Dream Theater And The Astonishing Los Angeles Performance

Dream Theater
May 6, 2016
The Wiltern- Los Angeles, CA

       Progressive metal masters Dream Theater released their thirteenth studio titled The Astonishing on January 29, 2016. The album itself is a concept album of 29 tracks and has a style done in rock opera as if you’re listening to a musical, rather than watching it. The concept revolves around a futuristic world in 2285 where music is made my noise machines called NOMACs instead of humans. The members of Dream Theater themselves are known for being amazing instrumentalists. Guitarist John Petrucci has been named one of the best and fastest metal guitar players by book and magazines. Keyboardist Jordan Rudess is considered to be one of the greatest keyboardists of all time by many publications. Drummer Mike Mangini has set five records on the World’s Fastest Drummer Extreme Sport Drumming competition. Bassist John Myung has been voted as either one of the greatest bassists of all time or possibly the greatest bassist of all time. The band itself was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame in 2010. Dream Theater announced a USA tour and on this special occasion, they will be playing their new album in its entirety with no additional tracks or other hits. The Wiltern in Los Angeles was one of the stops and Dream Theater has such a huge following in LA that not only did they sell out the May 6th show, but they also sold out the May 7th show the next day. Being that it was a two and a half hour show, the show started early on this Friday at 8pm and even by then, the venue was already packed.

dtsc-20Upon entering the venue, you’ll notice that things are very different compared to other metal shows at this venue. It was seating as opposed to the usual standing room. Also, the band had a very strict photography/recording policy as you could regularly see fans with their phones in the air and security telling them to put their phones down or away. The lights went out, signaling the arrival of Dream Theater as fans cheered in anticipation. The show started with Act 1 of the album, the instrumental intro Descent of the NOMACs. One of the first things you’ll notice is the beautiful and amazing light show that the band puts on making you feel in awe of what was just beginning. There were also multiple screens in the background where the band would put animations depicting whatever song they were playing as if watching the concept of the album being played for you as a movie. Once the intro finished, the actual show starts with the almost 5-minute instrumental track, Dystopian Overture. Singer James LaBrie came out to start singing the next track and the album’s first single, The Gift of Music. LaBrie’s singing style consists of purely clean vocals giving the band a great vibe and musical feeling. Petrucci would shred on his 7-string guitar alongside Myung laying down the bass with his 6-string bass guitar. Rudess was in the back with his huge keyboard that would swing left and right and would also turn in full 360 degrees to give fans a look of how he plays. The light show would continue to mesmerize the audience as black orbs would fall from the roof and release blue streaks of light while Rudess would play beautiful piano solo to give Dream Theater‘s music such a relaxing vibe. This show isn’t just a live music show, it’s a musical journey. Act 1 and the first half of the show came to an end with The Road to Revolution. The band took a 20-minute break and came back to start Act 2 of the album and came back with the instrumental track 2285 Entr’acte. Dream Theater showed no signs of tiring despite how much musicianship it takes to perform their songs to perfection. Aside from traditional metal songs for the album, Dream Theater also added beautiful ballad tracks like Hymn of a Thousand Voices with a violin track and LaBrie yelling out a beautiful voice track. After finishing the song, LaBrie told everyone whom had been sitting the whole show to get up since by now, their butts were surely numb. Dream Theater was getting ready to wrap up their show by playing Our New World and then ended with the instrumental track Power Down (NOMACs instrumental) which the videos in the background depicted the sphere machines powering down and being destroyed. Dream Theater left the stage for a bit and came back out for an encore which was the final track on the album, The Astonishing. The band all gathered after finishing up the show to bow to their audience while the credits to the album rolled in the background like end credits to a movie. The band left the stage as well as the audience as you could tell they were in awe of the show they just witnessed.

Review by: Misael Ruiz