DREAM THEATER — Live at Budokan

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DREAM THEATER - Live at Budokan cover
4.24 | 45 ratings | 3 reviews
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Live album · 2004


Disc 1
1. As I Am (7:26)
2. This Dying Soul (11:44)
3. Beyond This Life (19:37)
4. Hollow Years (9:18)
5. War Inside My Head (2:22)
6. The Test That Stumped Them All (5:00)

Total Time: 55:29

Disc 2
1. Endless Sacrifice (11:18)
2. Instrumedley (12:15)
3. Trial of Tears (13:49)
4. New Millennium (8:02)
5. Keyboard Solo (3:57)
6. Only a Matter of Time (7:21)

Total Time: 56:44

Disc 3
1. Goodnight Kiss (6:16)
2. Solitary Shell (5:58)
3. Stream of Consciousness (10:54)
4. Disappear (5:56)
5. Pull Me Under (8:38)
6. In the Name of God (15:48)

Total Time: 53:32


- James LaBrie / vocals
- John Petrucci / guitars, backing vocals
- John Myung / bass, Chapman stick
- Jordan Rudess / keyboards
- Mike Portnoy / drums, backing vocals

About this release

Label: Atlantic
Release date: October 5, 2004

Recorded live on April 26, 2004 at the Budokan Hall, Tokyo, Japan.

Also available on DVD and Blu-Ray.

Thanks to Pekka for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

As if 2000’s ‘Scenes from a Memory’ wasn’t enough, here’s Dream Theater with another three-disc assault on the senses, with 2004’s live album from Japan’s world-renowned Budokan venue, aptly titled ‘Live at Budokan’.

Touring to promote 2003’s ‘Train of Thought’, ‘Live at Budokan’ sees the band storm through a set of highly energetic and crushingly heavy material. The format of the shows were simply “an evening with...” type affairs, which meant there were no support acts. Yet, despite the mind-boggling duration of the set, the band remains on top form throughout, and shows no signs of fatigue or letting up.

Focusing more on their later material, ‘Live at Budokan’ is three discs of some of the bands strongest material, played impeccably by some of the absolute finest musicians in the world. Millions upon millions of notes are hit flawlessly, with a number of noodles and jamming sections bungled in amongst the set, this is a highly entertaining live album, and shows an unparalleled chemistry between the highly-respected musicians.

There’s an abundance of highlights here. From newer tracks ‘As I Am’, ‘This Dying Soul’ and ‘In the Name of God’, to older classics such as ‘Pull Me Under’, ‘New Millennium’, ‘Only a Matter of Time’ and ‘Beyond This Life’, which features a near-ten minute jam section which is absolutely incredible and never gets boring. Then there’s the exclusive of this album, ‘Instrumedley’, a 12-minute instrumental medley of various parts of the bands discography. It’s genuinely mind-blowing and further demonstrates how these guys are the absolute best of the best at what they do.

‘Live at Budokan’ may lie a little on the heavier side of things, but this is truly a gem that belongs in any prog fans collection. With an absolutely banging production and top-notch performances, this will surely come to be recognized as a true prog classic.
A strong live album in the glory days for Dream Theater ramming prog down the throats of Budokan fans. It is an incredible performance best seen than heard though the audio experience offers much as a type of Dream Theater concoction of the best of the earlier years.

There are a few odd surprises scattered in the mammoth set list but the classics are here and played to perfection. Beyond This Life is a huge epic clocking 19:37, and with some dynamic lead guitar from Petrucci. The Test That Stumped Them All is always a killer track live and sounds fresh and powerful with huge bass runs of Myung and Portnoy's slamming percussion.

Endless Sacrifice is an 11 minute gruelling journey into prog excess with a wild keyboard section from Rudess. The Instrumedley to follow features some awesome musicianship. LaBrie is in fine form on soaring vocals, and shines on such compositions as the 14 minute Trial Of Tears and New Millennium. It is always a pleasure to hear a Jordan Rudess keyboard solo and it is as inventive here as ever.

CD 3 features some amazing songs such as Solitary Shell, Stream Of Consciousness and quintessential Pull Me Under. The set closes with epic 16 minute In The Name Of God. So overall this is a great set with power metal and tons of instrumental breaks. It is progressive and packed to the gills with mind bending virtuoso solos and material from some of their best albums. It was the "Train of Thought" tour so there is plenty from that album as well as "Six Degrees" and "Images and Words" among others. All Dream Theater fans must have it.
Live At Budokan is yet another great Dream Theater live release. This being recorded during the Train Of Thought tour, it is maybe one of the most "metal" dream theater live recordings out there. The sound quality on the album is supreme, and i would not expect anything less by this band. Some of the higlights on the cd are Hollow Years, This Dying Soul, Stream Of Consciousness, Instrumedley, and In The Name Of God. And i'm pretty sure i'm forgetting something. This is a must have for every Dream Theater fan, and make sure you check out the dvd as well.

4.5 stars

Members reviews

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  • cefr45
  • angel3mil
  • Fido73
  • Zargus
  • Jone Souza
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  • Nightfly
  • Pekka
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