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Dream Theater - Once In A Livetime CD (album) cover

ONCE IN A LIVETIME

Dream Theater

 

Progressive Metal

3.30 | 383 ratings

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ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer
2 stars A POOR MAN'S "MADE IN JAPAN"

I am not very ethusisastic about this live album. Track list is not super that's the first thing. But to emasculate such a track as "A Change Of Seasons" should be prohibited ! Completely trussed up. A little part to open the show, some other parts a little later and a final one to close the concert. That's how "brilliant" it is represented here. Not a good idea, IMO.

This live recording really start with "Just Let Me Breathe" and its "The Mule" oriented intro (drumming is rather close as well during some sections). A bit (!) heavier than the original. Since it is the supporting for "Falling Into...", several songs will logically come out this album. It is probably not the one which is praised the most amongst "Dream Theater" fans but it did not sound bad to my ears.

Now, the second problem with this album lies in the interpretation of some songs. I have commented my view already upon "A Change", but this won't be a unique example, unfortunately. Several track features long and boring soli which should have been avoided. I know that this is a TM for "DT" concerts (and I will soon experience this since I am going to attend their concert in Antwerp early October this year).

This was a habit of the early seventies. Some drum solo, a guitar one and of course let's not forget the piano / keyboards. "The Who" and "Yes" adding even a bass solo (but Entwistle and Fish are fabulous in the genre, at least when you were able to WATCH them). Because the difference between watching and hearing is enourmous.

There are of course some very good songs played here, like "Voices" which displays all the facets of a great "DT" song. Melody, strong bass, even some more keys than usual. One of the few highlights. It is wonderfully followed by "Take The Time". Hesitant vocals to start but wonderful beat and some virtuosity from Petrucci.. Voilą. This is as much as we will get on this first CD.

The other "songs" will be pure self indulgence. The filiation with Purple concert is obvious in its concept. Not in the rendition. Because Sherinian is not Jon Lord. While you listen to his "solo" which is imediately combined with "Line In The Sand" you will know what I am talking about. Fully "Lazy" oriented (while played live of course). But IMO, these type of tracks are outdated. They belong to another generation (mine actually, but such a long time ago ...). The "Space Truckin"-like riff that one can hear at times (briefly, I admit) adds a special feeling about this song. Lots of virtuosity again, and a very much Gilmouresque (great) solo but the last four minutes are painful to bear.

Unfortunately, if you believe that things will improve on CD 2 you are wrong. Same stuff. But the feeling is getting worse because one has already been through the first part of the concert. A funny moment though while the band will play some "Have A Cigar" (Floyd) notes. "DT" has already released an "official bootleg" called "Uncovered" (1995) from which they took out several tracks featured on "A Change Of Seasons". "Floyd" was already covered with "In The Flesh" (much more to come of course...).

Most of their great tracks are not pleasantly performed. "Trial...", "Peruvian Skies", but more obviously during "Pull Me Under". It is one of my preferred "DT" song but not in this format, for sure. There will be an attempt to FEEL like "Led Zep" when "DT" plays two acoustic songs side by side; maybe to pastiche the acoustic set during "Led Zep's concerts. But LaBrie is not Robert Plant).

I really do not recommend this live album neither to "DT" fans nor to the casual one who would like to get acquainted with the band. They did already a better one in their early stage of their career ("Live At The Marquee", 1993) and will release their ultimate live album a little later. But these are other scenes...

Two stars.

ZowieZiggy | 2/5 |

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