Arriving ten minutes late, of course I was anxious to get inside. Missing the beginning of a show is always a drag. With Dream Theater however, you can miss 10 minutes of a song, and still catch the end. Such was the case here. Hurrying through the lobby, I could hear the muffled music behind the doors to the hall. I had missed “Reflection” and “Restoration,” and settled into concert mode just as “Revelation” kicked off. These three parts make up “The Glass Prison,” the first single from 6 Degrees of Inner Turbulence.
Although the sound in the Wiltern was terrible, and the crowd was absolutely horrible, the musicianship and quality of this band’s efforts persevered. The show was broken into two ninety-minute sets, with no opening act.
The first set was an assortment of DT greats such as “Under a Glass Moon,” “Lie,” “Lines in the Sand,” “Fatal Tragedy,” “Take the Time,” “The Spirit Carries On,” and “Strange Déjà Vu,” and from the new album, "The Glass Prison" and "Misunderstood," along with a cover of Rush’s “By-Tor And The Snowdog.”
Then, at the end of the twenty-minute intermission, with the lights still on and the curtain still drawn, the orchestral sound of “Overture,” the intro to the song “Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence,” came to life. Playing all eight tracks of this 47-minute epic, followed by “Home” and “Hollow Years.” Finishing the set was “Pull Me Under.” There was no encore, just a thank you and a big traditional Dream Theater bow.
Something somewhat new to the live DT experience was that John Petrucci sings backing vocals. During “Take the Time,” James Labrie decided to be a drummer along side Mike Portnoy. There was plenty of room in the gargantuan drum kit, comprised of three bass drums, and I don’t know how many other pieces. It was shaking too violently form me to count. Jorden Rudess had a single keyboard that swiveled three hundred sixty degrees. The only gear on the stage were instruments and Jordan’s rack, giving a nice open feel to the stage.
I must again mention the horrible crowd of Los Angeles. For the first two songs, the crowd seemed to be groovin’ and rockin’. The band was in good spirits, and having fun and the energy level was rising swiftly. Slowing it down a bit with “Fatal Tragedy,” the crowd all sat down, and stayed sitting for most of the night, only standing during the heavier songs or parts where they could sing. James’ mood seemed to change because of this. The energy level was severely dulled by the crowd’s less-than-enthusiastic interaction. I hope that Dream Theater do not hold this against this city the next time they schedule a tour.
A great performance, a well-rounded set list, and five of the best musicians alive made for yet another incredible Dream Theater experience. It’s a shame the crowd and sound were so bad.