Hats off to the staff at Sydney’s iconic Hordern Pavillion as smooth sailing was ensured with crowds moving along nicely like troops ready to take their place on the battlefield.
Only difference was that every one was here for the same reason; witnessing the 25th anniversary of Images and Words (1992), which would be played in it’s entirety tonight.
Making an entrance to “The Crusade”, as composed by Two Steps from Hell, Long Island, New York’s masters of prog metal, Dream Theater embraced the stage with the reception of kings taking the throne.
Instead of beginning the night with the iconic album whose birthday tonight is celebrated we are treated to “The Dark Eternal Night”, taken from Systemstic Chaos (2007)
The band are in fine form tonight with front-man James LaBrie sounding better than ever hitting every note like an opera star. LaBrie explains how the band are jet-lagged and asks why is he even complaining. Coming from the last stint of the tour from Tokyo, although not as far to make a trek Down Under, all the hours accrued from the U.S. add up.
We get a taste of the self-titled, Dream Theater (2013) with “The Bigger Picture” and an instrumental gem, “Hell’s Kitchen” off Falling Into Infinity (1997). Two new tracks go down well with “The Gift of Music” and “Our New Word”, both from The Astonishing (2017)
Long-time bassist John Myung pays tribute to jazzmaster Jaco Pastorious with his rendition of “Portrait of Stacy” before the hard hitting riffs of guitarist John Petrucci pave the way for standout track “As I Am” taken off the heavier album, Train of Thought (2003). Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” works into the bridge with crazed punters screaming out “Exit light.. Ends tonight” and as you guessed it all were “off to Never-never Land”.
A Dramatic Turn of Events (2011) finishes the first set with “Breaking All Illusion’s” before a much needed break for the prog gods. Returning with the second act with a faultless set of Images and Words (1992) in all its glory.
A tape of songs from the early nineties were played with the funk rock of Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Under the Bridge”, grunge acts Pearl Jam, Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and Alice in Chains to name a few before Dream Theater’s “Pull Me Under” was introduced. LaBrie explained how the band didn’t know how they would fit in at this time but the success of the single proved otherwise.
The upbeat “Take the Time” sees the bass groove of Myung welcome an inspiring guitar solo by Petrucci. A beast of a drum kit is given a workout by Mike Mangini who proves to be an absolute behemoth, sounding like the equivalent of thunder at times, especially when breaking into a drum solo.
The intro and build up of “Under a Glass Moon” is surreal to say the least and keyboardist, Jordan Rudess is always a delight to watch. An extended keyboard intro made a nice touch on “Wait for Sleep”.
After a brief encore the twenty-three minute opus of “A Change in Seasons” was played proving how tight the band can be. They still have it all these years later and are an absolute touring machine one must winess in their life time.
So put it on your bucket list and be sure to check out Dream Theater before the day comes for you to kick that bucket.
Photo’s by Jess Miller