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Dream Theater - Live at Budokan CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

4.29 | 400 ratings

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Cygnus X-2
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The dvd counterpart for Live at Budokan is a wonderful live set that totally beats Metropolis 2000 in terms of audio and video presentation, as well as bonus features. The only thing that it doesn't beat Metropolis 2000 in is set list, which is because they don't play Learning to Live, A Mind Beside Itself, or A Change of Seasons here. But what's played here (as I said in my Budokan review) is played perfectly and doesn't detract, but in most cases improves on the original version in sonic quality, but as I said in my Budokan review, there isn't much innovation or much added on to the songs, except a select few. The sound quality on this dvd is nice, with a wide array of audio options to choose from, and the video is crisp and of a high-quality, it's a lot better in terms of video quality than Metropolis 2000, felt amateurish.

The first disc is comprised of the entire Budokan concert, which clocks in at nearly three hours. It opens with an extended introduction showing the vastness of the audience and that the hall was almost filled to capacity that night. You'll notice during crowd shots that not much moshing or headbanging goes on, they really pay attention to the musicians and the songs that are being played rather than the surrounding audience environment. The entire performance plays out exactly as I wrote in my review of the cd, only this time you get to see the musicans performing. There's a nice balance of shots for each musician. You get a nice perspective from Portnoy's view and his large drumset, you get nice shots of Petrucci shredding up and down the fretboard, Myung's shots are the most few and far between, but the shots of him presented show him at his best... which essentially is moving his hair back from his face and looking pretty much at the floor. The only error noticeable in the first disc is that in the middle of Trial of Tears there is a brief pause from the disc (maybe it's my version but I've read about it happening to others as well). In the end, this disc is a great show and it really is one of the best produced progressive metal dvds, or even music dvds in general, ever made.

The second disc is comprised of bonus materials, ranging from a thirty minute documentary about the Japanese tour, to Mike Portnoy's drum solo, to a multi-angle version of the Instrumedley (in which you could watch any member of the band play the entire song with the camera focused on them the entire time). Also included are two mini features of John Petrucci's guitar set up, in which he shows us what he uses and how he uses them. Jordan Rudess also has a little video of his set up and how he can play entire songs that utilize many different sounds on just one keyboard. The drum solo from Mike Portnoy is rather cool, in which he invites two audience members to play on his massive kit (as well as a tom he walks onto a catwalk with). It brings another level to the audience participation concept.

In the end, the Live at Budokan dvd is a great set that you will watch over and over again. My only true gripe is that there is no commentary track to it, because I love the Dream Theater commentaries, they are insightful, and genuinely funny to listen to. 4.5/5.

Cygnus X-2 | 4/5 |


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