Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Dream Theater - Once in a Livetime CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

3.34 | 411 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars With four studio albums and one EP to their name, it's time for another Dream Theater live recording! Coming at a time when the band were towing the line between their underground progressive metal roots and record label pressure to be more mainstream, 'Once in a Livetime' came at a bit of a transitional period, when really, they were neither of these things.

The set is amazing, and features all the early Dream Theater classics. There's plenty of little tidbits, jams, and covers thrown in between and during songs, giving this a true "live" feeling, and the 20-minute epic 'A Change of Seasons' has been broken down into multiple segments, each serving as interludes amongst the other tracks, giving a nice sense of continuity throughout the show.

The sound is very good, the band are incredibly tight, and the audience add a great energy to it all (the cheering at the beginning of 'Metropolis' sends chills down my spine!). A lot of the lengthier songs have been cut down, for example, twelve-minute 'Learning to Live' is now down to a staggering four minutes, yet they manage to capture the main essence of each piece, making the whole set flow effortlessly.

The only legit detriment to this album is vocalist James LaBrie, who at this point was desperately struggling from a well-documented case of food poisoning that had ruptured his vocal chords (so well-documented, in fact, that people who have never even heard of Dream Theater know about it).

Otherwise, the only reason I never really listen to 'Once in a Livetime' any more is because it's been surpassed by later releases. 'Score', 'Live Scenes from New York', and especially 'Live at Budokan' are far superior live albums. Still, it wraps up "that period" of the bands career with keyboardist Derek Sherinian, who is an incredible musician, but always had a flamboyance about him that didn't really suit Dream Theater.

Good album to own if you're a collector, but they've done much better ones since.

martindavey87 | 3/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this DREAM THEATER review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.