The curious case of Dream Theater

Started by idunnosomename, November 24, 2021, 01:18:51 PM

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idunnosomename

So as came up in the metal thread, Dream Theater have a strange reputation on the internet. They gained a  ignominy for being the most show-off wank band in the world, with legions of dorky fans who would refuse to listen to any other music and go on about their unparalleled genius all the time[1]. While nerds bursting into pop music forum threads insisting A Change of Seasons would change your miserable little music taste forever was a tedious fact of the c.2000s internet, it did overshadow that they are actually a unique and clever band that at least for a while, were truly progressive. Overshadow them to the degree where making a THREAD about DREAM THEATER on the COOK'D AND BOMB'D FORUM seems actually a rather iconoclastic act.

When Dream and Day Unite was their debut, largely forgotten in obscurity because it's one of those desperate deals where the label owns the copyright to the recording and re-releasing it was out of the band's hands. It suffers from being drenched in bad keyboard patches, guitar synths, drum triggers, and the overly head-voice singing of Charlie Dominici. The cover that looks like a naff 90s perfume advert sums it up, really. But The Killing Hand is a blinder, and there are some good riffs about. Just overall, it lacks cohesion.

But then we have Images and Words, which brings that cohesion in spades. An album that's hard to classify, like a lot of classic albums. Is a riffy heavy metal album? Or introspective prog rock like Rush? Or epically serious American power metal? Well more than Queensrÿche and Symphony X they seemed to effortlessly straddle genres at this point. Where having a riffer about Hamlet cutting off into a sappy soprano sax solo... just works? It has 90s all over it - literally, it's entombed in the lyric of Learning to Live - and one wonders what someone in their twenties today would think of the frankly naff cover, the ultra-clean hits of the drum triggers, and the sometimes rather tedious use of vocal samples. A document of its time or dated? Certainly it wouldn't have been possible only a couple of years before: at nearly an hour, it's an album that couldn't really exist without the CD format, at least for a young band just starting out anyway.
Images is the beginning of their famously dense middle sections with trading solos, unisons (e.g. some passages in Metropolis the keyboard and guitar are playing the exact same speedy complicated solo line at the same time, which has arguable merit beyond showing off tbh) and odd-time signatures, but at a point where it did seem new and exciting. You can criticise it, sure, but it's not wanking. Jimmy Page hitting his guitar with a violin bow is wanking. But no one put this much thought into a having a wank.

So here's the thing. For a band pilloried for that sort of thing, the follow-ups Awake and Falling Into Infinity don't really have drawn-out instrumentals to the same degree. They did a good job on Awake capturing the more gritty vibe the music biz wanted in the CD era, away from the glammy 80s. Petrucci brought in 7-strings for a few songs, which satisfied the trend for heavier vibes, without the dreary griminess some metal bands ended up with in the wilderness of the mid-90s. However, the singles tanked, the video for Lie where they hung around the New York City docks trying to look cool barely got any MTV circulation.
Falling into Infinity seemed even more desperate for the typical route to success, bringing Desmond Child to try and make the second-track single into a palpable hit. While that particular song was a failure, I think that the album is really good, especially Lines in the Sand. Sometimes being constrained can bring out the best in creativity.

That's where we come to Metropolis Pt. 2, when the band really started to hit it big with internet word of mouth rather the old-fashioned "get single on radio" approach. Is this album their pinnacle? Not for me. So we have a strong narrative about reincarnation, right? But there's some instrumental sections I used to think what is this supposed to represent in the story? The answer is nothing, really. It's just showing off, I never liked the much-lauded Dance of Eternity much for this reason, oh well done, you pulled a ragtime solo out of your ass. That worked in the glorious side-project Liquid Tension Experiment, but Rudess bringing it into Dream Theater I think was a bad idea. Certainly overall it achieves a success out of a very ambitious concept and there are lots of great parts if not a huge amount of truly great songs, but it's not an all-time classic album for me in retrospect.

So for me, that's the hinge where after the band started to lose its way a bit. Mike Portnoy was like the band's own biggest fan: making sure no city got the same set twice, playing just about every obscure song they had (except Space-Dye Vest of course), and then the thing of covering entire classic albums like Master of Puppets and The Number of the Beast which pissed off some fans. It's sort of what internet message board culture would fantasise about for other bands, except for DT, it was real.

So off the back of this we got more longer and longer songs, Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence's 40 minute "song"! Why not!!!; and more wearing their influences so much on their sleeve it was practically plagiarism (Tool's Forty-Six & Two in The Great Debate). And that's where Train of Thought lost me. Every song bar one is massive and has enormous middle-sections that sometimes sound like they're just for the soloists to try and top each other with the fastest arpeggios. They've got C-tuned guitars and were sometimes trying to sound like Metallica in the St Anger era (although this album is NO St Anger, the production is superb on a re-listen) even though their singer is James LaBrie, not Hetfield. What with the self-indulgent multi-album suite of his alcoholism recovery and his absolute obsession with making the band about his own tapestry of musical taste, in retrospect it's no surprise Portnoy got burnt out by it all. He wanted the band to take a sabbatical - which I think was the right idea, creatively. But then, it's their jobs and they have families. So can hardly criticise the way it went.

Since then, and the rise of streaming, I have dipped into their newer albums and often find myself enjoying them (except The Astonishing, which is the most tedious load of old deviantart codswallop story imaginable married with meanderingly dull music), but never to the same degree. Distance Over Time wasn't quite the return for me as it was for some people, although in general metal circles it was very well-received (when 20 years ago such communities online would have laughed them off as a load of "gay shit", but that's partly internet discourse maturing)

Anyway, that's me. I think DT were at their creative peak mid-90s, sort of became exactly what they had previously been unfairly represented as being in the 2000s, and have had mixed success re-establishing an identity as a band since the departure of Portnoy. So what do you think. Do you think there's any release in the post-2000 period that's superior to the 90s work? I am reconsidering Train of Thought at the moment actually, I was unfair on it at the time, and it's interesting to listen looking back on the period now. A View from the Top of the World I have barely engaged with yet. It just sounds like what you expect from Dream Theater these days. Which isn't very progressive.

[1] New board software cant seem to do footnotes. Ah well. Interesting to add that in the early 00s, the message boards of DT dot net and even more notoriously, Mike Portnoy's personal site, were absolutely rabid. As soon as an album came out, people would whip themselves to tab every bar and learn the guitar solos note for note. It was like a new Gospel for the canon came out, and if people didn't think it was up to deific standard, they went a bit bananas. There was such a toxic atmosphere and rivalry on those forums and I think it pushed the band the wrong way. It can't have helped Portnoy to engage with them so much. Thank goodness web forum culture is dead and buried in web 2.0, eh, readers?

Famous Mortimer

The album I was told to listen to by one of those rabid fans you described in the early 00s was Scenes From A Memory - I thought it was odd you hadn't mentioned it, but then I realise you had, under its "proper" title. I tried it, and then a year or so ago tried them again, and got absolutely nothing.

I love slightly over-the-top symphonic metal as much as anyone here, but Dream Theater just don't do anything for me.

Magnum Valentino

Very nicely put somename, a fine opening post.

If I was asked what my favourite Dream Theater album is, I'd probably say A Dramtic Turn of Events, which is the first album they recorded without Mike Portnoy, but the first disc of Six Degrees and most of Scenes From A Memory are much more fun to listen to. Portnoy was a much more engaging drummer and his kit always sounded incredible from Awake onwards, but his insistence on representing the bands he liked in his music reached its nadir on Systematic Chaos with the dreadful Muse-inspired song and some other bits and pieces and with his alcoholism suite and the tribute to his dead dad on Black Clouds... I think he wrapped his time with the band up really nicely.

To be honest I much prefer ST with John Petrucci as the sole captain and what I love about Dramatic Turn is that the songs are mostly quite impenetrable on first listen with 4/4 beats a rarity and a general sense of shifty changeability that only becomes clear after a few listens. Between that and the welcome lack of Portnoy's dreadful harmonies and backing vocals, that album sounds like a really refreshed group enjoying being free of a popular but harmful element, even if the drums are nowhere near as exciting or play-along-able as they were under Portnoy.

The self-titled follow-up is almost as good and was marketed at the time as boasting 'Mike Mangini unleashed' as Petrucci had written the parts for Dramatic Turn and Mike (2) had played them his way. I still don't think that was the case on that album but we'll come to that.

The Astonishing was a baffling mis-step about which I can say nothing positive and I think that in turn Distance Over Time isn't a proper album either as it feels very much like a 'reaction' album, a 'we can still do it so don't write us off' album in the vein of My Dying Bride's The Light At The End of The World or (to a less successful extent maybe) Death Magnetic by Metallica.

So I'm not dying about it. It feels shallow. The shorter, catchier songs don't add up to a satisfying album (similar to Octavarium which is better measured by its high points than as a whole).

This leads me to nothing but gushing praise for A View From The Top of The World which is fucking deadly altogether and recaptures that 'fine, let them get their heads around these song structures' confidence WITHOUT the arrogance that led to anyone thinking The Astonishing was a good idea. For the first time Mangini's drumming feels integral to the structures and composition and not like Petrucci's timekeeper, and the bass is audible and vital and thrilling alongside it. Moreover, the songs are fucking great (even if Invisible Monster is just The Enemy Inside again). The 8-string riff for Awaken The Master rules and the album is full of twists and turns that sound satisfying, considered and expert.

I think John and Jordan hooking up with Portnoy again in the years since the last Dream Theater album has really helped restore a perspective on that wilder side to their playing - the opening to The Alien (and thus the album) is laced through with Liquid Tension Experiment energy but is undeniably grounded in what Dream Theater sounds like, and how that is fundamentally different now to what it was before Portnoy left.

Probably part of why Mangini is less loved by fans who are drummers is because he DOESN'T have that play-along-ability that Portnoy had - he has no iconic parts so much as parts that leave your jaw on the floor. I would have said Rudess was the most capable musician in the band for years but Mike's probably that little bit better - he's absolutely top of his field.

Thankfully never spent much time on message boards concerning DT as I've a general awareness of what metal fans are like and don't have the patience to read the same opinions absorbed and re-spouted over and over, but I appreciate you sharing with us what some of the earlier 90s reaction to the band was. I didn't come onboard til 2007 and it took me until 2011 before I properly figured out how to approach getting into a band with so MUCH material.

As far as progression goes, there probably came a point with prog rock/metal where it really just meant 'proficient/complex' and that what DT are best at. Truly, The Astonishing was an attempt to be progressive (even if, at that, in a throwback fashion), and look where that got them.

Lastly, The Dance Of Eternity is fucking awesome. Weesht you!

Glebe

A band I'd always see featured in guitar magazines but never bothered listening to.

idunnosomename

Quote from: Famous Mortimer on November 24, 2021, 02:42:14 PMThe album I was told to listen to by one of those rabid fans you described in the early 00s was Scenes From A Memory - I thought it was odd you hadn't mentioned it, but then I realise you had, under its "proper" title. I tried it, and then a year or so ago tried them again, and got absolutely nothing.

I love slightly over-the-top symphonic metal as much as anyone here, but Dream Theater just don't do anything for me.
yeah sorry it's usually referred to as Scenes. Funny thing it only exists because John Petrucci put "pt. 1" into the title of the song on Images and Words as a joke. So in a way the whole album was fan-service at the time, arguably. And I really like Dream Theater because I was big into them at the time and have a lot of nostalgia for them, wouldn't force them on anyone.

Thanks Magnum for the better overview of the later period. I don't mean to rag (lol) on The Dance of Eternity too much - it's a extraordinary composition in a lot of ways - just that the rag break is the most obvious way to illustrate the way the music doesn't serve the narrative at some times (isn't the song a sex scene in the narrative? love is the dance of eternity? not really thinking too hard about their lyrics imo, even though they aren't necessarily bad, don't think there's a huge amount of depth to them)

The other thing in their history I forgot to mention is James LaBrie. He was often the curate's egg of the band, and he really was set back by a really bad bout of food poisoning late 1994 that severely hurt his vocal chords, and the rather foolish subsequent touring really shredded them. Hence nearly the next decade he suffered from the effects and had to awkwardly go into his head voice a lot live and his studio vocals weren't as good as they could be for a long time too. I'm glad they stuck with him though.

Listening to AVFTTOTW (as the kids are calling it) now. It is quite refreshing how it's not trying to outwardly show off but it's the band working together as musicians. which is the real joy of a good band

Twit 2

Images and Words blew my mind when I got into them age 15, as a bedroom guitarist into shredding. Then Scenes... came out and really clicked with me. Got big into the dt dot net message board and bought into the album being wonderfully complicated both musically and lyrically, which obviously it isn't really. Then 6 degrees came out and underwhelmed me. As did ToT, at which point I binned them, as I was starting to realise they were naff and I was either pursuing complexity through classical / jazz, or getting into other end of spectrum stuff like ambient and singer/songwriters.

When I was about 16, though, they were my favourite band. Saw them at live gigs (caught JP's plectrum when he threw it into crowd), met them and got stuff signed. Played "Pull Me Under" to 1000 kids in my school's Christmas concert. Bought a £2,300 Ernie Ball Music Man Man JP signature model when they came out.

No interest in listening to anything they've done in the last 20 years. Get bored instantly if I try. I&W holds up well and has huge nostalgic value for me. Large sections of  Awake and Falling... also great. SFaM hasn't held up so well.

These days, if I fancy rocking out to prog metal of that era I'll go with Symphony X. Especially "V" - right side of cheese and more coherent musically.

idunnosomename

I really like Symphony X by the way, but more the later stuff from The Odyssey onwards personally. I saw them live a couple of years ago and they were super good fun. They're much more pure East coast American power/speed metal in essence really, much like Fates Warning. Virgin Steele too I guess you could lump in with this.

But Dream Theater are only marginally heavy metal. And although heavy metal is mainly my bag, I prefer them when they stay at the margins of it.

Still. There was a funny thing that got enshrined in the official FAQ where the guitarists of Blind Melon REACTED to Pull Me Under that says a lot about how they were regarded in 1994 though

QuoteChristopher Thorn: This could be metal at any moment--I'm just warning everybody.

Rogers Stevens: Either that or it could build up into a power ballad.

C: I feel like we might have to excuse ourselves here for a second. We might have to leave.

R: This is one of those guitar sounds that when he hits a note, about a million lights jump up on his guitar rig.

C: Any minute now there is gonna be a squealy.

R: Is this, like, Queensryche?

C: If it is, let's turn it off right away because I hate that band.

R: Hate it. This is the kind of music you listen to right when you start to get your pubic hairs.

C: I can't even be fair to this music, I hate it so bad. I can't even sit through one song. I know I'm not being fair but I think it is complete garbage. That sort of guitar playing is just stupid.

R: If I want to hear a metal band I really like old Black Sabbath and Soundgarden, heavy bands with brains. If I were listening to an angry metal band I would be more into Rage Against the Machine or Sugar. I like that Sugar record a lot, I like Sonic Youth a lot. That's heavy, guitar based music that I listen to.

C: Playing fast for the sake of fast is hideous. I hate that whole mentality of sitting around playing scales and cock-rock crap.

R: I heard some squealies. I don't really like that sound either. I'm not into those guitar sounds. When I hear that stuff I get feeling squeamish.

Guitar: That was Dream Theater.

C: We'll remember not to buy that record. I bet they have really nice hair... now I'm being mean.

R: This is just our opinion. There's a lot of people that like Dream Theater and that's fine. They get off on it--good for them. They'll probably hate us, maybe they won't.

C: They probably do because we sound like we're playing sloppy. But that's alright, that's a different thing. We're just coming from a different space.

R: In no way do we condemn this sort of music. These people have a right to exist.

C: Just keep it the hell away from us.

the fact this made it into the DT FAQ says a lot about early internet DT fans again. still quite funny though, especially since Pull Me Under isn't really a squealy show-off song at all.

I don't think this was why Shannon Hoon was mentioned in Just Let Me Breathe btw

evilcommiedictator

DreamTheater is good and I saw them live after Train of Thought and missing recording the bass player screw up a bar and the band played him back in and it was funny and good.
Also, the less songs about the 12 steps and American Nationalism the better

a peepee tipi

Wish I noticed this thread before shitting up the 2021 metal thread with a post about the DT forum

chveik


Magnum Valentino

Quote from: idunnosomename on November 24, 2021, 09:17:14 PMThanks Magnum for the better overview of the later period. I don't mean to rag (lol) on The Dance of Eternity too much - it's a extraordinary composition in a lot of ways - just that the rag break is the most obvious way to illustrate the way the music doesn't serve the narrative at some times (isn't the song a sex scene in the narrative? love is the dance of eternity? not really thinking too hard about their lyrics imo, even though they aren't necessarily bad, don't think there's a huge amount of depth to them)

Honestly I've never paid attention to lyrics in music generally so something like that never bothers me (think this comes from being a fan of extreme metal before anything else so never really being ABLE to make out lyrics).

BUT! My general awareness of the story for that album is that it takes place across two time periods - would that ragtime music have been the young person's choice at the time of the shooting? 20s or 30s something like that? I know nothing about American music pre-Elvis so am quite happy to be mercilessly mocked if this is wrong.

The live DVD has a commentary track on which JP and Mike pick EVERYTHING apart in probably too much detail - I'm sure it's mentioned on there. Which reminds me - Dream Theater are the only band I'm aware of who have released two different home video versions of the same album being played through in its entirety - Scenes From A Memory is played straight through on Live Scenes From New York and Distant Memories (which came out last year).

idunnosomename

Quote from: a peepee tipi on November 25, 2021, 02:50:27 AMWish I noticed this thread before shitting up the 2021 metal thread with a post about the DT forum
I posted it after, don't worry. it's one of the reasons I started the thread

Quote from: Magnum Valentino on November 25, 2021, 07:00:50 AMHonestly I've never paid attention to lyrics in music generally so something like that never bothers me (think this comes from being a fan of extreme metal before anything else so never really being ABLE to make out lyrics).

BUT! My general awareness of the story for that album is that it takes place across two time periods - would that ragtime music have been the young person's choice at the time of the shooting? 20s or 30s something like that? I know nothing about American music pre-Elvis so am quite happy to be mercilessly mocked if this is wrong.

The live DVD has a commentary track on which JP and Mike pick EVERYTHING apart in probably too much detail - I'm sure it's mentioned on there. Which reminds me - Dream Theater are the only band I'm aware of who have released two different home video versions of the same album being played through in its entirety - Scenes From A Memory is played straight through on Live Scenes From New York and Distant Memories (which came out last year).

The murder happened January 1928, from the shot of the newspaper with the Fatal Tragedy lyrics in the liner notes. that's a bit late for ragtime, but whatever. I'm sure it comes from the fact Jordan had belted out a ragtime at the end of When the Water Breaks that was recorded just before he joined the band.

"Open your eyes Victoria!". It's a pretty good concept even if it's rather silly overall.

But that I think one of the problems with peak DT fandom is people took them way too seriously. I mean come on. with in-jokes like "Puppies on Acid" and "eat my ass and balls". The Once in LIVETime recording is great fun for how they just chuck Free Bird in at the end of Take the Time and go into Have a Cigar and Enter Sandman in Peruvian Skies. Loved that stuff. Yes they are massive nerds but they know it and are happy to lampshade their pretentious moments.

thugler

I enjoyed some of their early/mid period stuff when i was a teenager, but always felt they were a little lacking in ideas. A million riffs and parts in every song but little thought put into how they are put together, nor any particularly clever ideas. They seem a bit trapped in a sound, you know exactly how they will sound and it's just dull at this point. For me they're not really very prog in that sense, it's a bunch of virtuoso's playing but all their interested in is their own solo parts. When it got to the point of them horribly ripping off other bands it was really evident they were feeling a bit insecure about what they did. I've not listened to anything since train of thought, I've dipped in on the basis of this thread and it's just a bit dull. James la brie's voice is a little dodgy as well. The thing is about virtuoso musicians like these is that when it comes to writing an album probably at least half of what they have in mind is how can they stuff in as many tricks and guitar magazine shredding sections to impress people. Making good or affecting music seems like an afterthought. Still they're not nearly as bad as the amount of clichéd internet abuse they get. That live in New york album was one i enjoyed at the time definitely.


Fonz

Great band, but haven't had a stellar album for twenty years. 6 degrees, disc one, was their last great cd. There're plenty of good individual tracks in the meantime, but the albums lack something cohesive.
Any track with Jordan's 'circus patch' can get in the bin straightaway.
Manganite might be an amazing drummer, but Portnoy's personality (good and bad) is missed. We're left with Petrucci, who is a stunning guitar player, but seems more interested in his fucking beard and muscles than creating  interesting solos that you can remember.

idunnosomename

haha yes. honestly the last absolutely smoking solo he wrote was The Spirit Carries On. For all that song blatantly tried to be Comfortably Numb, he really did a good job on that. his solo album Suspended Animation was good, but unfortunately was underwhelmed by Terminal Velocity last year.

I relistened to Systematic Chaos just now, really bad for getting poor old James to pretend to be Hetfield, most notably on the title track which has those generic thrash staccato vocal lines ala Blackened or whatever. doesn't work at all.

I did also give the live album from Hammersmith a listen too, and with it, revisited Scenes for the first time in a while. I shouldn't underestimate it really, against all odds it holds together very well. Beyond This Life is like a microcosm of the whole thing, on paper it's a sprawling mess (and actually, as a bedroom guitarist, I remember literally writing out all the sections on a sheet of A4 trying to learn it), but somehow its fucking great riff-based speed-metal fun.

Unless I encounter them at a festival, unlikely to see them live again because they seem to insist on seated gigs now (saw them at Manchester Apollo on the Six Degrees tour, from the balcony). stuck next to a Dream Theater fan all night? fuck that

Twit 2

I've got a copy of the Live in NY album that was released on 9/11 with the Twin Towers on fire. Don't know whether to sell it or if it'll keep going up in value.

FsF

They've gone from "my favourite band of all time" to "not bothered to buy the new CDs" in no time at all, pretty much solely thanks to The Astonishing. 3 or 4 good tracks spread across 2 hours of meandering slightly-symphonic prog metal just killed my interest in the band, even though I understand the two most recent albums are a lot better.

Listening to 'Awaken The Master' and it has some interesting chord changes and vocal harmonies, which DT have definitely been light on for a progressive band. The staples of "chuggy, off-kilter riff matched by the drums under the verse" and "slow, anthemic chorus with multiple vocal layers and cymbal crashes" are still very much there, though.

Besides, Awake was the best thing they ever did, and the band's not been the same since Kevin Moore left anyways...


Magnum Valentino

Mikael Akerfeldt is an even more curious case than Dream Theater in that he is very clearly a cunt yet everybody loves him. Can't stand his stage patter and he is completely without humility or class when it comes to people leaving his band (which I love up til about 2014's Pale Communion).

Shit Good Nose

Saw DT live in Bristol in the mid-late 90s (with Porcupine Tree supporting, which was a lovely bonus) almost solely because of Portnoy's rep (I'm a fan of "busy" drumming) and they were fucking brilliant - mostly instrumental, more prog than metal (I'm not a metal fan).  Strangely, Portnoy didn't do a drum solo - that must've been the only tour he didn't do one.  Anyway, bought a few of their albums off the back of that gig and enjoyed them, then a few years later - early-mid 00s - took Mrs Nose to see them at the Hammersmith Apollo.  It was like a completely different band - every song (even the one with a drum solo) had James Labrie basically wanting to be Ronnie James Dio, and boy hoody was there a lot of high pitched warbling, and they sounded like an 80s NWOBHM band with the instrumental proficiency turned up to 20.   I actually found it to be a tad embarrassing.

I haven't listened to them since, although I did see Liquid Tension Experiment a couple of years after that, oddly at the same small venue in Bath me and Mrs Nose saw Johnny Vegas.

willbo

December 01, 2021, 09:01:46 PM #21 Last Edit: December 01, 2021, 09:22:02 PM by willbo
I've been a casual fan of DT on and off for a few years, but I feel like I enjoy them in spite of their prog elements, not because of them. I actually like them more when they dial it back and do more shorter, traditional metal songs. My favourite albums are Images and Words, Awake, Distance over Time and Train of Thought, and the hallowed Scenes from a Memory does little for me (though i own it). I thought Distance was a great retro metal/hard rock album, one of the most entertaining albums of the last couple of years for me.

I've tried to sit through "Scenes" a couple of times and it just sounds like heavy riffs interspersed with west end numbers about a story I'm not that into. I don't get it.

Twit 2

Quote from: Shit Good Nose on December 01, 2021, 08:37:13 PMSaw DT live in Bristol in the mid-late 90s (with Porcupine Tree supporting)....then a few years later - early-mid 00s - took Mrs Nose to see them at the Hammersmith Apollo.

Ha, I think I was at both those gigs. I saw them at Colston Hall with Porcupine Tree supporting. That was 2000, though. Although maybe PT had supported them before? Trying to remember who supported at the Apollo. Pain of Salvation? I'll never forget at that one getting CDs signed by the band and this drunk cockney guy in front of me asking a highly bemused John Myung (DT bassist), "Can you sign it to 'Russell you twat?'"

Twit 2

Quote from: Magnum Valentino on December 01, 2021, 08:58:35 AMMikael Akerfeldt is an even more curious case than Dream Theater in that he is very clearly a cunt yet everybody loves him. Can't stand his stage patter and he is completely without humility or class when it comes to people leaving his band (which I love up til about 2014's Pale Communion).

I don't understand GCSE chemistry because I used to sit at the back in every lesson listening to Opeth on headphones (especially Morningrise) and the teacher didn't care. Good times. Just don't ask me about the periodic table.

Twit 2


Shit Good Nose

Quote from: Twit 2 on December 01, 2021, 09:21:01 PMHa, I think I was at both those gigs. I saw them at Colston Hall with Porcupine Tree supporting. That was 2000, though. Although maybe PT had supported them before? Trying to remember who supported at the Apollo. Pain of Salvation? I'll never forget at that one getting CDs signed by the band and this drunk cockney guy in front of me asking a highly bemused John Myung (DT bassist), "Can you sign it to 'Russell you twat?'"

Yep, Colston Hall.  Might've been 2000 - I didn't think Stupid Dream had been released just yet, but maybe it had.  No support when we saw them at the Apollo, though.  It was a LONG show, just over 3 hours (including interval, which was only 15mins).  But I remember they had an annual residency of sorts for a good few years at the Apollo when they started getting better known.

bgmnts

Just wanna say Scenes from a Memory is a brilliant album and I dont care how wank people think they are, that is a godlike album.

Their other concept album isnt that good if memory serves.

idunnosomename

Pain of Salvation supported them on the 2002 tour. I missed basically all of them though. would really like to hear that Manchester show again. it was their live premiere of The Great Debate and the first time they played The Killing Hand since 1997. I do seem to remember James' voice struggling in the latter.

Do vividly remember John having a good ol' wank at the end of Misunderstood though

oh and Surrounded, was quite a surprise. I seem to recall James sat on a stool like he was in Boyzone. could be pulling this out of my arse though

Twit 2

I wonder if it's worth starting a thread about Pain of Salvation? Another once great band that I loved, who started strongly and then petered out.

idunnosomename

I mean go nuts, I'll read it!

When Dream and Day Reunite from 2004 with Dominici and Sherinian on the encores (formerly one of Portnoy's official bootlegs) dropped on Spotify today. won't change your opinion of the album but it's pretty fun. almost makes me think it'd be nice if DT had two vocalists like Helloween atm they complement each other so well