Dream Theater – Melbourne, October 29, 2014

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I first started listening to Dream Theater with A Change Of Seasons – back then the albums weren’t released locally here in Australia, so we had to pay huge prices for imports – and I immediately had that feeling of ‘This is the band I always wished existed!’ My brother and I soon went back and checked out Images And Words and Awake and I was blown away by the scope of the music, the intensity of the performances, the creativity of the arrangements and the depth of the lyrics. It took a long time for Dream Theater to finally tour Australia (0n the Chaos In Motion tour) and this brief run of two Australian dates was only their third ever tour down here, and first with Mike Mangini behind the kit.  Read More …

INTERVIEW: Dream Theater’s Mike Mangini & Jordan Rudess

Dream Theater are the long-reigning kings of the progressive rock/metal scene. Prog had been relatively dormant until their breakthrough 1992 album Images & Words showed the world that music-college-level chops and post-Metallica metal aggression could go hand in hand. The Dream Theater of 2014 has undergone some line-up changes since those days – keyboard player Jordan Rudess has been with the band since 1999, and drummer Mike Mangini is on his second album with the band now – but they’ve never held back in delivering intense, multi-layered, expertly executed compositions and powerful live shows. They’re heading back to Australia in October for shows in Sydney and Melbourne (tickets here), so I caught up with Rudess and Mangini for a chat about it. Read More …

INTERVIEW: Dream Theater’s John Petrucci

When Mike Portnoy quit Dream Theater a year ago, it could have been a disaster for the band. Instead they went into audition mode, recruiting former Extreme/Steve Vai drummer Mike Mangini to record A Dramatic Turn Of Events. The new album is classic Dream Theater, with odd time signatures, clever arrangements, genre-hopping, long instrumental sections and plenty of shred. Mangini proves he’s the perfect man for the job, and the entire band sounds energised and inspired by the new, more democratic approach to composition. It’s their most varied and creative work since 1999’s Scenes From A Memory.

The first impression I had of this album was “This reminds me of something. What is it? Oh! Dream Theater!” It really brings back the things I really loved about the Images & Words era.

Cool! We were definitely conscious to look at our goals for the new album and really talk to each other beforehand. I had a lot of conversations with Jordan (Rudess, keys) about the compositional direction, and trying to hone in on the elements that make the band special in our eyes. We had a conversation with James (LaBrie) about where we wanted to take the vocals melodically, and conversations with John Myung (bass) not only about the album but each song. We had a very focused general outlook of the entire writing process. And not only that but as a producer what it was going to sound like when it was all said and done. So that probably helped keep it in that direction.

Read More …

NEWS: Liquid Trio Experiment 2 – When The Keyboard Breaks

Liquid Tension Experiment, the Dream Theater side project which led to the full-time hiring of the band’s keyboard player Jordan Rudess, is releasing a new CD entitled Liquid Trio Experiment 2 – When The Keyboard Breaks: Live In Chicago.

CLICK HERE to buy Liquid Tension Experiment albums on Amazon.com

Here’s the press release.

2009 will see Ytsejam Records branch out with releases by select DREAM THEATER side projects on their new Lazy Tomato Entertainment label.

Coming this spring will be the long awaited live CD and DVD releases by LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT.

But to whet your appetite until those titles are ready to go, the label will launch Ytsejam’s side-project offspring with the release of the LIQUID TRIO EXPERIMENT 2 “When The Keyboard Breaks: Live In Chicago” CD.

This is the infamous “jamarathon” which took place at LTE’s June 25, 2008 show in Chicago when Jordan Rudess’ keyboard broke down. Mike Portnoy, John Petrucci and Tony Levin proceeded to play and improvise almost one hour of insane musical madness to a stunned audience.

This was an unbelievably unique evening that can now be shared for those not fortunate enough to have been in attendance that very special night.

CLICK HERE to buy the album.

The first Liquid Trio Experiment album, Spontaneous Combustion, was a collaboration between Rudess, Portnoy and Levin which was recorded in 1998 when Petrucci had to skip out on recording sessions cos his wife went into labour. So the new CD is like a spin-off of a side project of a spin off of Dream Theater. 

My brain hurts.