Over the weekend, Viola and I attended the Dream Theater and Trivium concert at the Rosemont Theater in Rosemont, IL. We’ve provided a few Dream Theater concert reviews in the past, so this won’t be as in-depth of a review. But with recent developments in the band, we think offering a few comments is appropriate.
When I first heard that Dream Theater was paired with Trivium, I thought it was a bit of an odd combination. I get that Roadrunner wanted to pair two of their artists together, but I found it a bit odd that Opeth wasn’t the choice since all three bands have new albums? And Opeth and Dream Theater billing would’ve likely sold out the venue. I admit, I like Trivium, but I am far from a diehard fan. I own Crusade and Shogun. I have also listened to some of In Waves via MOG. On stage, the band had good energy blasting through a set list that included “Ignition”, “Kirisute Gomen,” and “Thrones of Perdition”. However, it was quite clear the audience was there to see Dream Theater and could care less about the opening act.
Once Dream Theater hit the stage, the energy level picked up quite a bit. The set opened with a hilarious cartoon that featured all the members in their caricatures – a pirate, a ninja, a wizard, a warrior and, of course, a genie. For any fan that’s been following the saga over the past year, the audience knew this was going to be a different show with the formal introduction of Mike Mangini as the new drummer. Admittedly, it was a bit odd to not see Portnoy on stage, but two songs into the set, I don’t think anyone cared; at least, I didn’t. It was clear Mangini was the new rhythmic wonder boy.
To summarize Mangini, he’s a beast within his drum cage. Overall, Dream Theater looked comfortable playing with Mangini and you really couldn’t tell much of a difference. Other than a few sounds that can’t be completely duplicated in certain sections of songs, Mangini did an awesome job sticking to the parts Portnoy wrote. And if any fans had any doubts prior to the show (or buying the new album), then perhaps the drum solo put them all to rest. For as long as Youtube keeps the video up, here is a snippet of his solo:
All in all, the concert had a feeling of liberation. With Portnoy no longer in control of set lists, the band tapped into material they don’t often perform. Considering this was my seventh Dream Theater show, it was nice to finally hear “The Great Debate”, “Caught in a Web”, and “These Walls” live. I also hadn’t heard “Wait for Sleep” since the summer of 1992, the first show I attended. Of course, Dream Theater played several tracks from the band’s new album, A Dramatic Turn of Events (Click to listen on MOG), including “Bridges in the Sky”, “Far From Heaven”, “On The Backs of Angels”, and “Breaking All Illusions”.
- DREAM THEATER’s PETRUCCI, MYUNG Talk Drummer Switch In New Interview (roadrunnerrecords.com)