DREAM THEATER — Live Scenes From New York (review)

DREAM THEATER — Live Scenes From New York album cover Live album · 2001 · Progressive Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
The Metropolis Tour was Dream Theater at the peak of their powers and it is captured here in high quality glory. All of the classic Dream Theater tracks that made up the "Scenes From a Memory" masterpiece are here and played with extraordinary skill, even at times surpassing the original studio album. It is rewarding to hear the earlier material of the band and the best from the earlier albums is played during the set. All of the band members are passionate, energetic and are at their best. LaBrie is crystal clear on high register vocals throughout and is brilliant on tracks such as Through Her Eyes, The Spirit Carries On, and Caught In A New Millennium. Rudess is an incredible keyboardist and has a showcase to spring from with excellent tracks such as Home and Metropolis part 1 as well as a 6:40 keyboard solo with inventive genius. Petrucci's lead guitar is exceptional and he is unbelievable on compositions such as the epic Beyond This Live, The Dance Of Eternity and blockbuster time change virtuoso Learning To Live. Of course the bass of Myung is always outstanding and Portnoy's drumming is machine like, keeping the odd rhythmic patterns consistent and complex. Listen to the drumming on The Mirror or the mammoth 22 minute A Mind Beside Itself. The band are a force to be reckoned with and maintain a progressive edge with metal blasts and ambient atmospheres.

One of the real surprises is to hear the live performance of A Change Of Seasons clocking 24:33. It is even better than the studio album version. The crowd roar at the end of these epics and one may imagine standing ovations as the natural response to such virtuoso playing. The intricate time sig changes and instrumentation throughout is outstanding. They have never sounded better live. The bonus videos of Another Day and Jordan Rudess Keyboard Solo are a nice embellishment though it is more of a tease for those who cannot get hold of the whole concert. The packaging is great with gatefold shot of the band and a rather colourful booklet with band pictures and notes.

The cover is a montage of the band unless you were lucky enough to get hold of the earlier rarer cover design that has since been banned. It depicted New York City on fire. Nothing wrong with that though when the Twin Towers were seen up in flames it certainly raised some eyebrows and was seen as offensive to the real disaster of the 9/11 WTC tragedy. It eerily looks too close to what actually happened and although was a coincidence, it had to be pulled from the shops. I remember this cover causing quite a controversy as it was released just prior to the 9/11 events. The band had to replace the image with a band image.

Overall this is the best Live record of Dream Theater, with some of their most celebrated material. It is brilliant prog metal that lasts for over 3 hours. It also can be picked up for a reasonable price these days, mine cost about $20, and that is not a bad offer for 3 CDs of Dream Theater's greatest songs.
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