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3 stars A better than average Live CD, though some questions remain- on the night this CD was recorded, DT Ran through a killer selection of cover versions including songs by KANSAS, MARILLION and GENESIS! I don't think these recordings ever saw the light of day... their inclusion here would have elicited 5 stars, no doubt about that!
Report this review (#11371)
Posted Wednesday, December 31, 2003 | Review Permalink
4 stars The first DT album I bought, so it is kinda special to me. And it is a special album in general. The first time I heard it, I said: "Hé, I though I bought a live album!" I just couldn't believe a live sound like this, and it is still the best live recoding I have ever heard. And 'Metropolis p.1' being the first song of Dt that came to my ears... what a brilliant way to meet a band for the first time. The way 'Fortune In Lies' starts give me a rush, and the following 'Bombay Vindaloo' (a 6.45 minutes improvisation) is one of the best moments of this recording. 'Surrounded' sounds quite 'poppy' when compared to the other songs, and I still don't understand why they played 'Another hand..' instead of better songs (like 'Under A Glass Moon' for example). Happily, 'Pull Me Under' makes it all right. So, no five stars, because they could have played better songs instead of some tracks, and because... because it is too short!
Report this review (#11376)
Posted Thursday, July 15, 2004 | Review Permalink
2 stars Perhaps I'm losing something, but... I can't understand why DT is one of the most popular bands at this and another sites. DT has the best drummer and one of the best guitar players -I recognize these points- but what about music?

I heard a couple of DT albums before (both considered "masterpieces") but, to my ears, this is a metal band adding some (few) hard prog touches. Songs have nice moments in the middle of violence and lots of screaming vocals, and even the ballads are previsible and uninspired, almost elementary.

IMHO, "Live At The Marquee" is in the same vein. All tracks are very well played and it's posible to find enjoyable moments at "Metropolis Pt. I" and "A Fortune In Lies". "Bombay Vindaloo" is an improvisation that becomes in the highlight by far, while the rest is uneven and -sometimes- noisy music (specially "Pull Me Under", I don't know why a classic in the band's repertoire).

I apologize with DT fans (and they are a lot!), but I think that fast and powerful music without beauty isn't a good option for progressive ears.

Report this review (#11377)
Posted Thursday, July 22, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars For everyone involved in the life of "new" prog, and Dream Theater, they must know that this is their first live album, to me the most honest, and most interesting. Being a band of underground followers, that later turned to be a great succes in the rock media, showcases the "true" essence of the music created in the MOORE period. So... the first song, METROPOLIS, an unsung anthem, is almost perfect, linked with a very naive song FORTUNE IN LIES, showing a young band trying to leave their "metal" roots (point trying), followed by a great improvisational jam (these kind of "jems" show the true creative process of ANY band)... anyway, the show continues with the great SUROUNDED, a very light song in the outside, but very complex and strong, bonded with ANOTHER HAND / THE KILLING HAND, a revisted version of the original and ending with the famed PULL ME UNDER. Well, i compare this record to the GENESIS "LIVE", why, perhaps beacuse the small set list, the "casual" audience and the honest performance. Dream Theater will never achive a better "live" sound, beacuse nowadays they're confronting the excess, the fame, the fast-lane-endless-solos and the behavior of "leaving the old songs in the attic" as any band that has changed members do. Enjoy while it lasts as the Genesis album, beacuse this songs are now lost in time and memory (well PULL ME UNDER has been saved from doom!!!). A great addition to any collection, really.
Report this review (#11379)
Posted Tuesday, September 14, 2004 | Review Permalink
1 stars OKAY, as I may have said before, I am probably one of the biggest DT fans on the planet! So how could I ever give this disc a rating of poor? Well, quite honestly, because it is poor. I'm not going to pump this disc up for newer fans and have them hate me when they listen to this rather uninspired set.

Sure, it was the band's first live album, recorded on their first large-scale tour after the success of "Images And Words." I have never been a big fan of live albums in general, simply because of the fact, that more often than not, you do not get a full show and that it's often the songs they cut (usually the non-single tracks) that fans appreciate more. If you don't believe me then please tell me what happened with Genesis (apart from "Live" 1973 which is still amazing) or even art rock bands like Styx or Kansas. Live albums are never a great way to approach new fans and this disc is no acception.

The most interesting track here is "Bombay Vindaloo", basically a nice mellow little jam that never made its way onto an official release. It is for a track like this that I say completetists should search it out. One listen to LaBrie's vocals on this disc and you will run, probably screaming, with blood running unchecked from your ears!!!! Although an amazing studio vocalist, James LaBrie's live attempts from 1992 through 1997 weren't all that memorable, and this is perhaps the worst of his voice on disc.

For fans only, this is not going to be a revelation for anyone else!

Report this review (#11380)
Posted Sunday, December 26, 2004 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "This world is spinning around me. This world is spinning without me. Every day sends future to past. Every breath leaves me one less to my last .!!"

Yeah! I love live albums because, usually, the music is played much more dynamic than its studio version. Some trade offs must be made: in return of lively music, I have to accept less sonic quality even though this is no longer big issue anymore nowadays as many live performance was recorded in high quality sound. This first live album of DT has a lively performance with quite acceptable sonic quality - even though it's less superior than the excellent quality of "Images and Words" audio CD. Considering it's a live performance, it's OK with this quality. Musically, this is definitely a masterpiece progressive metal live performance and has now become a classic. I still enjoy this live album ever since I bought the CD couple years ago. This morning, I drove around (it's public holiday today - an Islamic New Year) while putting this CD. Wow! I was still amazed by the performance of these guys.

"Metropolis" opens the show with the blast of energy projected by the music that Petrucci, Moore, LaBrie, Portnoy and Myung played at a very prestigious rock stage, The Marquee, April 23, 1993 - recorded with The Fleetwood (without Mac) Mobile Recording Unit. It's a flawless performance by these chaps. If you are familiar with this song from "Images and Words" album, you will definitely love this version. I'm amazed with the fact that the band can deliver it excellently despite its complexity combined with a very fast tempo the composition requires. LaBrie sings with an unequivocal voice even in the high register notes. My salute to James LaBrie! You did a great job! Myung's short but very fast bass guitar solo is truly stunning. I like Myung's stage performance.

It flows seamlessly to second track "A Fortune in Lies" by keeping up the energy and power through a relatively fast tempo music. Portnoy demonstrates his talent skillfully. Great performance! The instrumental piece "Bombay Vindaloo" reminds me to Rush' "La Villa Strangiato" even though they a very different in structure and composition. But, they share similar nuance: it starts slow with sort of guitar work in ambient and atmospheric style and it flows in a crescendo led by Petrucci's guitar combined with Portnoy's drumming, Moore's keyboard and Myung's bass line. The guitar solo reaches its pinnacle when it plays high register notes. Wow! What a rocking tune man!

"Surrounded" provides a sort of musical break as it starts with a slow tempo piano and low register notes voice "Morning comes to early and night time falls too late ." and rises up gradually in energetic mood with powerful voice of LaBrie followed with drumming and guitar that brings the music in a full stream. I notice how Moore plays his keyboard in a modest way even though he is a maestro of his instrument.

The crowd seem heating up during the break after "Surrounded" that makes a much more lively situation of this live record. It is then continued with guitar fills that remark the opening part of track 5: "Another Hand - The Killing Hand". Moore plays his keyboard in symphonic style accompanying Petrucci's guitar rhythm and LaBrie's singing. The music brings up with a powerful high register notes singing. Great shout! Overall this track is very uplifting. I really enjoy the complex part that starts at approx. min. 7:12 with unbelievable guitar work, bass, drums and keyboard continued with a sudden turn to a quieter passage. Oh my God . these guys have done greaaaatttt job!!

The concluding track is the band's classic "Pull Me Under" - a song that was composed with the ispiration from Shakespear's "Hamlet". Musically, this song has a very tight composition from start to the end. The opening part is very atmospheric characterized by an excellent guitar fills followed with other instruments that gradually enter the music. It brings to a full metal style with heavy guitar riffs. "Lost in the sky ." uh .. It rocks!! I love the part that starts at approx min 2:35 - 2:53 where Moore plays his notes wonderfully. Yeah man . this is what I call a "tasty" and "memorable" melody as it lifts up my emotion whenever I listen to it. I also love when LaBrie sings "Dust fills my eyes .". Oh ... Petrucci's guitar solo is also killing! All in all, this track is a definitely a pretty well-rounded tune with no single mistake at all! It's probably 3.4 per million opportunities - that's what we call it a six sigma quality!

Highly recommended! For me personally, this is a full five stars rating (accepting the fact that in any live album, the sonic quality is not excellent). However, for wider audience of this site, I would put four stars that means "an excellent addition to any prog collection". If you are not familiar with Dream Theater studio album "Images and Words" and "When Day and Dream Unite", it's okay - this is a great live album that every rocker must have it. This album helps a lot to elevate your motivation to start the day of your life that is full of challenges! - Keep on rocking! Keep on progging!

Yours progressively,

GW - Indonesia.

Long live Dream Theater!

Report this review (#11363)
Posted Thursday, February 10, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A very early live album from Dream Theater, featuring songs from their two first albums, "When Dream & Day Unite" from 1989 and the masterpiece "Images & Words" released in 1992. This album aslo includes a very good jam named "Bombay Vindaloo" which is mostly improvised. The sound quality is very good throughout, getting most of the details in the music very well. The performance is excellent, James LaBrie's voice is better here than on the studio albums, In my opinion, and he sings the WD&DU songs very good! This album also features "Surrounded" from the "I&W" album which Dream Theater only performed at that time (1993) and rarely after.

Overall, this is a great live album and it would have gotten 5 stars from me if the album had been longer (it's sadly only 46-min long), so I'll give it a stron 4.5/5 instead. Highly recommended!

Report this review (#11382)
Posted Friday, April 1, 2005 | Review Permalink
2 stars Ok, so there I was, in 1994, a 70s prog rock fan in front of what lots of people had told me was a fantastic new band which had progressive elements mixed to a metal basis. I thought: "Well I love prog, and I like some metal bands, so let's give this guys a chance". And I bought "Live at the Marquee". And now I have to apologise to the thousands of Dream Theater fans but I really don't understand what is so special about this band. Apart from an outstanding song ("Bombay Vindaloo" which is the only I keep listening to), the rest is so boring! The whole record has a dramatic lack of imagination and creativity! Yes, Portnoy and Petrucci are technically perfect but what about the absolutely necessary soul that any good band should have? I can't find it anywhere... Again, I don't mean to offend anybody, it's just an opinion but being a Camel, Genesis, K. Crimson, Pink Floyd, etc, etc fan I can't see the point in Dream Theater's music. Sorry!
Report this review (#46298)
Posted Sunday, September 11, 2005 | Review Permalink
PSIKE Team & Band Submissions
3 stars From London to Bombay ...

After spotting DREAM THEATER in 1997 I was falling into infinity and got curious about other releases from the band. The next I bought was this one (the european edition) because I wanted to hear something about their live qualities. Now I have to admit - not a bad decision - not absolutely the best but a very good live effort from the band (including a masterpiece!). One minus is to state: the total length is just like a Vinyl Long Player. But therefore the quality of the performance is nothing to criticise.

We have 3 songs from the last effort 'Images and Works' - whereas I'm missing 'Learning to live'. Metropolis, Surrounded and Pull me under are as excellent as the studio version. And they played also two songs from their first output 'When Dream and Day unite'. A Fortune in Lies and Another Hand - The Killing Hand are working live and with LaBrie much better.

But the best song without any discussion is Bombay Vindaloo - an incredible jam, perfectly played. Petrucci in best form and Kevin Moore gets in late but very sentimentally. This song is different to the others and until today one of my band favourites.

For a long time I only skipped to track 3 when I had this release in my player. But for this review I took on to have time to listen to the other songs. And what a surprise, I have to take back my former impression: they are not disappointing at all! Fitted out with the outstanding Bombay Vindaloo this album can be recommended with a clear conscience.

Report this review (#66860)
Posted Thursday, January 26, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars The first time I got into Dream Theater was when a friend of mine gave me "Live at the Marquee", of a band called Dream Theater. The first time I listened to it I was really surprised. The first track Metropolis part 1 is EXCELLENT, very proggy, with a lot of tempo changes (It's like many songs together!!), my fauvorite DT song to the date. A fortune in Lies is a more conventional song, very metal. I love Bombay Vindaloo, an improvisation that sounds like arabian music in some parts, and it's only disposable on this CD. The entire song is soloing. But I can't believe this is an improvisation, it's played like it's a previously composed song. And also shows the HIGH Petrucci's habilities. Excellent track. Surrounded is the more listeneable song that shows Labrie's incredible voice. I can't understand that some people think he sings very poorly. Another Hand / The Killing Hand, it's two songs put together, nice song. Pull me under, inspirated by Shakespeare's Hamlet, is very well composed with a nice keyboard solo after the second chorus(the first one is at 3:45). The sound is excellent. It's an excellent live album,very recommended, but if you want DT masterpieces, you should get Images & Words or Metropolis pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory. PD: My english is poor, sorry.
Report this review (#67821)
Posted Wednesday, February 1, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Live At The Marquee

The live album was recorded at London Marquee Club in the UK in 1993, which just a year after the release of one of the most successful Dream Theater album, Images And Words. For me, and surprisingly, James LaBrie's concert vocal was better than other concert I have listened to. However, it such a shame that the album is just consist of 45+ minutes.

The first song was my favorite song in Images And Words, which was Metropolis Pt.1. The song was played in the same way as the original song, no improvisation at all. Also, LaBrie sang constantly good here, great job. The rest of the band also played the song flawlessly, just perfect.

After Metropolis Pt.1, the next song is the song from When Dream And Day Unite, A Fortune In Lies. In my opinion, James LaBrie sounded much better than Charlie Dominici in the song despite the cheesiness of the first verse, "I can remember when." The guitar solo, was just like usual, John Petrucci's typical, he always combine a great technique, nice tune and great feeling. Also, another flawless song.

The next song is Bombay Vindaloo, masterpiece instrumental song, great job from four of them. The main sound of the instrumental is the guitar sound, which dominated the whole song. The keyboard created a great background sound in addition to the bass sound. The drum parts also not very full skill, as the drum just at the back of the song. At the fifth minute, Kevin Moore started to show his amazing skill, great keyboard work!

After that, another song from Images And Words, but more mellow, Surrounded. Mellow and relaxing keyboard line for the intro with James LaBrie's nice vocal. In my opinion, he sings so much better in this kind of songs, just like The Answer Lies Within or Take Away My Pain, just beautiful. Moreover, the guitar intro was just amazing! Simple but very beautiful. The song became more dynamic when the drum starts, very energetic but not really metal and heavy. The guitar solo is, again, the combination of great skill, amazing sound effect and beautiful tone. LaBrie sang constantly well in this song, just like another songs.

The Killing Hand has beautiful intro, when John Petrucci and Kevin Moore play simple intro and nice tone. Meanwhile, the drum slowly becoming more and more heavy. And again!! The guitar intro was just very nice! The coolest part is when LaBrie screams at the fourth minute, 4:35 to be exact, real metal! Owh, this song was taken from When Dream And Day Unite, and for me, LaBrie sang better than Dominici at that time.

The last song was a truly ultimate progressive metal popular song, and most fans considered it as the best song in Images And Words, Pull Me Under. Well, its true, this is just a great song, heavy, metal, progressive, dynamic and beautiful. The song becomes heavier at the third minute, where John Petrucci's guitar rhythm played on the lower notes. The guitar solo was just ARHHH!!! Im running out of words!! Flawless and great!! What a great song to end the album.

Five giant stars for this album. Well, actually six stars but because the album is just 45+ minutes long, I give five stars : )

Timur Imam Nugroho - Indonesa

Report this review (#78902)
Posted Saturday, May 20, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Ohh yeah, we can compare this live with Live Scenes From New York, another great live...but I really prefer this one for the songs and also for the power they are played. Images and Words and the first album are resumed in this live with a majestic sound!!! I can't live without PULL ME UNDER!!! and Metropolis pt.1 too..."Bombay Vindaloo" (inedit and instrumental song) it's very similar to the sound of Rush. Petrucci and Portnoy never disappoint me, I've seen Theater twice in Live and they are able to play better than in studio. Also the basswork of Myung...(he plays his instrument with an incredible passion and an astonishing technique!!!). And Moore, what can we say about this fantastic magician of the keyboard?... This could be seen as the symbol of EarlyTheater in Live.
Report this review (#79514)
Posted Saturday, May 27, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars I've always been a little confused by the Live at the Marquee release. I'm not certain, but I don't think this has ever been officially released in the US. I believe it's a foreign release, and the only way to buy it in the US is as an import. That's how I got it anyway. I bought it in 2000, mostly to fill out my DT collection. It's a fairly non-descript live album, capturing the band during their Images & Words tour of Europe. The disc was recorded at London's famous Marquee Club, which has been home to numerous live shows which eventually found their way to release.

The disc basically captures some of the better DT songs at the time from both Images & Words and When Dream & Day Unite. You have the obligatory versions of Metropolis and Pull Me Under as well as cool versions of both A Fortune in Lies and Another Hand/The Killing Hand. These two songs are interesting because they're the only official releases with James LaBrie on vocals instead of Charlie Dominici. Not surprisingly, both songs are improved for this fact. Surprisingly, the highlight of the disc is an instrumental called Bombay Vindaloo that doesn't appear on any other official DT release. While the instrumental is typical of early DT in that it's self-indulgent, over-worked and somewhat one-dimensional, it's also very cool. The slow building intro and slow fading closure generate most of the interest. Besides that, the only "surprising" song included is Surrounded from Images & Words. You'd expect the band to include Another Day, the more popular song (and in fact the song is included on the Japanese version).

Nonetheless, Marquee has a lot to offer. The versions of both Metropolis and Pull Me Under are superior to those found on other more recent live DT releases (perhaps because they were newer at the time and benefited from an energy from the band that was missing in later years). Live versions of Surrounded are fairly rare as is A Fortune in Lies. But the real gem is Another Hand/The Killin Hand. This live version is vastly superior to the studio version. The second half of the song, in particular, is better than the original, as LaBrie gives the song more feeling and emotion than Dominici would ever deliver.

I don't know what else to say....I think if I'd been more of a DT fan back in 1993 I would have been a huge fan of Marquee. But since I didn't pick the disc up till 2000, I've never really listened to it that much. Most of the songs are aged now, and don't have the appeal of a contemporary release. Nonetheless, it's still a needed addition to any true DT fan's collection.

Report this review (#85134)
Posted Sunday, July 30, 2006 | Review Permalink
Cygnus X-2
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Dream Theater's first attempt at a live album would also prove to be their weakest in my opinon, as their song repetoir was limited to solely the Images & Words and the When Dream and Day Unite material, which in my opinion weren't their best albums at all. That said, though, they do seem to pick some of the better songs from Images & Words and When Dream and Day Unite, although the absence of Learning to Live really is a downer to say the least. This would also be the only live album to feature Kevin Moore in the band (not counting the Live in Tokyo video) and I don't really think it's a comprehensive look at Dream Theater with Kevin Moore in the band at all, but it's a good album for what it is. Still, though, if you're looking for early Dream Theater live material, this is essentially the only source you have (unless you decide to uncover the extensive amount of bootlegs that exist throughout the world).

The album opens with Metropolis Part 1, which in my opinion was the second best song off of I&W along with the absent Learning to Live. It's a pretty good rendition, but they've done better (Live Scenes from New York). A Fortune In Lies is benefited from much improved sound quality on this release, and I've always liked the live versions of the song better than the studio version (which suffered from atrocious audio quality). Bombay Vindaloo is essentially the improvisational piece of the album, and though Kevin Moore was never a big fan of improvs he is present on this song. The whole band get into an infectious groove and they really come into their own and it's actually one of the reasons you may want to get this album. It's followed by Surrounded, one of my least favorite songs off of I&W as it's a tad too overblown and pretentious in my opinion. Still, though, Portnoy is pretty good on the percussion here. Another Hand / The Killing Hand is essentially an extended version of The Killing Hand, which was another pretty good track from WDaDU. I'm quite fond of Moore's symphonic keyboards when they're coupled with the precision shredding of Petrucci. The album closes with the breakthrough song for Dream Theater Pull Me Under. Of all the versions of the song I've heard, this is probably one of the weaker ones in terms of sound quality and overall performance, but it's still a pretty solid and trying version for the band that would perfect their live sound within the next few years.

Overall, Live at the Marquee is my least favorite Dream Theater live album. While the others had spectacular song selections and a more whole feel. this one is broken up into segments and feels more like a live compilation album than a concert. Still, though, there are pretty good renditions of classic songs like Metropolis and The Killing Hand, so that should please any Dream Theater fan. Bombay Vindaloo is also a pretty killer song, so you may want to pick up this album if you're a fan of the group and like improvisational pieces. Me? Well, I'm in the middle. 3/5.

Report this review (#87326)
Posted Tuesday, August 15, 2006 | Review Permalink

This is how those extensive series of live album started, and this is one of the things Dream Theater has cared about, having quality live performances and this is not an exception. The quality sound is pretty decent, and the musicianship too, but there are some parts when James LaBrie is really pushing very hard to get to those high notes achieve long sustains.

The fidelity from the original versions is very close and they try to give the best through the whole concert. The tracks that surprised in some way in some way are the inclusion of "Bombay Vindaloo" and almost unknown instrumental track to show off their abilities and the medley that joins "Another Hand" with "The Killing Hand"; which sounds far better than when Charlie sang it.

An enjoyable live album, but Dream Theater has longer and better shows available.

Report this review (#121763)
Posted Saturday, May 12, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars I just would like to start with a reflexion. Before this review, there were forty-five in total for this album. Of which only fifteen commented to defend the album. This sounds rather weird to me. But that's PA rule. You can post your rate without expressing your feeling...Strange.

This very first "Dream Theater" live album is extremely convincing. The best of their early repertoire is featured here. Even if I am a bit disappointed that there is no sign of "The Ytse Jam".

It is of course interesting to listen to LaBrie singing some old Dream Theater songs (even older, I mean). He is great in his interpretation of "Fortune..". But Charles was also very good (at least it is my feeling). This song really gets me mad. It does not not hold one sec. of prog, but what a great hard-rock song. The guitar solo is just wonderfull. This song has some reminiscence with "Highway star" (this one being one of my ultimate hard-rock anthem which I will ask to be played on my burial party. I guess that all the guests will be very much surprised when I will just get up out of my coffin and singing for a while : "I'm a Highway Star"...

The jamming party for "Bombay vindaloo" is fantastic. Petrucci at his best. But this guy is just amazing. Very much Blackmore oriented IMO but maybe with even more frenzy (not crazyness, because on that level, I believe that Ritchie tops him).

The whole of "Dream Theater" dual face is featured with "Surrounded". A rock ballad. With some DT sauce. A lot better than the studio verion, IMO.

The closing number of the live set featured onthis live album is the incredible "Pull Me Under". One of their best song from "Images & Words".

This album is of course lots shorter to the ones the band will propose later on. Still, it is a great live rendition. Hard-rock or heavy metal fans, this is yours. Prog music is next door. But I am thrilled to see them onstage early next month in Antwerp.

Three stars.

Report this review (#138079)
Posted Thursday, September 13, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars This was the first official live release by DT (I have a bootleg of the same period with also mainly Wdadu and IaW tracks but we'll not count that one) and there are two reasons why I really like this one. First and main reason is Bombay Vindaloo which is one of the best DT songs ever to me, only to be found on this live album. It's a very compelling instrumental track that goes to a climax twice, once with Kevin Moore and the other one with John Petruccci. Superb track for who likes to be inflamed in the right sence of the word. The other execution I really love is Another hand/the killing hand which is in this live performance a lot better than in the studio version.

The other live efforts are very much ok too, which brings me to a 4 star conclusion.

Report this review (#150556)
Posted Wednesday, November 14, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Dream Theater´s first live album Live at the Marquee is a good introduction to early Dream Theater. At the time of the release in 1993 I was a big fan of Dream Theater. Images and Words was one of my favorite albums that year so I was happy to learn that Dream Theater had made a live album.

The songs are played to perfection as we´ve come to expect from Dream Theater and there isn´t room for improvisation within the structures of the arranged songs. This is something they have changed a bit since then. There is a live jam song though called Bombay Vindaloo which is a vehicle for a John Petrucci guitar solo. The three songs from Images and Words: Metropolis Part I, Surrounded and Pull Me Under are great live songs. Funny enough when you know my feelings toward semi-ballad type songs I really think Surrounded sounds really inspired in this version. Maybe it is due to the fact that this was at the time James Labrie´s favorite song from Images and Words. His performance here is outstanding. The most exciting part of Live at the Marquee is the inclusion of two songs from When Dream and Day Unite though. It´s really great to hear James Labrie sing these songs instead of Charlie Dominici. Especially A Fortune In Lies is a really excellent song.

The musicianship is astonishing if you take a listen. This live album is completely flawless and most people might think it´s too flawless. I must admit I could use a bit more crowd noise to get me in the right mood, but in that respect this is a cold album. I have seen Dream Theater live a couple of times and both times I was disappointed about James Labrie´s performance as I felt he screamed too much when he couldn´t reach the high notes but on this album he sings really well which of course is alfa omega. This unfortunately makes me a bit suspicious though. Is this really a live recording in front of a crowd?

The sound quality is good, but the rythm guitar needs a little more power and there isn´t enough bass for my taste. But otherwise it´s pretty good.

Allthough my interest in Dream Theater has cooled a lot over the years I still hold both Images and Words and Awake in high regard. Live at the Marquee is a great addition to those beatiful progressive metal albums Dream Theater made early in their career. I wouldn´t call it excellent but it is definitely above average and I think it is closer to 4 stars than 3. Therefore I will give Live at the Marquee 4 small stars.

Report this review (#165421)
Posted Monday, March 31, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is the absolut top of Dream Theater MarkII. Before releasing Awake, their masterpiece which was affected by the departure of K. Moore, they show the world their power with this 6-pieces live performances. This is an encyclopedia of great technic prog metal.

The beginning of Metropolis is devastating: James La Brie shows a power never heard yet in Images and Words, which will be repeated only in Awake. The song sounds more powerful than in the record.

A fortune in lies shows that La Brie, in 1993, was on another planet, leaving the original singer of this song in the oblivion. The song is fast, angry, powerful.

Bombay Vindaloo is a great dark jam which features the perfect and intense Petrucci-Moore feeling, with scales sharped as razors running one after each other.

Surrounded is again more powerful than on record.

But the summa, the masterpiece comes with The killing hand: here James La Brie's screams are the deepest rawest vocals ever. They almost make you cry and bring your mind back to the Ian Gillan era of Made in Japan (remember Child in Time?). But here is far beyond reach. Kevin Moore also shows its greatest touch and taste, bringing this song an epic and unique style.

After such a record, the conclusion left to Pull me under is almost a filler, rapid and heavy.

This album pictures a band at the top of its shape and strentgh. A condition, unluckily, never repeated again. The best era of Dream Theater.

Report this review (#176964)
Posted Wednesday, July 16, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars An early proof of brilliance

Dream Theater have always been known for their strong live performances, and Live at Marquee is definitely not an exception to that common sense. Here, however, we see a much fresher and more spontaneous performance than in their later live albums, where technicality and perfection took over. Don't get me wrong, i love most of Dream Theater's live albums and technicality is a great thing, but spontaneity is also a great thing and here we see plenty of it.

Also, amazingly enough, this is probably LaBrie's best live performance ever recorded: this is possibly the only live album where he sings all songs in tune and is able to hit all notes, despite of some screams where he should hit clean notes. This album is the lonely proof of why he was chosen as the band's singer: he was a pretty good live singer, at least before all went downhill due to the food poisoning incident in Cuba.

About the songs, musicianship and other features, there are somethings i would like to state:

Most songs of Live at Marquee are better versions of the studio songs. From the opening track, the unforgettable classic Metropolis, to the closing track, their best hit song Pull me Under, the performance is just great and every song have a new thing, a subtle improvisation. The songs where that can be more easily seen are the versions of the songs A Fortune in Lies and Another Hand-The Killing Hand for LaBrie to sing, which where great. Besides those subtle improvisations, the song Bombay Vindaloo clearly is an improvised jam, another sign of spontaneity in live performances that they have seemly lost to achieve tecnical perfection.

Also, the song selection / tracklist is very good, though not being the best tracklist possible. I feel that they could have played also at least one of the following: Ytse Jam, Only a Matter of Time, Under a Glass Moon, Take the Time or Learning to Live.

Grade and Final Thoughts

So, great songs (check), great performance (check), best LaBrie's live performance ever recorded (check). Hmm, am I forgetting something? Oh yes, the grade! It will be 5 stars then.

Report this review (#202873)
Posted Sunday, February 15, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars This is the album that made me aware of this band. If I am not mistaken, I borrowed it from another metalhead. He got it back and I hurried down to the local record shop and bought my own copy. If my memories serves me right, this album was sold as an EP and it sold very well. It was much talked about in the local metal scene and I guess a lot of people got introduced to DREAM THEATER through this album.

The reason I fell for this band was the nice sound, the complex song structures and the freshness of the performance on this album. I have also played a lot of air-guitar because of Bombay Vindaloo. In other words; I would give it five stars for being the album who introduced me to DREAM THEATER and for the impact it made on the scene. But in 2009, this album sounds a bit dated. But when it was released; it was a great album and an important one too.

This album is a nice run through their earlier stuff. This is the first of many, many DREAM THEATER live album and a warning of what was to come. This is probably their weakest ever live album. But the band was still trying to find their feet at this early stage of their career. That's why it has historic value and it is one fans of this band should check out.

3.25 stars

Report this review (#218045)
Posted Sunday, May 24, 2009 | Review Permalink
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars This album starts out with a bang. "Metropolis - Pt. 1" is a great piece, and is played well here. "A Fortune In Lies" is also a very good song. And "Bombay Vindaloo", an eastern flavored jam, show some dynamics rarely heard from Dream Theater. The rest of the album, too me sounds like a metal version of Journey or Styx. But that seems to be the story of this band. They are extremely talented musicians, but they seem to be lacking something in the creativity department. Once you've heard their tricks, it gets tiring to hear them repeated throughout a concert.

At least on this recording, the mix is more of a whole band mix, rather than Portnoy and Petrucci drowning out everything else.

But half of the album is still worthwhile.

2.5 stars. More tham a collectors item, but not quite good.

Report this review (#232383)
Posted Wednesday, August 19, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars First official live album from the Theater. An amazing look back.

It will be a surprise to find out that Dream Theater has an official live album that last less than an hour in comparisson with their extensive selection of live albums that last near to 3 hours each. Well, it all begun with this short live EP they promoted in 1993. According to Mike Portnoy, It should be called "Dream Theater live at The Marquee and James Labrie Live at Bear Track Studios", because he did re-record it almost entirely.

Well, overdubs aside, this is a great recording, in which we find the only official live album in Kevin Moore's Era. We find a young band fresh and tight, having a great time playing songs from their two first two albums. Hearing Labrie singing the songs of the first album is great, because he brings a complete new dynamic to those songs. There's a "jamming" in the middle, that is good but I think they have play a lot better instrumental sections through the years. Of course, for any fan of the band, this is a "most hear" but it won't change the life of anyone I think.

The band played great and is unbelievable how good these guys were back then. Kevin Moore presence in the band is quite welcome and his developing of sounds is great. For those who enjoy the VHS or DVD "Live in Tokyo", this album is a counter part or a complementary audio CD. For any DT fan, this is a most have. But for those who don't like the band or prog metal in general, you should check Live at Budokan for heaviness or Score for composition and quality sound.

Not their best live performance but a good show indeed. Too short album, you will want to have more but 40 minutes is all they have, of course, with the best songs of that time. 4 stars is fair.

Report this review (#270769)
Posted Tuesday, March 9, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars I find this album good, but not really outstanding. From the songs included, my favourite ones are Metropolis and Pull me Under, however, I prefer both songs in their studio versions. The other songs aren't so memorable for me, and I wish they had made a different selection of songs from their debut album. As for Bombay Vindaloo, it's a nice instrumental improv piece, but I don't usually like improvs so much. They may be good, but usually there's something lacking. One of the main problems with this album for me are the vocals, LaBrie gets particularly annoying here (more than on the original songs), and even though I find him a better vocalist than Dominici, I was rather disappointed to find out I prefered the way Dominici sang the songs originally than LaBrie (even though I found Dominici's singing one of the weakest aspects from the debut album).
Report this review (#307132)
Posted Thursday, October 28, 2010 | Review Permalink
Andy Webb
Retired Admin
4 stars The beginning of a live legacy.

Live at the Marquee marked the first official live album for the then-young Dream Theater. Recorded at the famous Marquee Club in London, England, the new band found a willing audience in the smokey hall of the Marquee where many well known prog acts, such as Yes, Pink Floyd, IQ, and Cardicas have played. Great recording quality, superior musicianship, and an overall great show made this a fantastic album. There really is no reason to review each track individually, because it is a live album and I have fully reviewed each of the tracks on here (except Bombay Vindaloo) on their respective studio album's reviews. Bombay Vindaloo is a cool improv track that shows the band's chemistry with each other. However, the track can get a little boring as the band members experiment with their instruments. This barely is noticeable, as the experimentation is very cool and creative. Other than that the album is a near-perfect live album, except for the fact that it is live, and there is only a small chance for a live album to be absolutely perfect, save a few from a few bands. 4+ stars.

Report this review (#357594)
Posted Sunday, December 19, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars Dream Theater decided to released a live album after just two studio ones. This was not a bad decision, but this album could have been so much more. Since the album was released as a single LP, there are just six tracks here, recorded with superb quality at the famous Marquee club in London. Pull Me Under appears, as you'd expect, and so does Metropolis. For fans of 'When Dream And Day Unite' you get A Fortune In Lies and The Killing Hand, the latter of which is given an awesome new intro titled Another Hand to replace the acoustic guitar solo. Depending on where you live, you can hear one of the two shorter tracks from 'Images And Words', Surrounded or Another Day.

On this tour, Dream Theater used to jam a lot, forming instrumentals that would evolve over the tour. Such instrumentals include Puppies on Acid (to become the intro to The Mirror), Barfbag, Another Hand (see above), Eve and of course Bombay Vindaloo which appears here. This piece, entirely in 4/4, is an experiment in building tension slowly by increasing the volume over time, which it does twice. Petrucci's guitars are on show, and he is very impressive (as always).

Now I know for a fact, that Dream Theater had some amazing shows back in these days. They would play the entire of 'Images And Words' (which is their best album by a long way), play a good selection from 'When Dream And Day Unite' and also play a fantastic selection of tracks that hadn't been released by then. Such tracks include A Change Of Seasons (an intriguing early version) and To Live Forever. If this live album had been expanded to a double disc, they could have fit some of these amazing goodies on here, and the album would have more value for money. As it is though, this album only gives you a small glimpse into the Dream Theater live show of 1993. For a far better experience, see if you can pick up the official bootleg 'New York City 3/4/93' which is my favourite live album/gig they have ever done. 2.5 stars

Report this review (#437145)
Posted Thursday, April 21, 2011 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams
4 stars A great taste of early material

The post-Images and Words era is my favourite of the band along with the post-Scenes from a Memory one (when I finally saw them live). This short (<50min) live album provides a good taste of the first two albums, the energy and the musicianship of the band on stage.

With only six tracks, Live at the Marquee captures the more "aggressive" aspect of Dream Theater, with two tracks from their debut, the transition to the more sophisticated prog metal - Metropolis, Surrounded and Pull me Under from I&W - and balances out the differences with an interesting improvisation jam (Bombay Vindaloo). Execution of the tracks is (as would be expected) top class and the voice of LaBrie sounds interesting at the debut tracks, though maybe slightly annoying at the newer staff. I found the guitar sounding "upfront" which is always challenging in live albums and works here positively. On the debut tracks, the influences from early Fates Warning and Queensryche are obvious, something I had not particularly observed before.

Fans of Dream Theater already own this in one way or another. If the high-pitched vocals of LaBrie and the short-lived improvisation madness do not annoy you, then this should be a great first taste of the band for any "newcomer".

Report this review (#439916)
Posted Thursday, April 28, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars An interesting listen to DT's early material.

While's there not really much in here in terms of material (just 6 songs), it's a nice opportunity to listen to James LaBrie's dynamic falsetto before his "food illness" that seemingly made listening to songs from Images & Words in later shows irreprehensible and almost impossible to listen to, as he had to lower the octaves each time.

The record starts off with "Metropolis / A Fortune In Lies", with the latter being a very good song with LaBrie on the mike in comparison to the former, Charlie Dominici. Then you get to "Bombay Vindaloo", the highlight of the entire disc. This is a pure jam, something extremely rare in the world of prog and even rarer in the world of metal.

When you take a band like The Grateful Dead and Phish, whom usually base their songs on very simple rhythms and patterns (the former moreso than then latter), it's easy to just jam and mess around for another 10 minutes or so. Once you take that philosophy to a progressive, technical, demanding metal group like Dream Theater, the window for improvisation is a bit narrower, which is what makes "Bombay Vindaloo". John Myung starts it off with a simple pattern and a few notes, which sets the key. After some weird guy randomly screams in the background, John Petrucci adds an atmospheric touch, while Mike Portnoy (drum god) adds the windchimes, wood blocks, etc. That begins the building blocks for the jam, to which Portnoy adds the drumset, the music gets progressively louder, Kevin Moore's keyboards comes in, and then Petrucci proceeds to melt some faces.

That, my friends, is the true majesty of this legendary band.

Of course, this jam shouldn't take away from the rest of the show. This record contains a very good recording of "Surrounded", as well as "The Killing Hand" and a decent, though not the best version, of their big hit "Pull Me Under".

All in all, at a cheap price (or even better, free), you need to pick this record up. It's not an essential DT live show, but if you're a big fan of the band as I am, you should not be disappointed in retrieving this disc.

Report this review (#505403)
Posted Thursday, August 18, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars A tribute to James Labrie's larynx...

Live at the Marquee is Dream Theater's very first live album, and was recorded after the release of just two studio albums. I've listened to enough live Dream Theater to last a lifetime and so was understandably reluctant to get this early chronicle. The completionist in me eventually gave in, although my justification for the purchase was somewhat bizarre. I had decide that this would provide me with the opportunity to award a live Dream Theater album three stars. All the others I had listened to were either very good, or very bad, so this would be the quintessential middle-of-the-road offering. Looking back, this prejudicial justification seems even more ridiculous given my eventual conclusion.

The Good: James Labrie's voice! It's had many ups and downs over the years (mainly downs), but this is a high like no other. It's raw and energetic with great performances throughout, but a special mention must go to A Fortune in Lies and The Killing Hand where he brings a new lease of life to 'When Day and Dream Unite'.

The Bad Not So Good: It's really short, a mere 45 minutes. You could argue this is due to the lack of available material, however the exclusion of Take the Time (which is included on the DVD) is unforgivable, as it is easily the best live recording of this song to date.

The Verdict: Exceeds all expectations.

Report this review (#769842)
Posted Tuesday, June 12, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars Short but good

This album represents for me the first time I heard of DREAM THEATER. Recorded at the Marquee Club in London in 1993, the concert was part of a huge tour following the unexpected success of "Images and Words". (Almost) cleverly thought, the set-list simply consists in 2 emblematic progressive metal titles from their first and second albums, 1 new improvisation and... unfortunately 1 soapy song, "Another Day" or "Surrounded", depending on your version... Choose your sleeping pill. Nevertheless, despite the 45 minutes duration, the quality is present.

The live renditions of "Pull Me Under" and "Metropolis" touch perfection. If you want me to nitpick, I will just mention the very low volume of John Myung's bass solo. A problem of microphone? "Bombay Vindaloo" is an instrumental jam led by John Petrucci, where he displays his virtuosity. This improvisation offers a nice Middle-Eastern-ish mysterious ambiance, although a bit too long. Only appearing on this disc, there exist no other studio or live versions of this track.

However, for the fan, the main interest of this record are undoubtedly "A Fortune In Lies" and "The Killing Hand". Finally, two songs from "When Dream and Day Unite" where James LaBrie replaces Charles Dominici! LaBrie's high- pitched and raging vocals does the justice that these great compositions deserve, making them more aggressive than the originals. His performance, especially on these tracks, is incredible! There is also an alternate opening for "The Killing Hand". Entitled "Another Hand", this enjoyable neo-proggy instrumental was written during the tour to bring a smoother transition to the end of "Another Day".

"Live at the Marquee" is simply THE old-school DREAM THEATER live album to own, as well as a good introduction to the band's first era. After the listen, a hopeless and futile idea germinates in your mind: maybe one day the band will re-record "When Dream and Day Unite" with James LaBrie...

Report this review (#1681718)
Posted Wednesday, January 18, 2017 | Review Permalink
3 stars Hey kids! Remember Kevin Moore?! The guy played on Dream Theater's first three studio albums, buggered off, and has since more-or-less completely cut off all ties to the Dream Theater name, wanting nothing to do with the band. So if you wanted to hear what the progressive metal legends sounded like in their early days, playing live with a certain Mr. Moore, then this is likely to be the only chance you'll ever get.

Released shortly after the bands second album, 'Images and Words', 'Live at the Marquee' is a six-track EP which doesn't really do the group or their previous releases justice. It's a nice addition to the collection of any Dream Theater fan, but since most of their live records would go on to become three-disc sets, this one has become pretty obsolete and unnecessary.

With Dream Theater classics such as 'Metropolis', 'A Fortune in Lies' and 'Pull Me Under', there's no denying the tracks are stellar, and considering vocalist James LaBrie would go on to suffer from ruptured vocal chords which would affect his live performances for years to come, it's nice to hear these songs with the youthful energy that the band had at the time.

Overall this isn't a terrible release, but if you're after a true Dream Theater live experience then you're better off looking for 2004's 'Live at Budokan', 2005's 'Score' or 2000's 'Live Scenes from New York'. It's a nice little EP if you come across it, but not really worth the effort unless you must own everything.

Report this review (#1785348)
Posted Thursday, September 21, 2017 | Review Permalink

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