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Dream Theater - Live at Budokan CD (album) cover

LIVE AT BUDOKAN

Dream Theater

 

Progressive Metal

4.27 | 330 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Deadwing12
5 stars Now THIS is the way to make a concert DVD!

After the good but slightly dissapointing live DVD of 'Scenes From A Memory,' i was itching for more live Dream Theater, Budokan fits that bill quite nicely, and boy is the show a doozy! Since there is no story to be told on this DVD, the viewer is sparewd the useless real-life footage that plauged the DFAM live permance on DVD. The camera work is rather excellent throughout the concert, as all five members of the band have their time in the spotlight.

The setlist is pretty awesome, if not perfect: The show itself is a little top-heavy when in comes to quality and length (the first 3 songs together total over 40 minutes!), and the quality of songs dips a little near the end (back to back non-favorites of mine, Stream of Consciousness and Disappear). But the quality of the performances, as well as the overwhelming postive vibe towards the rest of the setlist renders these nitpicks useless. I am glad they included back to back FII tracks: Trial of Tears and New Millenium, which hasve always been favorites of mine, are pulled off effortlessly and effectively. Some other favorites include the amazing extended jam of 'Beyond This Life' and, of course, the 12 minute 'Instumedly,' which is exactly what its title suggests.

The musicians put on one hell of a show. Portnoy is a blast to watch, and while he may be overbusy at times, it is clear that he is enjoying himself and that he is a top-notch performer and musician. Myung kind of hangs in the background doing what he does best, which is slightly dissappointing but not a tragedy, as most bass players are seen as 'the quite types.' Petrucci, who I have a love-hate relationship with, puts on one hell of a performance. He is fun to watch during his solos because he makes all the correct rock star poses and faces at the right times, and the nergy from the crowd helps elevate his solos. He uses a nice mixture of insanely fast shredding wankery and heartfelt, emotional soloing; the extended solo on 'Beyond This Life' may be his career-defining solo spot up until this point in the band's career. Rudess is a blast to wacth as well; he utilizes a roating keyboard, so he is constantly moving around, smiling at the audience and the band, and having a great time, while still constantly playing keyboards faster than anyone I've ever seen or heard. Finally, Labrie. Guess what? He's awesome this time around! Labrie was definately 'on' for this gig, hitting all the high notes and very much into all the music, jumping around, swinging his hair every which way, and being a solid frontman for his fellow musicians.

The extra features on the DVD are icing on the cake. The best is the 30 minute documentary about DT's time in Japan and their gig at Budokan; not mindblowing, but amusing to see what the guys are like and how they prepare for the biggest show of their lives. Other extras included techy spots for Petrucci and Rudess in which they discuss their equipment; Mike Portnoy's drum solo from another Japanese gig (great fun!); the footage of the band they showed at the beginning of their concerts; and the song 'Instumedly' shown in a special multi-angle view.

All in all, a great concert by some of the world's best musicians, containing some truly awe-inspiring and jaw-dropping moments. DT's upcoming CD/DVD 'Score' will have a hard time beating out this baby!

Deadwing12 | 5/5 |

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