I have seen Dream Theater on five different occasions. This year's tour was every bit as good as those in the past, if not one of the best.
The A Dramatic Turn of Events CD/album was released in the US a few weeks ago. It has some excellent songs, tunes that are worth hearing and seeing pefformed live. Although we are not familiar with these newer songs, hearing six songs off the new recording plus a drum solo by new drummer Mike Mangini, made for an epic experience.
What I noticed this time around is that Mangini provides much needed energy to their stage presence. As sad as it was to see Portnoy leave, Mangini has turned out to be a fun and talented musician. It has also given Petruci a greater role as he is now the back-up singer.
The setlist on 9/30/11 at Kingsbury Hall in Salt Lake City, UT was as follows:
1. Bridges in the Sky
2. These Walls
3. Build Me Up, Break Me Down
4. Endless Sacrifice
5. Drum Solo
6. The Ytse Jam
7. The Silent Man (acoustic)
8. Beneath the Surface (acoustic)
9. The Great Debate
10. On the Backs of Angels
12. Through My Words
13. Fatal Tragedy
15. Under a Glass Moon (encore)
The songs including the acustic numbers coupled with the light show made for a great 2.4 hour performance. There were only two negatives: the long line for DT shirts (so long that I chose not to wait in it) and the warm-up band Trivium.
Dream Theater spans three generations. They have a class that many bands lack. Trivium, despite it metalcore roots, just can't seem to help itself by using foul language on stage. Where it might make sense in one setting (sad to say), it did not work here. My wife and I left after a few songs. Not what we paid our money to hear.
Dream Theater has done it again with a masterful album and tour. Well done guys.