Dream Theater cover Master of Puppets!

Last night I went to see Dream Theater in New York. It was their second show in the city, and was promised to have a “very special” setlist. If I’d been following Ytsejam or alt.music.dream-theater, I would have know what was so special about it, but I hadn’t been, so I didn’t. Anyway, it was a pretty good show. LONG. They went on promptly at 8:00 and I didn’t get out of the theater until nearly midnight… and there was only one 15-minute intermission in the middle.

I wasn’t really blown away by the first set. I’m not nearly as big a Dream Theater fan as I used to be, and the last couple of albums never really impressed me. Thankfully, the band played a set that spanned all of their albums, which was cool - my favorite part was when the noisy finale of “Misunderstood” transitioned into the heavy riffing of “Lie”. It was also interesting to hear James LaBrie try to sound like Charlie Dominici when the band did “The Killing Hand”. And “Take The Time” really reminded me of how much more I like the band’s early material. At about 9:45 the band went offstage for the intermission; fifteen minutes later they were back and they settled into the rather tedious “Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence” - the 40-minute-long “song” that makes up the entire second disc of the latest album. To my surprise, it went by pretty fast, and parts of it were pretty powerful live. Not as bad as I expected.

Then the band went offstage again. Clearly, something weird was about to happen. The opening of “Pull Me Under” started all of a sudden, and then disintegrated with a screech. The group came back onstage and Petrucci started playing what I immediately recognized as the opening guitar part to Metallica’s “Battery”. Sweet, I thought - a great song to cover. The band crunched through “Battery” convincingly - more than convincingly, it was fucking awesome - and then went straight into “Master of Puppets”. Even better! Turns out they covered the entire Master of Puppets album from start to finish. Now, I like Master of Puppets better than I like Dream Theater’s own recent work, so I was pretty damned happy. They did a great job with it - I was particularly impressed by Petrucci, who pulled off all the solos really well. After that, there were a couple encore songs (ending, of course, with “Pull Me Under”), and then it was over.

Master of Puppets was definitely the highlight of the show for me. “Take The Time” and “Lie” were pretty good too, but otherwise I wasn’t all that impressed. I was definitely much more affected by the Dream Theater show I saw two years ago on the Metropolis tour; probably just because I was a much bigger fan back then. Still, it was worth the trip.

Oh yeah, a couple weeks ago I saw The Dismemberment Plan live, for the third time, this time back home in North Carolina. It was a great show marred by really bad sound. I also really liked one of the other bands, Death Cab for Cutie, and just recently downloaded mp3s of their latest album, The Photo Album - really good, laid-back, melodic indie-pop.

Maybe some reviews will be up soon. Between work and Ultimate I’m struggling to find time for things like eating, sleeping, and breathing, but what the hell.

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