Concert Review

Dream Theater - Roseland Ballroom, NYC 8/31/00
Reviewed by Tim Stradling

New York city is an acquired taste.  To me, it's usually a bad taste, but necessary nonetheless.  Where else could a band with the vast diversity and drama of Dream Theater find such a die hard and maniacal crowd to support them during the filming of what will become their first live DVD release?  Currently supporting their brilliant Metropolis Part 2: Scenes From A Memory they performed 2 sets of stunning technical prog-orgasm to a packed and sweaty hall.

We arrived approximately 6:45, and were stunned at the sight of a line of fans stretching 3 city blocks.  The show was general admission, and most had arrived early that morning hoping to secure a spot at the front of the stage, and possibly be captured on film as a part of DT  history.  Our tickets were "will-call" so we moved past the line to find the box office, expecting to receive our tickets, and return to the back of huge line.  We were directed to a short 1/2 block line for will-call tickets, and after receiving them, were allowed entry into the gig, bypassing hundreds of fans who suffered the indignities of living on the street for 10 hours.  Who was I to complain?

The excited energy was palpable as the place slowly filled.  People > sliding in every free inch of space to pack the floor into something more intimate than any of my first dates.  New York attitude was in full effect as anyone hoping to go the bathroom, and expecting people to let them back through the crowd without hassle will attest.  As a prelude, a home video of people performing ballet to Dream Theater songs irritated more than amused the crowd.  Chants of "Fuck this shit!" resounded.  The stage was sparse, with little adornment other than the amps, and the video screens that would  soon flash snippets of lyrics, images from the story, and psychedelic dissolves.

The moment was at hand, the lights dimmed, and the ticking clock strained to be heard over the roar of the crowd.  The lights went up on a older man in suit narrating as the Therapist to James Labrie's Nicholas, lying on a couch.  This was to be the first surprise of the night, as the crowd drowned out Labrie in unison - "Hello Victoria, so glad to see you my friend..."

To say that the band was having an "on" night would be unfair, as every time I've seen them they were nothing short of spectacular.  They were certainly excited, and the near mania of the fans could only help to fuel what was to be a special night for all involved.  I had seen them perform "Scenes" in it's entirety last February, and while that show was excellent, this night would prove to be exceptional.  Signs went up from fans traveling from all parts of the world, there was inexplicable moshing, and some crowd surfing.  The energy level of the crowd was high throughout the set, and the band were joined onstage by a female soul singer for Through Her Eyes and a 8 person gospel choir for the astounding The Spirit Carries On.  The crowd was visibly touched by the deep emotional power and unity of the song.  We were all drenched in sweat and who knows what other bodily fluids, as we sung along like addicts mad with the need for the kind of intense intricate tapestry that is this "Scenes".  For me, the complete highlight of "Scenes" is Finally Free with the struggle, and murder of Julian and Victoria, coupled with the jarring ending.  The band played while the whole song, struggle and murder were acted out on and projected onto the screens to the climax, and finally faded out to the static, and obvious approval of the crowd.

The lights came up, and notice of a 20 minute intermission projected on the screens.  The people that moved out of their spots were replaced with different people, and what I had hoped would be a chance to cool off and catch my breath was anything but, as we were still packed in like grains of sand on a beach. The screen showed an eclectic montage of clips from Scarface, Reservoir Dogs, Austin Powers, Clerks (Berserker!), South Park (Uncle Fucka!), the fabulous anal puckering scene from Pink Flamingos (to a disapproving host of boos from the crowd), and several more clips that I didn't recognize.

The band retook the stage and launched into Metropolis Part 1, and a collection of songs that relied heavily on Awake and Images And Words; The Mirror, Medley: Just Let Me Breathe/Acid Rain/New Millenium/Caught in a Web, Another Day (joined by saxaphone player), A Mind Beside Itself: Erotomania/Voices/Silent Man, Learning to Live, and the encore being A Change of Seasons in it's 25 minute entirety.  The crowd seemed wiped out about halfway through the second set, and personally, it was overwhelming. Perhaps to a complete sycophant of the band (which most of their fans seem to be) I would have been gladly eaten up.  I can't think of any band that I would want to see perform for 3 1/2 hours (not including intermission) packed in like so many sweaty sardines.  We moved towards the back during Learning to Live, and being past the point of Dream Theater overload, we joined people in the lobby area where fans were lying down, leaning against walls, and socializing.

I firmly believe that it was a case of too much of a good thing.  We  stepped out into the thick glop that passes for air in NYC, and laughed to ourselves that if the only thing that we can complain about is that a band played too long, that we made out pretty good.  We gave our all during the first set, and the second set was exhausting, but we wouldn't have missed it for the world.  When the DVD comes out, look for me.  I'll be the guy with the long, stringy, wet hair stuck to my face and the black t-shirt screaming his head off!


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All rights reserved and contents 1995-2000.
Keeping the Metal Faith Since 1995.

This page last updated on:
Wednesday, December 26, 2001

Metal Rules!!: Heavy Metal Concert Review: Dream Theater  

Concert Review

Dream Theater - Roseland Ballroom, NYC 8/31/00
Reviewed by Tim Stradling

New York city is an acquired taste.  To me, it's usually a bad taste, but necessary nonetheless.  Where else could a band with the vast diversity and drama of Dream Theater find such a die hard and maniacal crowd to support them during the filming of what will become their first live DVD release?  Currently supporting their brilliant Metropolis Part 2: Scenes From A Memory they performed 2 sets of stunning technical prog-orgasm to a packed and sweaty hall.

We arrived approximately 6:45, and were stunned at the sight of a line of fans stretching 3 city blocks.  The show was general admission, and most had arrived early that morning hoping to secure a spot at the front of the stage, and possibly be captured on film as a part of DT  history.  Our tickets were "will-call" so we moved past the line to find the box office, expecting to receive our tickets, and return to the back of huge line.  We were directed to a short 1/2 block line for will-call tickets, and after receiving them, were allowed entry into the gig, bypassing hundreds of fans who suffered the indignities of living on the street for 10 hours.  Who was I to complain?

The excited energy was palpable as the place slowly filled.  People > sliding in every free inch of space to pack the floor into something more intimate than any of my first dates.  New York attitude was in full effect as anyone hoping to go the bathroom, and expecting people to let them back through the crowd without hassle will attest.  As a prelude, a home video of people performing ballet to Dream Theater songs irritated more than amused the crowd.  Chants of "Fuck this shit!" resounded.  The stage was sparse, with little adornment other than the amps, and the video screens that would  soon flash snippets of lyrics, images from the story, and psychedelic dissolves.

The moment was at hand, the lights dimmed, and the ticking clock strained to be heard over the roar of the crowd.  The lights went up on a older man in suit narrating as the Therapist to James Labrie's Nicholas, lying on a couch.  This was to be the first surprise of the night, as the crowd drowned out Labrie in unison - "Hello Victoria, so glad to see you my friend..."

To say that the band was having an "on" night would be unfair, as every time I've seen them they were nothing short of spectacular.  They were certainly excited, and the near mania of the fans could only help to fuel what was to be a special night for all involved.  I had seen them perform "Scenes" in it's entirety last February, and while that show was excellent, this night would prove to be exceptional.  Signs went up from fans traveling from all parts of the world, there was inexplicable moshing, and some crowd surfing.  The energy level of the crowd was high throughout the set, and the band were joined onstage by a female soul singer for Through Her Eyes and a 8 person gospel choir for the astounding The Spirit Carries On.  The crowd was visibly touched by the deep emotional power and unity of the song.  We were all drenched in sweat and who knows what other bodily fluids, as we sung along like addicts mad with the need for the kind of intense intricate tapestry that is this "Scenes".  For me, the complete highlight of "Scenes" is Finally Free with the struggle, and murder of Julian and Victoria, coupled with the jarring ending.  The band played while the whole song, struggle and murder were acted out on and projected onto the screens to the climax, and finally faded out to the static, and obvious approval of the crowd.

The lights came up, and notice of a 20 minute intermission projected on the screens.  The people that moved out of their spots were replaced with different people, and what I had hoped would be a chance to cool off and catch my breath was anything but, as we were still packed in like grains of sand on a beach. The screen showed an eclectic montage of clips from Scarface, Reservoir Dogs, Austin Powers, Clerks (Berserker!), South Park (Uncle Fucka!), the fabulous anal puckering scene from Pink Flamingos (to a disapproving host of boos from the crowd), and several more clips that I didn't recognize.

The band retook the stage and launched into Metropolis Part 1, and a collection of songs that relied heavily on Awake and Images And Words; The Mirror, Medley: Just Let Me Breathe/Acid Rain/New Millenium/Caught in a Web, Another Day (joined by saxaphone player), A Mind Beside Itself: Erotomania/Voices/Silent Man, Learning to Live, and the encore being A Change of Seasons in it's 25 minute entirety.  The crowd seemed wiped out about halfway through the second set, and personally, it was overwhelming. Perhaps to a complete sycophant of the band (which most of their fans seem to be) I would have been gladly eaten up.  I can't think of any band that I would want to see perform for 3 1/2 hours (not including intermission) packed in like so many sweaty sardines.  We moved towards the back during Learning to Live, and being past the point of Dream Theater overload, we joined people in the lobby area where fans were lying down, leaning against walls, and socializing.

I firmly believe that it was a case of too much of a good thing.  We  stepped out into the thick glop that passes for air in NYC, and laughed to ourselves that if the only thing that we can complain about is that a band played too long, that we made out pretty good.  We gave our all during the first set, and the second set was exhausting, but we wouldn't have missed it for the world.  When the DVD comes out, look for me.  I'll be the guy with the long, stringy, wet hair stuck to my face and the black t-shirt screaming his head off!


Return to top of page

All rights reserved and contents 1995-2000.
Keeping the Metal Faith Since 1995.

This page last updated on:
Wednesday, December 26, 2001