When I first heard that I was going to be covering the Dream Theater concert, at Hard Rock Live, in Orlando, FL, I was really excited. Dream Theater has been a band that I have been listening to for years and years but had never had the chance to see them live. I’d say that is one of the coolest things about this job is getting opportunities to see bands perform, that I never would have had the chance to see and Dream Theater is definitely one of those.
When I arrived at Hard Rock Live, there were already a lot of people, ready and waiting, for the opening band, Arch Echo, to go on. I had never heard of these guys before so I was not sure what to expect but I will say, I was blown away. They are an all instrumental prog metal band that if I had to describe their sound, would be prog metal, mixed with an old school video game sound track. Their music was very technical yet pleasing to the ear. If you are a musician, you know how difficult this style of music is to play but these guys pulled it off with ease and the crowd was really into it. You normally don’t see the crowd get really into an opening band very often but these guys were definitely an exception. They only played for about 40 minutes, which was a shame because I really appreciated their sound and talent. If you haven’t checked them out, please do so as you won’t be disappointed.
It was now close to the time for Dream Theater to take the stage. Hard Rock Live was packed, with roughly 1,600 people ready to get their faces melted off. They had a giant video wall behind the stage, playing a peaceful waterfall scene for about 10 minutes prior to them taking the stage. It was visually pleasing and made the wait go by fast. When Dream Theater finally took the stage, they opened with “The Alien”. From the first note, I was blown away with how good these guys sound live. It was very tough to distinguish their live sound from their studio recordings, which says a lot about the talent that they have, being able to match their studio sound with their live performance.
All of the band members instruments (John Petrucci – Guitar, Mike Mangini – Drums, Jordan Rudess – Keyboard, John Myung – Bass and James LaBrie – Vocals) could distinctively be heard separately but sounded thunderous and in unison together. The band played for almost 2 hours and the crowd was loving every single minute of it. Metal fans are usually very passionate about their music and this was no exception tonight. One of my favorite things about the show was listening to Petrucci shred on his signature Ernie Ball guitar all night. The solos are seriously face melting and to see them performed live, is mind blowing.
Now, I don’t want to spoil the show as there are quite a few tour dates left this Spring and Summer, mostly overseas, but I will say this, if you are considering going to see Dream Theater in concert, don’t hesitate. They put on an incredible show that will keep you entertained both visually and musically, the entire night. It was about 15 years ago since I first heard Dream Theater and let me tell you, the wait was well worth it to see them live. I will leave a link below with the remaining dates on the tour and to purchase tickets
Photos and Review by Jake Coughlin
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