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Dream Theater - Live At The Marquee CD (album) cover


Dream Theater


Progressive Metal

3.65 | 388 ratings

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4 stars "This world is spinning around me. This world is spinning without me. Every day sends future to past. Every breath leaves me one less to my last .!!"

Yeah! I love live albums because, usually, the music is played much more dynamic than its studio version. Some trade offs must be made: in return of lively music, I have to accept less sonic quality even though this is no longer big issue anymore nowadays as many live performance was recorded in high quality sound. This first live album of DT has a lively performance with quite acceptable sonic quality - even though it's less superior than the excellent quality of "Images and Words" audio CD. Considering it's a live performance, it's OK with this quality. Musically, this is definitely a masterpiece progressive metal live performance and has now become a classic. I still enjoy this live album ever since I bought the CD couple years ago. This morning, I drove around (it's public holiday today - an Islamic New Year) while putting this CD. Wow! I was still amazed by the performance of these guys.

"Metropolis" opens the show with the blast of energy projected by the music that Petrucci, Moore, LaBrie, Portnoy and Myung played at a very prestigious rock stage, The Marquee, April 23, 1993 - recorded with The Fleetwood (without Mac) Mobile Recording Unit. It's a flawless performance by these chaps. If you are familiar with this song from "Images and Words" album, you will definitely love this version. I'm amazed with the fact that the band can deliver it excellently despite its complexity combined with a very fast tempo the composition requires. LaBrie sings with an unequivocal voice even in the high register notes. My salute to James LaBrie! You did a great job! Myung's short but very fast bass guitar solo is truly stunning. I like Myung's stage performance.

It flows seamlessly to second track "A Fortune in Lies" by keeping up the energy and power through a relatively fast tempo music. Portnoy demonstrates his talent skillfully. Great performance! The instrumental piece "Bombay Vindaloo" reminds me to Rush' "La Villa Strangiato" even though they a very different in structure and composition. But, they share similar nuance: it starts slow with sort of guitar work in ambient and atmospheric style and it flows in a crescendo led by Petrucci's guitar combined with Portnoy's drumming, Moore's keyboard and Myung's bass line. The guitar solo reaches its pinnacle when it plays high register notes. Wow! What a rocking tune man!

"Surrounded" provides a sort of musical break as it starts with a slow tempo piano and low register notes voice "Morning comes to early and night time falls too late ." and rises up gradually in energetic mood with powerful voice of LaBrie followed with drumming and guitar that brings the music in a full stream. I notice how Moore plays his keyboard in a modest way even though he is a maestro of his instrument.

The crowd seem heating up during the break after "Surrounded" that makes a much more lively situation of this live record. It is then continued with guitar fills that remark the opening part of track 5: "Another Hand - The Killing Hand". Moore plays his keyboard in symphonic style accompanying Petrucci's guitar rhythm and LaBrie's singing. The music brings up with a powerful high register notes singing. Great shout! Overall this track is very uplifting. I really enjoy the complex part that starts at approx. min. 7:12 with unbelievable guitar work, bass, drums and keyboard continued with a sudden turn to a quieter passage. Oh my God . these guys have done greaaaatttt job!!

The concluding track is the band's classic "Pull Me Under" - a song that was composed with the ispiration from Shakespear's "Hamlet". Musically, this song has a very tight composition from start to the end. The opening part is very atmospheric characterized by an excellent guitar fills followed with other instruments that gradually enter the music. It brings to a full metal style with heavy guitar riffs. "Lost in the sky ." uh .. It rocks!! I love the part that starts at approx min 2:35 - 2:53 where Moore plays his notes wonderfully. Yeah man . this is what I call a "tasty" and "memorable" melody as it lifts up my emotion whenever I listen to it. I also love when LaBrie sings "Dust fills my eyes .". Oh ... Petrucci's guitar solo is also killing! All in all, this track is a definitely a pretty well-rounded tune with no single mistake at all! It's probably 3.4 per million opportunities - that's what we call it a six sigma quality!

Highly recommended! For me personally, this is a full five stars rating (accepting the fact that in any live album, the sonic quality is not excellent). However, for wider audience of this site, I would put four stars that means "an excellent addition to any prog collection". If you are not familiar with Dream Theater studio album "Images and Words" and "When Day and Dream Unite", it's okay - this is a great live album that every rocker must have it. This album helps a lot to elevate your motivation to start the day of your life that is full of challenges! - Keep on rocking! Keep on progging!

Yours progressively,

GW - Indonesia.

Long live Dream Theater!

Gatot | 4/5 |


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