Last week I went to the Dream Theater concert at the Nokia Center in support of their new CD Systematic Chaos. The last time I saw them, they were on tour with Queensryche on a double headline bill, and this was during the Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence tour, I believe.
The opening acts. First up we had Into Eternity. I only caught the last few songs from these guys, and I think I am a better person for. At times they degenerated in to that awful Speed Death Metal “singing”. At other times it didn’t even look like the guitarists were playing anything but the most basic of chords, they didn’t even have their fingers on the frets. I’ve seen better acts playing on the streets in New Orleans
The other opening act was Redemption, or as I like to call them Dream Theater Jr. Similar musical style, and I thought the lead guitarist was really good. Their main problem was that the lead singer seemed to be singing a different song than the band was playing. Also they had some really weird musical transition in their songs that would throw me out of the tune. They have a keyboardist like Dream Theater but the others drown him out too much.
Now we get to the main act. I think Dream Theater is quite an awesome band, and their drummer Mike Portnoy is probably my favorite drummer out there right now. He is just awesome, and he has the best stage presence in the group. He really knows how to get the crowd riled up. I think the guitarist, John Petrucci, is quite good, I don’t go ga-ga over him like others do. Like others, John Myung, the bassist, fascinates me, because he seems so detached from everyone else. He seems to have his part of the stage staked out and everyone just leaves him alone there to do his thing. James LaBrie still has a great voice. Keyboardist Jordan Rudess is not drowned out and he is pretty great too.
Jordan had a couple of really nice solos, and I think a keyboardist can never look cool, but he does try and he can almost pull it off. The last time I saw Dream Theater, Mike Portnoy seemed to have a bunch of solo sections, but this time he didn’t have any which I was a little disappointed in. I have only listened to their new album once, and a few other songs a couple of times. That was mostly what they were playing so I wasn’t as familiar with what they were playing. The encore paled in comparison to when they played with Queensryche. This time they came out and played a couple of more songs. Mike Portnoy returning in a Dirk Nowitzki jersey which is cheap pandering to the crowd, which I like. With Queensryche both bands came out together and played the Who’s Baba O’Riley. That would be hard to beat. No complaints really with Dream Theater, they were just great.
Side Note: One guy sitting by me, from Indianapolis, purposefully scheduled his business trip so that he could see Dream Theater. I don’t think there is any band I would do that for.