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Dream Theater

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5 stars A great live performance by a great band. They play their first album with singer Kevin LaBrie and keyboardist Jordan Rudess. No more crappy Dominicci ruining the great band instrumental play. Well, you do hear him at the end, performing To Live Forever and the legendary Metropolis Pt.1

Actually, LaBrie fails at singing like in most of his live performances, but I didn't know this album was so good until I listened to this so it deserves 5 stars for that. Actually, it doesn't. The rating system should be 1-10, in which case I would give it a 9. I'm just giving it the benefit of the doubt.

I recommend the DVD, because, well... what's better... listening, or watching & listening? It also includes a *bonus* documental with the members talking (in the good ol'days) about the songs and the band in general. Even though this piece is hardly essential, and it doesn't really add much, it's a welcome addition for Dream Theater fans worldwide.

Report this review (#54842)
Posted Saturday, November 5, 2005 | Review Permalink
Andy Webb
Retired Admin
4 stars Reunite with Dream Theater history!

Incredible. Fifteen years after the release of their debut album, this metal band is still going strong and pumping out new material. Although some despise them, Dream Theater will always have a special place in my collection and will forever be my favorite band, and this release still shows the incredible longevity of the band and their music. With a grand set list including the entire When Dream and Day Unite tracklist, plus two very special encore tracks, the live bootleg is essential for any Dream Theater fan's collection. LaBrie's vocals actually work very nicely over the unpolished compositions that made up the band's overlooked debut, giving new life to the sometimes dilapidated-seeming songs. Then, when the encore comes on, we see a very special guest: the debut's very own singer, Charlie Dominci, who had dropped out of the music scene for nearly 15 years after he left Dream Theater. Dominici then went on to release 3 stupendous solo albums, and may be working on even more! To top it all off, as well as an incredible performance on To Live Forever, he then came back for a magnificent (and maybe the best live recording of) Metropolis, Part 1, as well as former keyboardist Derek Sherinian! What ecstasy! The instrumentalists then went off on a solo battle tour-de-force for nearly 5 minutes on the instrumental section, truly showing the amazing communication these guys have with each other. This live release is surely a treasure for any Dream Theater fan, and easily the best bootleg the Ytsejam Records store has released. 4+ stars.

Report this review (#357602)
Posted Sunday, December 19, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars This is a live re-recording of the debut album, with La-Brie and Rudess in the line-up. Now, given a few problems from the original recording, I hoped this would be a step better, but instead it has some problems fixed, but gets some new flaws. The good is, it's got better recording and mixing than the original, plus it sounds more mature, and it's just a bit heavier. However, Moore is missed on keyboards, Rudess of course is excellent (technically speaking, perhaps better than Moore), but the special atmospheric sound from the original recording are gone, and I liked those ones better. And for the last, the most disapointing part of this releas are the vocals. I strongly hoped to have the vocals fixed with this release, since I consider La Brie a better singer than Dominici (even though La Brie can be very annoying at times), but here he managed to sing everything worse than Dominicci did originally (so much that when I listen to the original one I end up enjoying the vocals that I found so difficult to get into originally). So, the main song that really sounds better on this album is "The Ytse Jam", with no vocals and the keyboards fitting Rudess stile, this is a winner on this version. However, the other songs that I really liked from the original album, "Status Seeker", "Afterlife", and "Only a Matter of time", are still very good, and as I said kind of heavier, but in the end, because of vocals and keyboards, I prefer the originals. The rest of the album is just about as annoying as the original, and the vocals even more annoying than they originally were. As for the bonus songs, I never really liked "To live forever", and this version won't make me change my mind, and "Metropolis" is just about as good as ever, though somewhat extended on the instrumental section, and a bit more annoying on vocals. Now, for this last two songs, Sherinian and Dominicci join the band too, though Dominicci doesn't really add much to the vocals, sadly. In the end, I guess this album deserves just about the same rating as the original, though if you will just buy one, the original should be the one to go with.
Report this review (#1029857)
Posted Friday, September 6, 2013 | Review Permalink
4 stars 'When Dream and Day Unite', an album that has long been disregarded by casual fans of the band, and even most die-hard fans, is Dream Theater's 1989 debut which was released by Mechanic Records and is since no longer owned property of the band. Which, to the disfavour of many fans, means there would never be a modern re- recording or re-mastered version. So what do the band do? A live version instead!

Now, I love Dream Theater, and I actually really like their debut album as it is. The production gives it a majestic vibe akin to 1980's Rush, and original vocalist Charlie Dominici's voice fits the music well. However, while this 2004 live recording sounds good, with its beefier production and subtle rearrangements, there is still one detriment to this being a live recording as opposed to a studio one, and that's James LaBrie.

LaBrie is a fantastic vocalist, no doubt about that, and all his studio work is flawless, but he can sometimes be fairly hard to tolerate live, especially with these songs, in which a lot of the times his voice doesn't quite seem as suited to the music as his predecessors. He struggles to hit a lot of the right notes, and his pronunciation has always made it a challenge to make out what he's singing. More often than not, it just sounds as if he's content to wail away with whichever high-pitched screech he can hit.

Overall, I think, while the production is an improvement, even as a live recording, I prefer the original studio version of 'When Dream and Day Unite'. But with that said, there is a little something that make this album worth picking up anyway; bonus tracks 'Metropolis Pt.1' and 'To Live Forever', which feature guest appearances by the aforementioned Charlie Dominici and one-time keyboardist Derek Sherinian.

'Metropolis' in particular is fantastic! Dominici's powerful voice (not diminished through years of performing and a bout of violent food poisoning ala James LaBrie) completely blows his successor away. And a brief keyboard/guitar duel between Sherinian, Jordan Rudess and John Petrucci shows why Sherinian is often unfairly unappreciated for his brief tenure with the band.

Overall this is a great release of a great band playing a great album. There's moments that make me cringe and there's moments that make me wonder why this was released under the band's "Official Bootleg" series and not marketed more commercially. I've always been a sucker for studio recordings though, which is why I won't go back to this one very often, but overall it's a worthy addition to the Dream Theater collection.

Report this review (#1782737)
Posted Saturday, September 16, 2017 | Review Permalink

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