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Dream Theater - Metropolis 2000: Scenes From New York CD (album) cover

METROPOLIS 2000: SCENES FROM NEW YORK

Dream Theater

 

Progressive Metal

4.32 | 325 ratings

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Cygnus X-2
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Following the wake of their most ambitious album Scenes from a Memory, Dream Theater embarked on a world tour that would see them playing many places more than once, and this show, performed at the Roseland Ballroom in New York, is one of those cases. It was the last show for the tour, and the group wanted to do something special to show how much they appreciate the support, so what did they do? They recorded a 3+ hour show for a cd and dvd set, titled Live Scenes From New York and Metropolis 2000: Scenes from New York. The live cd for it is one of the best live albums I've ever heard, in which they surpass many of their songs with brilliant musicianship and live prowess, but this dvd doesn't include the entire show, it cuts out the middle section and only keeps Scenes From a Memory (played in its entirety) and the finale of the show (which is the best part of this set). The video quality isn't great, it feels amateurish in points and it doesn't have a professional feel to it, but the audio for it makes up for it with a well balanced feel to it.

The first part of the set is the entire live rendition of Scenes from a Memory. It's played very well and the group add and improve parts here and there (Fatal Tragedy for instance). Now, you might think that this is a good thing, but it actually isn't the best part of the video. They try to hard to forcefeed you the story of the album and there is too much concept footage as well as "videodelic effects" that deter the viewer from a truly great experience. It is here where the set feels amateurish, with random video effects thrown in many places (I understand why, though, because Portnoy wanted to try and fit in all that was going on into the screen at once) that really throw off the mood of the video. The audio commentary here is superb and the group offer a lot of insight into the making of the album, as well as what is exactly going on, not to mention they bring up many amusing anecdotes and funny bits of info (such as the Jordan Rudess action figure). I often find myself listening to the commentary more than the actual Scenes from a Memory show itself, I get more out of it that way than with the commentary off.

The second set of video footage performed is probably one of the great sequences of Dream Theater tracks ever. First up is A Mind Beside Itself in its entirety. You'll find no crazy concept footage, no random effects, just a straight up performance of the group. Petrucci rips it up on this song, surpassing the studio album in terms of raw sound and power, same goes with the rest of the group. After the closing notes of The Silent Man, Learning to Live is played. This song gets a nice extended section with has a reggae feel to it and is a spot for Rudess to show off his skills. Really great rendition. The finale is A Change of Seasons in its entirety. I find this version of the song to surpass the studio version and then some, Petrucci rocks on this track, same goes with the rest of the band, again. But even after this set of footage there is still more on this disc. There are some behind the scenes documentaries that have the music from the show that wasn't included with the extra footage in the background, as well as a photo gallery of their entire American leg of the tour.

In the end, Metropolis 2000: Scenes From a Memory is a terrific live album, but I'm not terribly impressed with the dvd. The Scenes from a Memory footage is marred by random video effects and an over abundance of concept footage, but the same audio prowess is still there. The extra footage is what really saves this dvd from being a total disaster, but the missing second set after Scenes before A Mind Beside Itself really hurts the overall score of this set. It's not a bad dvd in the least bit, it's just that Dream Theater could have done better, and they did with Budokan. 4/5.

Cygnus X-2 | 4/5 |

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