Dream Theater

Dream Theater

April 19, 2014

Orpheum Theater- Los Angeles, CA


As the second week of Coachella was going on, the progressive metal rockers, Dream Theater treated the non-Coachella goers to a once in a lifetime 3 hour plus SOLD-OUT show on April 19, 2014 at the Orpheum Theater in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles, CA.

Forming in 1985, Dream Theater has had a huge impact on the culture that is known as progressive rock. It was clear that they had a loyal fan base as many of the concert goers were fans of the band from when Dream Theater was known as Majesty from 1985-86. As fans searched the opera like theater for their seats, chatter and excitement filled the room.

  Having no opening band, a large set to perform, and many fans to please, Dream Theater began their performance right as the clock hit 8:00pm. False Awakening Suite began to play and everyone stood up from their seats. A screen projected a visually fitting video of different album coversto entertain the anxious crowd. The two minute clip ended with a Dream Theater logo (which is also the album cover of their latest self titled album) and many cheers. The screen then dropped and the band wasted no time, going straight into The Enemy Inside off their latest self-titled album which released in September 2013. From that point on, it was hit after hit from these musically sophisticated rockers.

Dream Theater has undergone many line-up changes throughout their years as a band, having only two original members still in the band. The most shocking for the fans was the most recent change in 2010, when former and original drummer, Mike Portnoy left the band. Portnoy felt drained and suggested the band take a break from recording, publishing and touring but the band decided against it; so when Portnoy went to fill in for Avenged Sevenfold after their drummer passed away, Dream Theater continued without him. They brought Mike Mangini on board and later declined Portnoy when he asked to rejoin the band. It brought a shock into

the Dream Theater community and many people were uneasy about the change. But by the end of the band’s sixth song of the set, Enigma Machine from their self-titled 2013 album, everyone in the crowd realized why the band chose Mangini. Following the 5-minute track, the stage went black except for Mangini- it was time for him to show everyone what a real rock drum solo was all about. He utilized every last piece of his enormous drum set which included 4 kick drums and a rack of cymbals and toms above his head- a set up that isn’t seen being used by today’s rock drummers. With a fury, he showed his amazing technical ability and speed and was churning out new grooves by the second. The crowd couldn’t get enough of the 3 minute drum solo and yearned for more. The band ended their first set of the night with Breaking All Illusions off their 2011 album, A Dramatic Turn of Events. As the song ended, the band left the stage.

Coming back on stage not too long later, they went into their second set of the night, opening with The Mirror off the band’s third studio album, Awake which was released in 1994. They continued through the six songs, filled with face melting guitar solos by the one and only, John Petrucci, filled with great melodies and unbelievable riffs. Aside from the fans enjoying the musical element to the show, the band’s production was amazing. A large television screen was above the stage and projected different images and videos as the different songs went on. Jordan Rudess kept up and matched the fast paced lighting with his keyboard and made the show even more special. Bassist, John Myung was the quieter member, but being named ‘the greatest bassist of all time’ back in 2010, it was clear that Myung did not need to talk or interact with the fans to have a spectacular, precision mastered performance.

The band performed four encores which included Overture 1928; Strange Déjà Vu; The Dance of Eternity and Finally Free all from their 1999 album Metropolis. Part 2: Scenes from a Memory. The band’s 18 song set included songs from 5 of their 12 albums, and was over a 3 hour performance. The fans got back way more than what they paid for and none had to travel into the 100 degree Coachella weather to get an amazing show. This band may be an 80’s band, but they have not died out yet and don’t seem to be stopping any time soon. So when you are wanting to relive or experience an 80’s rock show, Dream Theater is more than happy to provide.

Review by: Nicole Lemberg