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Dream Theater in Copenhagen, February 20 2014

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    Posted: 21 Feb 2014 at 6:24am
Dream Theater @ Falconer Centret, Copenhagen, February 20 - 2014

It's been some time since I'd seen Dream Theater live in action. Last time was when Mike Portnoy was still in the band, and they had their Progressive Nation-thing going. With Portnoy's exit, Dream Theater readopted the A Night With Dream Theater-concept which, as James Labrie stated during last night's show is "really the only way to experience Dream Theater live". The venue is rather small and bizarrely located in the same building as a hotel; but this just creates a both intimate and surreal atmosphere which, needless to say, suits Dream Theater's universe very well.

The show lasted around three hours and consisted of two sets with a 15-minute intermission. While the first set was varied, of course including tracks from their latest album, the highlight to many fans was probably the second set which focused on the classic album Awake. The show went as Dream Theater shows go: lots of impressive instrumentalism across the board which, if your weren't  there, you would never believe could ever be performed live. As usual, the band has next to zero contact with the audience, leaving that up to the visual graphics on the massive screen that constituted the backdrop of the state. When you go to a Dream Theater gg, you go for the music - not the show - and that's just a mutual understanding between the band and the fans. Still, things have changed a bit in the contact-with-audience department. While John Myung is still so anonymous that you sometimes forget he's even onstage, and John Petrucci and Jordan Rudess still keep their contact with the audience to a couple of nods and smiles every now and then, James Labrie has become really good at connecting with the audience. He did a great job at it yesterday, and, while Dream Theater is all about the music, this kind of connection does add a bit of magic to the evening with Dream theater. Really, the only real rock star to have graced that band was Mike Portnoy, whose stage presence was always very intense. Mike Mangini is differently laid back, and he was pretty much all smiles the entire show - he looked like a guy who simply enjoys to play the drums, which obviously also had a very positive influence on the show. In all, it was a gig showing what Dream Theater is all about, and that's really what fans of the band want: impressive and complex music performed with high levels of virtuosity across the board.

Some pics:

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