Dream Theater

February 17, 2014 - Heineken Music Hall, Amsterdam

Dream Theater (DT) have always been one of my favourite prog metal bands. However, when drummer Mike Portnoy left the band, I was flabbergasted. He was replaced by drummer Mike Mangini and, fairly speaking, I must say that the latest two albums don't belong to my favourite DT albums. Anyway,
James LaBrie and John Petrucci (r)

I went to Amsterdam to watch them play in the flesh again and, to be honest, I didn't expect that much from it. However, DT proved that I was wrong as this three-hour gig was really impressive, although sometimes James Labrie's vocals let him down a bit...

The biggest surprise on the set list was Space-Dye Vest, a piece from Awake (1994), one of my favourite DT albums. It was played for the very first time in our country. From the new eponymous album (2013, see review), the audience could enjoy no less than five tracks of which the opening song The Enemy Inside belonged to one of the best performed songs of the evening. I was treated to five songs from the amazing album Awake. Back then Kevin Moore played the keyboards instead of Jordan Rudess. Lifting Shadows Of A Dream and The Mirror were two spectacular highlights of this evening. However, the cartoons which were shown on a big
Jordan Rudess
screen were almost a copy of what Rush had done before them. That's not very original, although some of the YouTube movies were rather hilarious.

Another surprise in the set list was Trial Of Tears, a track from Falling Into Infinity (1997), an album that I consider to be one of DT's weakest albums. Furthermore the band played one track from Black Clouds & Silver Lining (2009) being The Shattered Fortress, which is a great song of course. The final piece Illumination Theory from their latest album, which lasts more than 22 minutes, was a real prog metal feast! However, the show didn't end there since the audience was treated to four (!) encores of another favourite DT album of mine, namely Metropolis Pt2, Scenes From A Memory (1999). They started with Overture 1928, followed by Strange Déjà Vu, The Dance Of Eternity and ending with Finally Free. These encores were all absolutely brilliant! Although I missed Mike Portnoy behind the drum kit and some songs from the killer album Train Of Thought (2003), this was a great gig. In my opinion Dream Theater is still the number one prog metal band in the world.

Martien Koolen (edited by Peter Willemsen)

Setlist Dream Theater:

The Enemy Inside
The Shattered Fortress
On The Backs Of Angels
The Looking Glass
Trial Of Tears
Enigma Machine
Along For The Ride
Breaking All Illusions
The Mirror
Lifting Shadows Off A Dream
Space-Dye Vest
Illumination Theory
Overture 1928
Strange Déjà vu
The Dance Of Eternity
Finally Free

Pictures Dream Theater by Bert Treep

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Line up Dream Theater:

(left to right)
John Petrucci:
James LaBrie:
Mike Mangini:
Jordan Rudess:
keyboards, continuum, iPad, electronics
John Myung:
bass, Chapman Stick

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