Dream Theater,
World Tourbulence 2002
October 20th, The Astoria, London, UK
October 21st, The Astoria, London, UK
October 23rd, La Mutualité, Paris, France
October 24th, La Mutualité, Paris, France
November 3rd, Ahoy', Rotterdam, The Netherlands

By Charlie Farrell, Andrés Del Solar, Derk van Mourik, Bart Jan van der Vorst


October 20th, The Astoria, London, UK by Charlie Farrell

It was the second date of the third European tour by Dream Theater during 2002 and the second to visit the British Isles. After a debut concert in Ireland two nights earlier, the band were playing the first of two sold-out nights at the Astoria Theater. Once again, a new venue for the band who have played all of the mid-sized halls in the city with the exception of the slightly larger Brixton Academy. A 3000 capacity venue, it was alsolutely packed, with the queue snaking for hundreds of metres from the venues entrance round onto Oxford Street. Proof, if it were needed, that after some lean years in the mid 1990's that the band now have a good following in the UK.

The show was billed as 'An evening with Dream Theater' show, code for a 2 and a half hour show with no support, of which one of the two sets would feature the title track of the bands most recent disk the 2CD 6 Degrees of Inner Turbulence - a mini epic of more than 40 minutes in length. The crowd had been prevented from entering the venue until the very last minute due, we later discovered, to some mixing difficulties that the band had experienced during the soundcheck. In fact the sound wasn't all that good during the opening numbers New Millenium from Falling Into Infinity and the super heavy Mirror/Lie from 1994's Awake.

However the problems with the bass were resolved and James Labrie commended the sound guys and the venue's staff on the efforts that they had made to get the problems sorted out. The 1996 version of Burning My Soul was played next, incorporating the instrumental Hells Kitchen, which appears alongside it as a separate track on the Falling Into Infinity disk. Then the band went even further back in time, to their first album for the fantastic Another Hand / The Killing Hand. The first part of which is a instrumental which builds up to the climatic 'Killing Hand' itself, certainly one of their finest tunes, but sadly one that a large proportion of the audience seemed unfamiliar with.

In comparison they appeared to be very familiar with the next tune The Great Debate from 6 Degrees. Introducing the song, singer James Labrie explained that the lyrics and samples covered the subject of embryonic stem-cell research and attempted to represent both sides of the arguement - certainly a subject not easily put to music. After which guitarist John Petrucci and keyboard player Jordan Rudess mesmerized us with an excellent instrumental spot, before the rest of the band returned to play The Spirit Carries On, a song with which the audience always appears to love to sing along. The first set was brought to a close with Learning To Live from the Images and Words album. Once again a personal favourite, but a song which the bulk of the audience did not seem overly familiar. The result being that the tune is not quite the rousing, joyous celebration that it is when I've heard it played in other countries.

James LaBrie and John Petrucci

After a break of 15 minutes, the band returned, refreshed, to play the whole of 6 Degrees of Inner Turbulence. Unlike during the January 2002 shows, when the audience were clearly unfamiliar with the, then newly released, album, this time there was no such problem and the performance of the mini-epic was clearly appreciated by the crowd.

The obligatory encores consisted of the hugely popular Home from the Scenes From a memory album and of the slightly older Take the Time, coupled, as it had been on the earlier tour, with extracts of Working Man/By-Tor and the Snowdog by Rush, producing shrieks of joy and huge grins on the faces of the older members of the audience.

The crowd were very responsive, cheered all the stuff from Falling Into Infinity, Scenes From A Memory and even 6 Degrees of Inner Turbulance which at nearly £25 is an expensive purchase, here in the UK. However, as on the last couple of tours, the level of excitement in the crowd seemed to drop significantly when the band launched into older material from their first 3 studio albums.

Whilst not being a perfect show, there was still lots to enjoy. In particular the performances of John Petrucci on guitar and Jordan Rudess on keyboards. Petrucci played as well as I've ever seen him (his fingerwork is so precise and so very fast), while keyboard player Jordan Rudess seems to have eliminated a lot of the cheesy sounding patches he used to use and he manages to make even the fastest keyboards runs look easy.

The other band members, too played their part. James LaBrie was in fine voice generally but appeared to have a few difficulties with the songs from the Images and Words album where the songs require him to sing that little bit higher. John Myung brought his Champman Stick on tour for the first time in a few years, which meant that we were able to hear the band play New Millenium for the first time since the Falling into Infinity tour in 1997. Not forgetting the every reliable Mike Portnoy on his enormous drumkit, which took up a great part of the large Astoria stage. So, all in all, not a bad show, particularly if you like the most recent album, but as a veteran of more than 15 Dream Theater concerts, I have to say that I've seen better.


October 21st, The Astoria, London, UK by Charlie Farrell

Maybe I was just in a better frame of mind than the night before or perhaps it was it the way the set was organised and paced, but I think I had a permanent grin on my face throughout the entire 2.5hrs plus that this show lasted. The band opened with The Glass Prison which is one of the few tunes I really do enjoy from the bands latest album 6 Degrees of Inner Turbulence. Heavy and powerful, it kick starts the evening's proceedings very effectively and is followed by the no less powerfull 6:00 from 1995's Awake album which is also a thumpingly heavy tune.

When singer James Labrie then introduces two extracts from the title track of the new album War Inside My Head and The Test That Stumped Them All, it is already pretty clear that the audience is going to be treated to a radically different set to that heard the previous evening. Out of the whole of the 40 minute songs, these are perhaps 2 of the three sections which are suited to being played alone and make-up co-incidently perhaps the heaviest segment of the track. Thus they slot in nicely to the mood that the band have already established.

By way of immediate contrast, the americans then slip into Surrounded, one of the slower and most beautiful numbers from 1992's famous Images and Words album. It is a sweet ballad that is always able to evoke an emotional reaction from myself rather like Through My Words / Fatal Tragedy from the enormously successful Scenes From a memory album. Then there is Misunderstood from the first disk of the 2CD 6 Degrees of Inner Turbulence album which continued the mellow mood and led nicely into Peruvian Skies from Falling into Infinity. It is a brooding number which builds from a slow, yet powerful grove, into sections where the group sound rather like Metallica. Its been a while since this was aired in the live environment and the group, as is their want, have tinkered with the tune a little, with excellent results and it perhaps sounds even more powerful than ever.

Mike Portnoy

With the band's penchant for covering a wide variety of material from their growing back catalogue, it was no surprise that they played a medley of tunes which were all too long to fit, even in an enormous Dream Theater set. During the time that they toured with the Scenes From a memory album, they had played a medley of older tunes, but for this years tour, they have melded together some passages of their best instrumental tunes and material from the Liquid Tension Experiment, which otherwise would not be played live, resulting in the lengthy and enormously technically complex Instrumedley. It featured segments of The Crimson Sunrise/Sunset, Ytsejam, The Dance of Eternity and LTE material such as ... and often seemed to feature half of the band playing the end of one tune while one or more began an other. It was a fantastic showcase for the stunning musicianship available within the band and litterally worth the ticket-price on its own.

The first set was brought to a close with Lines in The Sand. A lengthy tune, featuring one of John Petrucci's finest guitar solos, it appeared to segue nicely with the medley and managed to bring the crowd, the vast majority of whose jaws were still on the floor, back into play, as they sang along with the chorus.

There was a huge sense of anticipation in the crowd during the break. The crwod were aware of the concert being a special event, in that this being the second night of a 2 night stint at the theatre, the second half of the set would feature Dream Theater covering a 'classic album' in its entirity. The only thing was that no-one knew which album they would play. Opinion in the pubs around the venue seemed divided between 2112 by Rush and something by Iron Maiden. However, the band managed to maintain secrecy up until the last moment and a huge gasp went up from the crowd as the lights went down and the menacing spoken intro to The Number of The Beast came blasting over the speakers.

As the band members returned to their places, the Number of the Beast album cover was projected onto the screen at the back of the stage, complete with 'Dream Theater' in 'Iron Maiden-style' lettering. Musically I didn't expect this to be a challange to the musicians, but I have to admit that I was worried as to how singer James Labrie might handle some of the songs, as performed originally by the man with a scream as loud as an air-raid siren, Bruce Dickinson. However, aided by the autocue, he aquitted himself very well lyrically and stayed within his limits performing particularly well during 22 Acacia Avenue, The Number Of The Beast and Hallowed Be Thy Name. With Jordan Rudess playing some of the guitarparts on his keyboard and the band improvising with a jazzy version of Gangland, it certainly proved to be a unique and very enjoyable experience. One that the majority of the crowd appeared to enjoy every much as the band, judging from the communal singing.

Then, after a further short break it was on to the obligatory encores. The Spirit Carries On is a fine song which the crowd love to sing along with and Pull Me Under allows for a good final headbang. Once again its was an old song which was slightly re-worked, including a segment towards the end when the musicians gradually began to play faster and faster, to the point that James Labrie could barely keep up with the vocals. Evidence, as if it were needed, of a band on top of its form and having a great time. It was a priviledge to be there.


October 23rd, La Mutualité, Paris, France by Andrés Del Solar

Dream Theater came back to Paris after their first visit this year in February during the first leg of the Inner Turbulence Tour. The February show took place in Le Zenith, a bigger hall than La Mutualité. This time they chose two nights in a smaller theatre, making it more intimate (if their music can be classified as 'intimate') and heavier at the same time.

I guess they made less money with this choice, but as a Dream Theater tradition, and they showed this clearly during the first night in La Mutualité, their fans are first.

For me the first surprise (as there were quite a few) started when queuing at the entrance of La Mutualité. The audience for Dream Theater basically consists of metal guys, some few punks and progressive rock fans. You make the line for a concert and you expect to see this fauna of people. Apart from a wide variety of Dream Theater's t-shirts, you can see some Metallica, Anthrax or even Genesis and Transatlantic's shirts.

Well, I was in the queue, and besides me, I saw a small lady about 1.55 m in her forties also waiting for the doors to open, together with her husband, same age. She would have been perfect for a Celine Dion or a Bee Gees concert, but she was there, waiting with me, a metal guy besides us (with a t-shirt of Jason with the hockey mask from Friday 13th ) and a guy thin and pale as Marilyn Manson, all of us waiting to hear 6 Degrees of Inner Turbulence.

I could not stop myself to ask her what was she doing there.

- Well my husband brought me

I looked at her husband and he gave me a look as 'shut up, don't continue'. But I could not stop myself.

- Are you a fan of Dream Theater?
- No, I have never heard them. My husband played a tape in the car on the way in but it was only a few seconds.
- Ah, OK. It can be a bit heavy
- Oh yes? (Her husband was starting to get red)
- Well, you can see it for yourself, but as an advice, try to get the seats on the first floor as the ground could shake a bit
- Thank you - said her husband, but now he really meant 'shut the f.u.'

Doors opened, some beers to get the right mood, lucky to be on the ground at the third row of people, lights-off and the explosion begins:

John Myung Pre-recorded notes showed us that New Millennium was the opening for the night. John Myung came in with his fantastic stick (what a cool and powerful instrument!) and together with John Petrucci, the very much like a King Crimson introduction for New Millennium started. Mike Portnoy wearing sung glass sat on his monstrous drum machine, with 3 bass drums and all kind of toms and cymbals. Jordan Rudess got on his unique keyboard (incredible how he manages with only one machine!) which was installed in a circular table that allowed him to rotate the way he liked. So one minute he was facing Mike Portnoy, the other he looked at the audience, and when he did not feel like it, he just gave us his back. James LaBrie looked like always, with his eyes wide open as the words came out from his mouth, a killer look that remained the same the complete show.

New Millennium is a great song to begin a concert. It mixes the great assets of Dream Theater, metal power, progressive rock, nice changes, solos and great guitar and bass riffs. From the beginning, I realized that La Brie's voice was in perfect shape, a good start for the night. The sound was OK, not perfect. As usual in Dream Theater concerts and records I missed more volume or better mixing for John Myung's bass guitar. I always get the felling that his instrument is subsidizing the others, and the stick in New Millennium sounded very low compared to Petrucci's guitar, which is quite sad as it gives a lot of progressive environment to this song.

The solo sections during the song were incredible. The riffs between Myung and Petrucci were outstanding, and Rudess was also doing the same job, confirming that his arrival to Dream Theater has given a lot of power to the band (incredible coming from a keyboard player in a heavy rock band).

Portnoy… Well what to say about him? Apart from being one of the best drummers on the rock arena today, he is also the showman of the band, and his relaxing way of performing and being so sophisticated at the same time gives a lot of good mood to the group.

It was he with his very special drumming that gave the start to 6:00 from the Awake album. Not one of my favourite songs from the band, it was perfectly performed in Paris. The drumming was perfect and Petrucci's play was very aggressive, the way it has to be for the song. Rudess performed a great solo on the original Moore's part with a different sound that made it very special. LaBrie's voice has definitely improved from the time of recording Awake, looking much more in control and he even takes more risks as he did in the past.

The first madness with the audience came with Beyond This Life. When the song started, I realized that a Chinese with a punk head was on my left side and a guy who looked like a boxer was on my right side. And the kicking and pushing and head banging started as Petrucci began his riff. Then I was not anymore in the progressive arena, this was a trash metal concert. The Chinese and the boxer started to push and send knocks to any direction and I quickly realized I was getting in danger. I thought about the lady I met in the entrance hoping she would be alive in the first floor. Anyhow I was able to move away without loosing my privileged location and be able to enjoy the song.

What a song! Again, the mixing of changes and different riffs were extraordinary. John Myung used a six string bass guitar that gave him much more power than the first two songs. But the highlight of Beyond this Life was definitely the instrumental part, with Rudess and Petrucci (apart and together) as real monsters with their instruments. The solos were just perfect and the best from this occasion was that the musicians looked as if they were having the time of their life, especially Rudess who was laughing and enjoying as the sound came out of the speakers. Mike Portnoy as good as always, showing a variety of resources on his drumming and justifying the investment in his enormous instrument.

Jordan Rudess Then Hollow Years from Falling Into Infinity came in the perfect time to calm down a bit my neighbours and bring a moment of peace to the people on the floor. Seeing Petrucci playing it without an acoustic guitar surprised me, but It sounded very nice. Even LaBrie took a risk by going a tone higher than the rest of the band at the end of the song, the last chorus. But it paid off and it helped everyone to save some energy to what was coming after.

The first song of 6 Degrees Of Inner Turbulence, and the only one from the first CD which was played that night, was introduced: Misunderstood. It is my favourite from the first CD and I was delighted they included it. The first part of the song, with Petrucci and LaBrie bringing the mood in a calm way but knowing that a storm will come, was very well performed. And then again they rocked. Portnoy, Rudess and Myung were once again very strong and they gave excellent basis for Petrucci to make an incredible solo. I enjoyed very much this version of Misunderstood; even though I realised it was not very welcomed by the audience, waiting for more metal and trash than progressive.

Lights off and Rudess introduced Surrounded with a nice new piano part. LaBrie started to sing it and I was surprised that most of the audience did not follow it. It was like they did not know it, and I realized that the division in the audience was much bigger. I guess it must sound like pop to some people, a bit Bon Jovi to the metal followers, but for me it was fantastic once again. This is maybe one of the most simple songs Dream Theater has ever made, with a guitar solo not too sophisticated (for a guy like Petrucci), but for me it is a nice piece of music as Portnoy makes very smooth changes with a lot of energy that sounds great. Surrounded was a gift to the old fans of the band and the lovers of the Images and Words record.

Petrucci changed for the fifth time his guitar and started with the kind of 'arabic' introduction nice riff of Home. For me it was a wonderful warning to the hell in the floor that was coming. I realized the punk Chinese was not too far from me, so luckily Petrucci game me some time to find a shelter besides a couple of guys with Marillion t-shirts (I felt at home!!!). And the explosion began.

What a show of energy! Again, the whole band played as if it was the last song of their lives. It was fantastic, heavy, strong and perfectly well performed. There are not too many things to say, all of them were great, and the madness in the floor was complete. LaBrie's look was perfect for the occasion, his eyes fixed to the audience, with a cold face and inviting everyone to express their energy. Rudess was outstanding in his solo, and if I do not make a mistake, he made it longer than usual, jamming a bit compared to the original version. Home has such a power that everyone was exhausted at the end of it and honestly no one was ready to what was coming after.

John Petrucci Dream Theater calls it the Instrumental Medley. I call it a show of virtuosity, of instrumental perfection in rock. I hope not to sound too exaggerating, but what these guys did in about 15 minutes are worth the 35 EUROS of the ticket and even more. LaBrie left to leave the 4 musicians to make a medley of several songs that are so complicated to perform alone, even worse to mix them in one package. I was able to identify Metropolis I, Erotomania, A Change of Seasons (with parts of the version that appear in the Live Scenes From New York), YTSE JAM, Dance of Eternity and Paradigm Shift from the Liquid Tension Experiment record. I only hope they will record this in CD and DVD to allow all of the fans to get a copy of it. The audience was so astonished that no one even moved. I looked through the crowd, most of them (including the punk Chinese) with their mouths open not believing what we were living. The four of them were fantastic, even the normal shy and inexpressive Myung looked having some great fun, Portnoy not only played but he also dedicated himself to entertain the audience at the same time, Rudess was turning and turning with his keyboard moving his fingers as a maniac, and Petrucci showing why he is one of the best heavy guitar players in the world, a bit in the Satriani legacy.

The medley finished with a huge ovation from all of us, LaBrie came back and Lines in the Sand was next. I was so in shock from the Instrumental Medley that it took me a while coming back to reality again and enjoy Lines in the Sand. As a matter of fact, I do not remember too much from this song, and I was very happy at the end of it when LaBrie asked for a 15 minute break to let us digest what we had seen and be able to buy a beer to be ready for what was next.

After the break a recorded introduction of the Overture of the 6 Degrees of Inner Turbulence was played. The complete Overture was in playback, which was understandable as it must be very difficult for Rudess to come with all this orchestra sound in only one keyboard. At that time of the night, you could have allowed Dream Theater to play even Michael Jackson's songs without any trouble.

The musicians came at the end of the Overture, with Rudess doing the introduction of About to Crash. And it was party again. The whole concept album sounded great. What I really like from the 6 Degrees studio version is that Dream Theater looks much more as a unity than a group of 5 virtuosos, and this was confirmed during the performance in Paris. I would even say that 6 Degrees is better live than in studio, they sound fantastic, especially the Grand Finale which is a high point of the performance.

The band members looked very united in this long song and the sound was the best during the night. The 'vedettes' were logically Petrucci and Rudess, but the group performed as its best. I thought this was the final gift for the Paris fans, but I was wrong.

The second encore brought us Mike Portnoy who dedicated a song that had not been played by the band during the last 16 years to the Dream Theater's french fan club: Your majesty (as the fan club is named). I have never heard that song, and it looked quite funny and simple, with Rudess reading the notes on a paper and LaBrie reading also the lyrics, but the gift was the most important. Dream Theater showed again why they dedicate themselves a lot to their fans, why do they tour during the entire year, three times in Europe during 2002, why their concerts last at least 2 ½ hours. I guess a lot of bands have a lot to learn from Dream Theater's attitude towards their fans. They are very loyal, and that is the reason why this band has great possibilities in the future.

As a final song, they performed Learning to Live with at the end a small piece of the 'La Marseillaise' (France's national anthem). The ovation at the end was huge and everyone was getting ready for the second night Dream Theater was going to offer to Paris. For my personal taste, what a big pleasure, what a fantastic show. I just hope this band will last forever.


October 24th, La Mutualité, Paris, France by Derk van Mourik

Impressions of Paris

The weather sucked: two days of nothing but rain. I'm not used to such dreary weather conditions when I'm on vacation, actually. Normally I get clear skies and sunshine wherever I go, be it the north of Scotland, or the south of New Zealand. But on to the event we braved the Parisian weather for: the concert.

The venue was really nice. The layout of it reminded me in many ways of the Vredenburg venue in Utrecht, which is one of the best venues in The Netherlands. The sound was excellent, too, as far as I can remember. I think the gig was sold out, because the place was pretty much packed. La Mutualite is a bit bigger than Vredenburg, so I think there were about 2000 people there.

One thing that became apparent immediately after Dream Theater played the first few notes is the sheer enthusiasm of the French crowd. There was lots of pogoing, headbanging and crowdsurfing going on. Dutch crowds tend to be pretty laid back, even during rockier songs, at least at most concerts I go to. I quite liked it, actually, and it enabled me to move away from behind a couple of very tall guys, so I could get a better look at the stage!

Mike Portnoy

And there was lots to see on there, of course. The technical proficiency of the guys from Dream Theater will probably never cease to amaze me, but I found that I could also enjoy all this freaky technical stuff again. The previous few DT concerts I had seen didn't sit very well with me, because I felt that they had lost a lot of the melody in favour of technical prowess. For this reason, I'm not a very big fan of Metropolis Pt 2, which has probably a lot to do with the concerts for that record: they were the least enjoyable DT concerts I have seen.

But like I said, this feeling was all gone, and it never returned during the three hours that DT played. Because this was the second night in Paris, and a classic album would be covered in its entirety, the title track of the latest album, Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence was not played. I finally got to hear that one at the concert in Rotterdam a couple of days later.

Still, a lot of other favourites were played, like The Mirror, Lie, Take the Time and Peruvian Skies. 6DoIT was represented by The Glass Prison and The Great Debate, which are two of my favs from this strong album. The first set took about one and a half hour, after which there was an intermission.

When DT returned on stage after the intermission, we knew it was time for the classic album. One of my friends already knew which one they were going to play, and he had said that it was a surprising choice, but definitely a classic album. And when the album cover of none other than Iron Maiden's The Number of the Beast was projected on the backdrop, I finally realized why so many people in the audience were wearing Maiden t-shirts!

I didn't know The Number of the Beast all that well at this time (I have since remedied that situation!) but I am quite familiar with the Iron Maiden sound, and I think thet DT did a very impressive job of attaining that sound. Petrucci's guitar sound was spot on, and Rudess did an admirable job of playing second guitar (rhythm and solos!) on his keyboard. Special mention should go to LaBrie: it is not easy at all to follow in the footsteps of Bruce Dickinson, but he pulled it off very well.

Anyways, it seemed the crowd went even wilder for Beast than for DT's own repertoire, but that has I think a lot to do with the specialty of it. I doubt that there were a lot of Maiden fans there who didn't care for DT but just wanted to hear their fav Maiden album played live.

After The Number of the Beast it was time for the encores. First up was a second rendition of Gangland, probably because the show was being recorded and that particular track had problems the first time around. Can't remember if something was said about this when LaBrie introduced the track for the second time. Other encores were The Spirit Carries On (which is pretty good, even for a DT ballad...) and crowd pleaser Pull Me Under.

We had passes to the After Show, but this was rather disappointing. There were about 50 people invited, and these were rushed through Rudess, Petrucci and Portnoy. I barely got to say two words to each of them. I can understand that they'd just been playing for three hours and were probably tired, but still I couldn't help but feel disappointed with it all.

The gig was great, though, and that was what was most important. To think that DT even topped this performance in Rotterdam a week later...


November 3rd, Ahoy, Rotterdam, The Netherlands by Bart Jan van der Vorst

Only a week after the fantastic show in Paris I was able to witness Dream Theater once again. This time however, instead of a nice, small theater, it was to be in Holland's biggest barn that is the Ahoy venue, known above all for its horrendous acoustics. The waving of many dollars by venue and promoter combined lets most bands forget all about what they'd want their music to sound like. Great as it may be that a band like Dream Theater can sell some 6000 tickets for a venue like this, I would have preferred the band to play a different, smaller venue instead.

The sound aside, everything else looked great. The larger hall enabled the band to use a larger lightshow, to great added value. When the lights went off the familiar "World Tourbulence 2002" logo appeared on the spider-web screen behind Portnoy's kit and the familiar notes of the ending of Scenes From A Memory started playing. I expected them to start with The Glass Prison again, as they had done with virtually all gigs this year, however, as the static noise faded, the intro to New Millennium started. Not my favourite off Falling Into Infinity, but great as an opener.
James LaBrie
"FUCK YOU!" cried James LaBrie to the crowd as he walked onstage. I suppose this is Canadian for "hello, how nice to see you", so fuck you too James!
His voice was in a remarkable shape tonight, a lot better than last week and he held his voice throughout the evening. Also, unlike last week's gig, he stayed onstage during most instrumental breaks, shaking and banging the various pieces of percussion that had been set up for him on stage right.

New Millennium had a starring role for John Myung on his Chapman Stick. What a fantastic instument this is, and played by Myung it becomes even more impressive, with his fingers litarally flying over the frets.

After a few seconds of applause the band continued heavily with The Mirror, which segued into Lie. Two of my favourite tracks off Awake (which is still one of my favourite albums), and judging from the crowd's reactions many agreed with me. Speaking of crowds, what a difference with last week. The Dutch audience appeared to be very static and hard to impress, compared to the French last week. Hardly any headbanging, no pogo'ing and definitely no crowdsurfing (which, by the way, is not allowed anymore in Holland after a guy killed himself doing so at a festival a couple years back). Another disadvantage of such a large venue: difficult to get a kind of atmosphere.
A few moments of rest were provided with the piano intro to Through My Words in during which Jordan Rudess got his first real chance to shine. Naturally Fatal Tragedy was played next, followed by the first song of their latest album Six Degrees Of Inner Tubulence: Blind Faith. As it turned out, this was to be the only track of their latest album they would play (aside from the title track ofcourse). A long piano solo was incorporated in this track, which gave Rudess another chance to shine in the spotlight.

Next up was an unexpected one: Lifting Shadows Off A Dream, one of the more mellow tracks off Awake. This was followed by a powerful Beyond This Life, during which LaBrie coped very well with the difficult high vocals.

Next up was Hollow Years, which turned out to be a very poor choice. The long acoustic opening turned out to be a good excuse for many to head for the bar, the loo or start a good conversation with their partner. Whether it was due to the lack of concentration from the audience, I don't know, but the band played a very shaky version of the song, which frankly sounded awful - and it wasn't all due to the poor acoustics of Ahoy.

Both band and audience recovered during a truly fantastic instrumental medley, which seemed to go on for about fifteen minutes or so. The basis of the medley was The Dance Of Eternity (off Scenes From A Memory), yet it incorporated bits and pieces of nearly every Dream Theater instrumental, from every album, including The Liquid Tension Experiment, leaving out only Hell's Kitchen as that track is already incorporated in the version of Burning My Soul they play on this tour.
We got treated to a bit of Metropolis part 1 (Images and Words), Eurotomania (Awake), The Darkest Of Winters (A Change Of Seasons), Ytse Jam (When Dream And Day Unite) and Paradigm Shift and Universal Mind off the first Liquid Tension Experiment. And in between each and every song a bit if Dance Of Eternity was played - brilliant.

The first set ended with a killer version of Lines In The Sand, after which LaBarie told us they'd take a fifteen minute and be back for more afterwards. He wisely urged the audience not to leave, probably all too aware of Dutch audiences leaving large venues as soon as the houselights switch on.

During the break a curtain was pulled shut in front of the screen. When the lights dimmed again the familiar notes of the Overture to Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence sounded. The six minute overture was played back entirely from a tape, and consisted of only Rudess' synthesiser parts, no drums or other instruments. During this overture lights were projected on the closed curtain, which gave a very nice effect. Mike Portnoy

Through the closed curtains you could see Jordan Rudess coming on stage to play the intro to About To Crash. The rest of the band kicked in, the curtains opened and we were up and running again.
I must say, when I first heard Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence, it didn't do much for me, really. It just didn't seem to meet the expectations I had of a 42-minute Dream Theater song. Live the song works so much better though, and those three quarters of an hour passed by in an instant. What a fantastic performance!
Especially the second half (from Goodnight Kiss onward) was brilliant - the beautiful haunting guitarsolo of Petrucci just sent shivers down my spine. Solitary Shell was definitely one of the highlights of the evening, it works so well live - that song is just designed to be a crowd pleaser.
After the massive ending that is Losing Time all six thousand people in the audience roared. Any hick-ups or shortcomings during the first set were all forgiven and forgotten.

The band left the stage only to come back a few second later for the encores. The Spirit Carries On seems to have become the standard encore, and the whole of the audience loved it.
Then the band kicked into a tune which sounded afwully familiar, yet I somehow couldn't place it. Then a familiar album cover was projected on the webtangular screen: The Number Of The Beast in its Dream Theater form. For a brief moment I thought they were going to play the entire album again, but then I realised they had started playing the second track of the album: Children Of The Damned. Like Paris last week the crowd's response was even bigger than at Dream Theater's own songs. Understandable of course, considering the surprise factor of an Iron Maiden song in the set.
The larger stage and screen also gave me the chance to fully appreciate the spoof on Iron Maiden's classic cover they had done - the detail is magnificent. Not only does the name of the band appear in typical Iron Maiden font, the beast in the picture also has carries a pitchfork which has the Dream Theater logo on it - a nice little touch.

The band left the stage again, only to come back for one last encore: Learning To Live, which was played similar to the version that can be found on Live Scenes From New York. Fantastic as a final encore, this was the perfect ending to a great night.

Mike Portnoy


Setlists:

London,
October 20th:

New Millenium
The Mirror
Lie
Burning My Soul
Another Hand / The Killing Hand
The Great Debate
Petrucci/Rudess solo spot
The Spirit Carries On
Learning To Live

Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence:
Overture
About To Crash
War Inside My Head
The Test That Stumped Them All
Goodnight Kiss
Solitary Shell
About To Crash (reprise)
Losing Time / Grand Finale

Home
Take The Time

London,
October 21st:

The Glass Prison
6:00
Strange Déjà Vu
War Inside My Head
The Test That Stumped Them All
Surrounded
Through My Words
Fatal Tragedy
Misunderstood
Peruvian Skies
Instrumental Medley
Lines In The Sand

The Number Of The Beast:
Invaders
Children Of The Damned
The Prisoners
22, Acacia Avenue
The Number Of The Beast
Run To The Hills
Gangland
Hallowed Be Thy Name

Spirit Carries On
Pull Me Under

Paris,
October 23rd:

New Millennium
6:00
Beyond This Life
Hollow Years
Misunderstood
Surrounded
Home
Instrumental Medley
Lines In The Sand

Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence:
Overture
About To Crash
War Inside My Head
The Test That Stumped Them All
Goodnight Kiss
Solitary Shell
About To Crash (reprise)
Losing Time / Grand Finale

Your Majesty
Learning To Live

Paris,
October 24th:

The Glass Prison
Strange Déjà Vu
Through My Words
Fatal Tragedy
Burning My Soul
The Great Debate
The Mirror
Lie
Peruvian Skies
Take The Time

The Number Of The Beast:
Invaders
Children Of The Damned
The Prisoners
22, Acacia Avenue
The Number Of The Beast
Run To The Hills
Gangland
Hallowed Be Thy Name

Gangland
The Spirit Carries On
Pull Me Under

Rotterdam,
November 3rd:

New Milennium
The Mirror
Lie
Through My Words
Fatal Tragedy
Blind Faith
Lifting Shadows Off A Dream
Beyond This Life
Hollow Years
Instrumental Medley
Lines In The Sand

Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence:
Overture
About To Crash
War Inside My Head
The Test That Stumped Them All
Goodnight Kiss
Solitary Shell
About To Crash (reprise)
Losing Time / Grand Finale

The Spirit Carries On
Children Of The Damned

Learning To Live


 

Note: If anyone has anything to add to above reviews, or a review of a gig that isn't here yet, please send them to me, and I'll add them.

All photos by Bart Jan van der Vorst for DPRP © 2002.

 

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