Concert Reviews

Dream Theater at Sony Centre

Photos by Dawn Hamilton

Dream Theater performed their latest 2 cd release called The Astonishing at the Sony Center for the Performing Arts recently.

The Astonishing is a conceptual album, telling a story based in the distant future, where an attempt to create the world’s most perfect music turns insidious. The man made machines called the NOMACS where created, and the ideal of music changed exponentially. The only form of music permitted going forward would be the one created by the NOMACS.

The show told a story on the backdrop of their stage, with different characters and scenery depicting at what point in the story lines were happening. If you were not familiar with the story behind the album, you were certainly not going to know the story based on the images. I found it rather confusing at times.

I think if they wanted to depict the tale, they should have had performers on stage, acting out the story with perhaps them in an orchestra pit. It would have been much easier to follow the narrative of the story.

The music was tight and on point. All the members of the band were very talented and depicted their individual skills very well. Guitarist John Petrucci managed to get through the 2 ½ hour show although he was a sick as a dog according to lead singer James LaBrie. He even missed the meet and greet portion to avoid getting anyone else sick.

Their stage performance was a little laid back, with the exception of keyboardist Jordan Rudess, who would have this make shift futuristic keyboard stand that would rotate in circles and slant. Personally for me, it was a bit of a distraction, and it certainly didn’t add anything to the show. Drummer Mike Mangini was incased in a rack full of equipment. He had the most energy out of the bunch. Really enjoying himself and playing with enthusiasm.

The security guards where on high alert, looking for people taking images or recordings of the show. All forms of photography from the crowd was strictly prohibited and highly enforced. A gentleman ahead of me had a watch that was lit, and was approached multiple times by different security questioning what it was.

The audience sat for most of the evening, although when the singer or guitarist encouraged them to either yell or get up they would. It was a pretty laid back crowd. The only time the crowd stood up without being prompted was at the end of John Petrucci guitar solo. The crowd loved it and certainly expressed their gratitude.

As musicians, they’re all very talented. But as for the conceptual idea, I felt it wasn’t well depicted.

About author

Photojournalist at Live in Limbo.