Release DetailsLABEL Rhino
RELEASED ON 8/29/2006
Score: 20th Anniversary World Tour Live with the Octavarium Orchestra (2 DVDs)
posted on 8/2006 By:
There is absolutely no fine line between a listener of music’s love for this band or one’s complete distaste for the music they play. You either really like what they do or you don’t, there is no in between. I reside within the former camp and have enjoyed damn near everything this band has bestowed upon my ears in their 20 years of existence, well, that is in the 16 years I’ve been a fan of their work. Having released their 8th studio album in that 20 year period, Octavarium is yet another display of the group’s superior musicianship and creative songwriting that, as off the wall as it can be at times, is unlike anything the world of music has ever seen or heard. I’m not saying they are the best songwriters ever nor am I claiming them to be the best musicians on the planet, although you might have a good argument by claiming the latter. What I’m saying is that when you hear a Dream Theater record you know you are listening to a Dream Theater record. And even though they’ve drawn from a well of influence that includes bands like Rush, Kansas, Pink Floyd, Dixie Dregs and even Metallica, they do not sound like any one band nor do I ever see any one band ever sounding just like them. And that my friends is called originality; that my friends is almost unheard of in the world of progressive rock and metal. You can more or less always say a band sounds like some other band…just not this band.
Celebrating their 20 years of perseverance through all of the struggling times the music business has tossed their way, Dream Theater are here to repay their faithful fan base by unleashing their latest treasure of musical bliss, Score. Any and all fans who have seen DT live over the years can probably agree that you never know what to expect from the band from night to night. While so many live acts have a hard time breaking away from the fan favorites and continue to play the same songs from tour to tour, of course adding a few new ones from the album they’re touring for, DT knows full well how to keep their fan base appeased by always continuing to change things up. That is evident right from the get go on this DVD’s main feature as they start things off with a couple of songs from Octavarium, then warp 20 years back in time to their days at the Berklee College of Music and delve into the very first song they ever wrote, entitled "Another Won". Then they proceed to play one track each from their first five releases, including another previously unreleased song, "Raise the Knife", from the Falling Into Infinity sessions. After what I’m guessing was a short intermission the curtain behind the band’s stage set goes up to reveal the Octavarium Orchestra, who proceed to start off the 42 minute title track from their Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence record. The band joins in shortly thereafter and the music made between the two extremes is as incredible as it is mesmerizing. While bands like Metallica butchered their music by doing this same thing, DT’s music was made for this night and the decision to do so was genius in that no one in the crowd seemed to expect it. Just another great surprise by a band full of so many throughout the years. The set continues with another track from their next release, Train of Thought, and then they throw down a few more cuts from Octavarium including the 24 minute title track itself, all the while being complimented by the orchestra keeping the magical night alive. Another pleasant surprise is you won’t have to hear "Pull Me Under", which if you're like me you've seen them perform it plenty of times over the years. However, one song I can hear anytime this band plays live and never get tired of is "Metropolis - Part 1", and it's the perfect track to close out a perfect night for the band.
While you’re going to certainly get your money’s worth from disc one alone, the real gem in this package is disc two. The one hour documentary again goes back to the days at Berklee and talks about how things came to be. I don’t want to spoil the fun for you folks so I’ll leave it at that. But one thing I have to say is that this is far and away the most enjoyable feature this DVD has to offer, and that’s saying a lot considering the outstanding show on disc one. Also included on disc two is a short little animated film and three live songs that include "Another Day" (Tokyo 1993), "The Great Debate" (Bucharest 2002) and "Honor Thy Father" (Chicago 2005).
At the end of the day I feel this is a must have for all DT fans. It’s a great little package that also has the option of adding on the 3-disc CD of the performance. All this at a fair price that will undoubtedly hold you over until the new album comes out. And from what I’ve read they are going to be getting together in the very near future to start working on it. If you’re like me and just can’t get enough of all that is Dream Theater then you’ll be going out and buying this DVD/CD release after reading this review. It’s as simple as that…
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