Dream Theater in Helsinki

27.9 2005

Live at Ice Hall, HELSINKI

I don’t know if it’ s something to do with the recent revival of older metal/hard rock on the scene – initiated by the likes of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Mötley Crue but it seems that metal is more popular than ever. Almost every concert in Finland is selling pretty well and tonight Dream Theater had the sold-out crowd head banging in wild abandon for the duration of their two-and-a-half-hour set.  It’s quite impressive when we talk about a band which plays heavy, complexed and hard-driving hybrid of metal and progressive rock. 




James LaBrie looking forward to Helsinki gig!


On this tour Dream Theater has no support act at all because the shows are kind of special concerts and the band itself plays two separate sets which total over 145 minutes every night. After a long intro tape, which was a theme of  “Clockwork Orange”, the band took the stage about 08:00 PM and they instantly captivated the whole audience with the crushing new album opening track “Root Of All Evil” followed by another new heavy track “Panic Attack”. The band then started it’s own musical crusade with “Another Won”, which is a track by pre -Dream Theater band Majesty. Very rarely played stuff! More gems followed: “A Fortune In Lies” from their classic debut “When Dream And Day Unite” and “Under A Glass Moon” from bands third and breakthrough album “Images and Words”.

At this point I learned the name of the game and I understood that  the band is going to play something in order from each Dream Theater album so next song must be something from my all time fave DT album AWAKE, I was waiting for “6:00” but to my big surprise they did “The Mirror”. Not a bad choice, especially when they next did another rarely played AWAKE track “Lie”. Still no “6:00” but this concert consist of two different parts so there will still be enough time for that one …

“Peruvian Skies” then represented FALLING INTO INFINITY . That album was a brazen attempt to woo a more mainstream audience and has resulted in the band’s weakest effort since their debut. Still there are some good moments and “Peruvian Skies” is clearly one of them.



Mike Portnoy and Joh Petrucci having a little jam.. 

Unlikely it’s predecessor the 1999 studio sequel, “Scenes from a Memory”, delivered the band back straight into old-fashioned progressive rock and it’s one of the bands finest works to date. It is a milestone in their career, finding all of band’s best attributes amalgamated into a fully realized whole. I remember when the band did a tour for “Scenes..” and they then did the whole album live. Now they only did “Fatal Tragedy” which is a great song, as everything is, on that brilliant album.

Even successor album SIX DEGREES OF INNER TURBULENCE may not be another classic but it’s still another good addition to their impressive discography. The overall sound of the album is the heaviest Dream Theater to date and song “About the Crash” was probably the heaviest track played tonight. “Losing Time/Grand Finale” was the final song of the first act and then it was time to have small break. Overall this first part was musically really brilliant and it took a retrospective look at the bands past. Lot’s of surprises and rarely played gems every here and there. Visually this band has never been anything special when the guys mostly just concentrate of playing but compared to previous shows I’ve seen in the past they now had really good vibes on stage and especially singer James LaBrie surprised many with his aggressive and energetic performance. Picking up the mood, and clearly buzzing off the audience’s enthusiasm, James treats us to some pretty damn excellent improvised vocals, and he managed to sound fresh and heartfelt.

The rest of the band: guitarist John Petrucci, bassist John Myung, drummer Mike Portnoy, all of whom once trained together at Berklee, and keyboardist Jordan Rudess showed impressive ability on their respective instruments and fortunately no one didn’t collapsed to do over length soloing but only a couple brief solo spots every now and then which were pretty and effective.



 John Petrucci & John Myong doing what they do best..

After A twenty minute break the second act soon started and the band continued where they left off. “As I Am” and “This Dying Soul”, both from 2003 album TRAIN OF THOUGHT opened the game and everything went on smoothly like in the beginning. To my surprise, at this point it seemed that obviously most of the crowd didn’t know the newer material too well. It became clear at the latest when band next played three songs from their latest OCTAVARIUM album. These three tracks: “Never Enough”, “Sacrified Sons” and album title track “Octavarium” caused a massive crowd invasion towards public houses and so I did myself too. To be honest, I’m not the biggest fan of some “Octavarium” material and these overlong, complicated and somewhat boring songs, running time totally over 30 minutes, wiped out all the good vibes and suddenly the whole gig was turning to be quite boring… End of act two.


 James waking people for encores ..

Audience seemed rather tired at this point but still most of them had strength enough to give band a big cheer when guys returned on stage for final time. The first encore was the 14-minute epic “In The Name Of God” from TRAIN OF THOUGHT and it included a great keyboard solo by Jordan Rudess. Even it’s a great song it seemed that most of the crowd didn’t recognize too well. Fortunately things got much better when they next did their biggest hit song to date, “Pull Me Under”, which was definitely the most obviously appreciated of the evening’s songs. Things got even better when band next abruptly started launching into their 1992 standout; “Metropolis Pt. 1”, which was the last and final encore today although I was still waiting for more and especially “6:00” but it never happened … L

In summary, I guess this gig would have ranked as a great in spite of the “weak” period at the end of second act. Even I’m not the biggest fan of this band and I still really enjoyed it and this sure was a fantastic evening for any die hard Dream Theater fan.


 Jordan Rudess saying hello to fans !






01. Clockwork Orange (Intro)

02. The Root Of All Evil

03. Panic Attack

04. Another Won

05. A Fortune In Lies

06. Under A Glass Moon

07. Mirror

08. Lie

09. Peruvian Skies

10. Fatal Tragedy

11. About To Crash

12. Losing Time / Grand Finale


12. As I Am

13. This Dying Soul

14. Never Enough

15. Sacrificed Sons

16. Octavarium


17. In The Name Of God

18. Pull Me Under

19. Metropolis Pt. 1
















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