadn't taken the stage yet. We got to our seat, 5th row balcony, dead center, and took in the excellent overall view of the stage that we had. At about 8:10, the video screens came on and the history video that I was expecting started -- with only audio. They cut it quickly and went to work fixing the problem. At about 8:30, it was fixed and the videos started. The videos were cool, although, not being very knowledgeable about the band, some commentary would've helped.

Nonetheless, the Petrucci ripped through the solo like a mad man and absolutely blew all expectations from what I had heard on record. After that, they played "This Dying Soul" which I thought would've been great if played in succession to “The Glass Prison.” The song was still excellent and by then I has rocking back and forth, clapping, and singing along. Now, I would like to note at this time that absolutely nobody was standing in the balcony. This struck me as very odd, seeing as I have never been to a concert where I have sat down.

Moving right along, the band went into "Beyond This Life" with the jam session that blew my socks off. The technical skill of these musicians is like nothing I have ever seen or heard before. The jam was incredible. From there, things started to go down hill for me. The band finished out the first set playing only one other song that I know, "Endless Sacrifice," which rocked the house hard and heavy. Throughout the first set, the video screens only operated during the first two songs and then cut out.

At the intermission, I bought a shirt and some food and then returned to my seat not wanting to miss a second. However, if it wasn't for two songs, I wish I had.

Basically, most of the second set sounded like a mix between Kenny G and my parents' wedding reception. They started off with "Honor Thy Father" which is okay, but still kinda boring to me. And then, Rudess' solo, which kicked ass -- that guy is amazing. Much respect to him. Then, a boring cover of some Journey song, the song I hate most, "Another Day" (I swear this sounds like Kenny G), another boring song, and then a little bit of a revival with "Erotomania," one of the greatest instrumentals I've ever heard. Then, it got worse then before. "Voices," followed by "Silent Man," and finishing the set with "One Last Time." B-O-R-I-N-G. They encored with "In the Name of God" which is great, but it was too little too late. I went into this show without reading the setlist, as to be surprised, and, I was deifinitely surprised. Surprisingly bored.

With the only song off of Images & Words being "Another Day," I am disappointed. I love “Pull Me Under,” “Under A Glass Moon,” “Metropolis Pt. 1,” “Learning to Live” and “Take the Time” and I was almost positive that they would play at least one of those. I was wrong. I hope this isn't their setlist for every U.S. show so that other people won't be bored as much as I was. And if these are your favorite songs… lucky you.

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