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Dream Theater - Score: 20th Anniversary World Tour Live with the Octavarium Orchestra CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

4.46 | 517 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars I hate for my first review of this site to be a five star, but I listened to this several times over the last week and Score definitely deserves it. The Radio City Music Hall performances has been rated by the members of DT as their favorite concert to date. Fans from all around the world came to see the final show of the Octavarium tour, and they got their money's worth.

The Root Of All Evil- The show opens with the opener of Octavarium. No surprises there. RoaE is my second favorite track off Octavarium, and it sounds better live. Portnoy's latest addition to the Alcoholic Anonymous suite recalls much of the earlier two pieces. I can't wait for it to be complete so the band will perform it all live.

I Walk Beside You- Like Golden Spiral already stated, this seemed like filler on the studio album. However, it makes sense at this show because Mike Portnoy planned the concert to be a culmination of the band's career, and this song recalls the melodic straight-forward rock of Falling into Infinity. In the end, I've come to appreciate this song, though its still my least favorite on the studio album or Score.

Another Won- DT goes back to the beginning on this great song. Myung's bass work is great on this as well as strong performances from Rudess, Portnoy, Petrucci, and LaBrie

Afterlife- The band continues their chronological progression. James sounds better than Charlie and Petrucci's solo, though faithful to the original, is stunning and shows just how good he is with concise solos rather than the bloated shredfests of later works.

Under A Glass Moon- Finally, a version of UaGM (it appears on Live at the Marquee but I can't find that anywhere). In my opinion, it contains John Petrucci's greatest guitar solo. I also love Portnoy's and Myung's rhythm work. James gives a strong vocal performance.

Innocence Faded- LaBrie's finest vocal performances loses none of its power in a live setting.

Raise the Knife- A song that was recorded on the Falling Into Infinity sessions but never made on the album. That's amazing since it's a very good song and could have really benefited DT's least popular album by balancing the straight rock with this progressive piece.

The Spirit Carries On- James gives a superb vocal performance on this and Petrucci's solo is tasteful and shows how skillful he is with slow fret work.

Six Degrees on Inner Turbulence- Now the band is joined by the Octavrium Orchestra for Six Degrees in all its glory. A forty two minute voyage into DT's longest epic will leave you drooling and panting in ecstasy.The Overture never sounded better and Goodnight Kiss (my personal favorite section) loses none of its beauty.

Vacant- Portnoy's rotating set list make this the default Train of Thought song since every other track appeared on Live at Budokan. This track is the lead in for Stream of Conciousness, DT's insane instrumental that would have sounded so good with an orchestra, though they likely would have been unable to play the lightning fast licks. Still, its a good stopgap between Six Degrees and the later epics of the show.

The Answer Lies Within- Finally found its way into the tour, a lovely addition thanks to the orchestra.

Sacrificed Sons- A moving song that opens with footage from 9/11. This songs carries much importance for the show since they are in New York and Myung, Petrucci, and Portnoy (not sure about Rudess) are from Long Island.

Octavarium- The apex of DT's career so far. As enjoyable as the studio version is, this rendition blows the original out of the water. Jordan has an extended continuum solo at the beginning that is so atmospheric it comes off as a technically experimental Opeth. James' vocals are incredible, particularly at the climax where he shrieks "Trapped inside this Oct..a..var...IUM!" The instrumentality of the band is never more realized than in this song, where each member displays his chops without noodling; Full Circle is perhaps the best interplay between bass, keyboards, and guitar in DT's career, which is filled with such interplay. The orchestration is far more powerful than the studio equivalent.

Metropolis- DT's encore is nothing short of wonderful. DT's greatest song gets a great makeover with the orchestra. A great close to a great concert

Overall, Score has bested Live at Budokan and even my former fave Live Scenes in New York as the pinnacle of DT live albums so far. If their career is any indicator, we can expect many more live albums in the future and I'm sure they will one day outdo even this opus, but for now, bask ye mortals in the presence of greatness.

Grade: A

1800iareyay | 5/5 |


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