DREAM THEATER — Live at the Marquee

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DREAM THEATER - Live at the Marquee cover
3.82 | 49 ratings | 7 reviews
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Live album · 1993


European / US edition:
1. Metropolis (9:33)
2. A Fortune in Lies (5:15)
3. Bombay Vindaloo (6:59)
4. Surrounded (6:00)
5. Another Hand / The Killing Hand (10:46)
6. Pull Me Under (8:22)

Total Time: 46:57

Japanese edition:
1. Metropolis (9:33)
2. A Fortune in Lies (5:15)
3. Bombay Vindaloo (6:59)
4. Another Day (4:37)
5. Another Hand / The Killing Hand (10:46)
6. Pull Me Under (8:22)

Total Time: 45:31


- James LaBrie / vocals
- Kevin Moore / keyboards
- John Myung / bass
- John Petrucci / guitar
- Mike Portnoy / drums

About this release

Label: Atco Records
Release date: September 3, 1993

Recorded at The Marquee Club in London on April 23, 1993.

Thanks to Stooge, Pekka for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

Dream Theater are known for their astonishingly long live sets and comparably long live albums. Mike Portnoy infamously collapsed backstage from exhaustion after the gruelling concert captured on Live Scenes From New York, for example, but far from taking this as a hint that perhaps sometimes less is more and a shorter setlist would be better both for the health of the band and the patience of the audience, the band have generally kept at it with the long live album thing.

That's fine if you want big chunky slabs of live Dream Theater, but there's a place for shorter, snappier sets. That's why Live At the Marquee is a nice live release, weighing in at under 50 minutes and offering solid live renditions of a selection of songs from Where Dream and Day Unite and Images and Words, with an emphasis on the latter.

Given the Marquee's role in igniting the British neo-prog wave a decade earlier, where it was a home base for bands like Marillion, it's sort of apt that Dream Theater's first live album should hail from there, since Dream Theater arguably repeated Marillion's trick of creating prog rock on a commercially successful basis at a time when the received wisdom was against this, and the band rise to the occasion with high-quality performances of the songs, including a killer version of Pull Me Under (with an actual ending this time, rather than that abrupt cut-off the album version has).

One might wish that they'd have been able to squeeze in Learning To Live or raise other quibbles with the setlist, but it speaks well of the band that already, at this early stage of their career, they had enough bangers in their repertoire that a single album-length live release couldn't hit all the highlights. Hm - perhaps those long runtimes have a purpose after all. Either way, if you like Images and Words-era Dream Theater and enjoy live albums, you'll find this a solid choice - and in practice, this means it's a good listen for most prog metal fans.
"Live at the Marquee" is a live album by US progressive metal act Dream Theater. The album was released through ATCO Records in september 1993. "Live at the Marquee" bridges the gap between the band´s second and third full-length studio albums "Images and Words (1992)" and "Awake (1994)". It´s Dream Theater´s first live album and it was recorded at London's Marquee Club in April 1993 during the tour supporting "Images and Words (1992)". The full concert set featured 12 tracks and a short tape outro, but only 6 tracks from the setlist made it unto the album. The European/US edition features "Surrounded", while the Japanese version replaces "Surrounded" with "Another Day" (both versions still only feature 6 tracks).

The tracklist features 3 tracks from "Images and Words (1992)", 2 tracks from the band´s debut album "When Dream and Day Unite (1989)" ("The Killing Hand" is featured in an extended format with a short intro song titled "Another Hand" attached to it), and the instrumental improvisation piece "Bombay Vindaloo". The latter is exclusive to "Live at the Marquee". It´s a bit of a shame that the band didn´t opt to release the full concert, because they leave out some pretty brillant tracks like "Under A Glass Moon", "Take The Time", and "Learning To Live", and as the tracks they do opt to include on the tracklist, come from different moments during the concert, you don´t really get a live concert experience when listening to "Live at the Marquee". Some of the pauses between tracks just don´t sound natural.

Tracks like "Metropolis Part I" and "Pull Me Under" were already mandatory songs on Dream Theater´s setlists this early on, and they are performed here to near perfection (as are ""Surrounded""/"Another Day"), but to my ears it´s the tracks from "When Dream and Day Unite (1989)", which are the most interesting feature on "Live at the Marquee". Especially "A Fortune in Lies" stands out as a real treat with the then new lead vocalist James LaBrie singing. "Another Hand / The Killing Hand" is a slightly less well composed/interesting track, but it´s still a real joy listening to this version with LaBrie singing. The instrumental improvisation piece "Bombay Vindaloo" is decent enough, but nothing out of the ordinary for Dream Theater, and I would much have prefered the band include one of the left off tracks from the full concert setlist instead.

"Live at the Marquee" features a slightly thin sounding production job, and a little more bottom end heaviness would have made the album a little more pleasing on the ears. Rumour has it that LaBrie´s original live vocal tracks were cut from the mix, and that he re-recorded his vocal parts live in the studio. That´s not audible though, and LaBrie´s performance here pretty much sounds like the real deal...warts and all. While his performance is professional and his voice generally is strong, he has a nasty tendency to scream some parts, which really didn´t need a scream. Those parts are pretty grating on the ears, but it´s unfortunately a trend LaBrie would continue on subsequent tours and live albums. It´s fair enough you want to alter the original vocal melody lines a little bit during a live performance...but please don´t purposedly make them worse than the original.

So if I´d have to describe "Live at the Marquee" with one word, it would be inconsistent. Inconsistent in the quality of the material and inconsistent in the vocal performance. As the sound production isn´t saving anything either, "Live at the Marquee" is upon conclusion a bit of a mixed bag. I´d still say there are more positive features than negative ones here though, and a 3.5 star (70%) rating isn´t all wrong.
Hey kids! Remember Kevin Moore?! The guy played on Dream Theater's first three studio albums, buggered off, and has since more-or-less completely cut off all ties to the Dream Theater name, wanting nothing to do with the band. So if you wanted to hear what the progressive metal legends sounded like in their early days, playing live with a certain Mr. Moore, then this is likely to be the only chance you'll ever get.

Released shortly after the bands second album, 'Images and Words', 'Live at the Marquee' is a six-track EP which doesn't really do the group or their previous releases justice. It's a nice addition to the collection of any Dream Theater fan, but since most of their live records would go on to become three-disc sets, this one has become pretty obsolete and unnecessary.

With Dream Theater classics such as 'Metropolis', 'A Fortune in Lies' and 'Pull Me Under', there's no denying the tracks are stellar, and considering vocalist James LaBrie would go on to suffer from ruptured vocal chords which would affect his live performances for years to come, it's nice to hear these songs with the youthful energy that the band had at the time.

Overall this isn't a terrible release, but if you're after a true Dream Theater live experience then you're better off looking for 2004's 'Live at Budokan', 2005's 'Score' or 2000's 'Live Scenes from New York'. It's a nice little EP if you come across it, but not really worth the effort unless you must own everything.
Short but good

This album represents for me the first time I heard of DREAM THEATER. Recorded at the Marquee Club in London in 1993, the concert was part of a huge tour following the unexpected success of "Images and Words". (Almost) cleverly thought, the set-list simply consists in 2 emblematic progressive metal titles from their first and second albums, 1 new improvisation and... unfortunately 1 soapy song, "Another Day" or "Surrounded", depending on your version... Choose your sleeping pill. Nevertheless, despite the 45 minutes duration, the quality is present.

The live renditions of "Pull Me Under" and "Metropolis" touch perfection. If you want me to nitpick, I will just mention the very low volume of John Myung's bass solo. A problem of microphone? "Bombay Vindaloo" is an instrumental jam led by John Petrucci, where he displays his virtuosity. This improvisation offers a nice Middle-Eastern-ish mysterious ambiance, although a bit too long. Only appearing on this disc, there exist no other studio or live versions of this track.

However, for the fan, the main interest of this record are undoubtedly "A Fortune In Lies" and "The Killing Hand". Finally, two songs from "When Dream and Day Unite" where James LaBrie replaces Charles Dominici! LaBrie's high-pitched and raging vocals does the justice that these great compositions deserve, making them more aggressive than the originals. His performance, especially on these tracks, is incredible! There is also an alternate opening for "The Killing Hand". Entitled "Another Hand", this enjoyable neo-proggy instrumental was written during the tour to bring a smoother transition to the end of "Another Day".

"Live at the Marquee" is simply THE old-school DREAM THEATER live album to own, as well as a good introduction to the band's first era. After the listen, a hopeless and futile idea germinates in your mind: maybe one day the band will re-record "When Dream and Day Unite" with James LaBrie...
The beginning of a live legacy. Live at the Marquee marked the first official live album for the then-young Dream Theater. Recorded at the famous Marquee Club in London, England, the new band found a willing audience in the smokey hall of the Marquee where many well known prog acts, such as Yes, Pink Floyd, IQ, and Cardicas have played. Great recording quality, superior musicianship, and an overall great show made this a fantastic album. There really is no reason to review each track individually, because it is a live album and I have fully reviewed each of the tracks on here (except Bombay Vindaloo) on their respective studio album's reviews. Bombay Vindaloo is a cool improv track that shows the band's chemistry with each other. However, the track can get a little boring as the band members experiment with their instruments. This barely is noticeable, as the experimentation is very cool and creative. Other than that the album is a near-perfect live album, except for the fact that it is live, and there is only a small chance for a live album to be absolutely perfect, save a few from a few bands. 4- stars.

Members reviews

I find this album good, but not really outstanding. From the songs included, my favourite ones are Metropolis and Pull me Under, however, I prefer both songs in their studio versions. The other songs aren't so memorable for me, and I wish they had made a different selection of songs from their debut album. As for Bombay Vindaloo, it's a nice instrumental improv piece, but I don't usually like improvs so much. They may be good, but usually there's something lacking. One of the main problems with this album for me are the vocals, LaBrie gets particularly annoying here (more than on the original songs), and even though I find him a better vocalist than Dominici, I was rather disappointed to find out I prefered the way Dominici sang the songs originally than LaBrie (even though I found Dominici's singing one of the weakest aspects from the debut album).
An early proof of brilliance Dream Theater have always been known for their strong live performances, and Live at Marquee is definitely not an exception to that common sense. Here, however, we see a much fresher and more spontaneous performance than in their later live albums, where technicality and perfection took over. Don't get me wrong, i love most of Dream Theater's live albums and technicality is a great thing, but spontaneity is also a great thing and here we see plenty of it.

Also, amazingly enough, this is probably LaBrie's best live performance ever recorded: this is possibly the only live album where he sings all songs in tune and is able to hit all notes, despite of some screams where he should hit clean notes. This album is the lonely proof of why he was chosen as the band's singer: he was a pretty good live singer, at least before all went downhill due to the food poisoning incident in Cuba.

About the songs, musicianship and other features, there are somethings i would like to state:

Most songs of Live at Marquee are better versions of the studio songs. From the opening track, the unforgettable classic Metropolis, to the closing track, their best hit song Pull me Under, the performance is just great and every song have a new thing, a subtle improvisation. The songs where that can be more easily seen are the versions of the songs A Fortune in Lies and Another Hand-The Killing Hand for LaBrie to sing, which where great. Besides those subtle improvisations, the song Bombay Vindaloo clearly is an improvised jam, another sign of spontaneity in live performances that they have seemly lost to achieve tecnical perfection.

Also, the song selection / tracklist is very good, though not being the best tracklist possible. I feel that they could have played also at least one of the following: Ytse Jam, Only a Matter of Time, Under a Glass Moon, Take the Time or Learning to Live.

Grade and Final Thoughts

So, great songs (check), great performance (check), best LaBrie's live performance ever recorded (check). Hmm, am I forgetting something? Oh yes, the grade! It will be 5 stars then.

Ratings only

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