Something old... something new...


13 juin 2009, 11h17m

Fri 12 Jun – Dream Theater, Frost*
I came to this show not sure what to expect... I'd never heard of Frost* (Shame on me!) even though I love Kino, It Bites, Arena etc who John Mitchell has been involved with... also, although I've been a Dream Theater fan since the first time Pull Me Under appeared on MTV I've never seen them live!! Needless to say, I was really looking forward to this....

First up were the support band Frost*. After a nice little instrumental intro they opened with Welcome To Nowhere, that was it, I was hooked! Not knowing their material I can't name the rest of the set, however to say I was impressed is an understatement... neo prog at its most sublime! They certainly played a couple of tracks from Experiments in Mass Appeal which I duly purchased at the merch stall... it's playing now, and it's great! (Having listened to the CD, I know they also played at least Pocket Sun and Dear Dead Days... not sure of the others!)

My one caveat would be that they suffered from support bandiitis... crap sound engineering, there were occasions when either John, Dec or Jem were soloing away and the sound was lost in the morass somewhere... but other than that a performance which would have been of headline quality if they were on a bill with nyone other than Dream Theater!

Which brings me to Dream Theater, a 'supergroup' in the true sense of the word. Anyone who believes that the heady days of self indulgent 15 minute solos and extended live jams a la Deep Purple, Yes or Genesis are sadly mistaken... and these guys make it cool to show off your virtuosity with gusto!! Now, despite the aforementioned bands, DT have definitely moved on (progressed?) from to , a fact which I bemoaned on the release of Train of Thought. I stand corrected, and then some!

I was amazed at the breadth of the set here... everything from Images and Words to the forthcoming Black Clouds & Silver Linings were covered. Opening to a montage of clips before bursting into In The Presence Of Enemies, Pt. 1 the setlist would have made a great compilation album, showing off all members of the bands strengths, even James LaBrie's vocals which (IMHO) have deteriorated of late, but not last night, perhaps the longer instrumental sections than usual allowed for him to perform at his peak for the whole gig, or perhaps he's rediscoverd his mojo? I don't know, but it was great to hear tracks such as Misunderstood, Caught in a Web and Hollow Years done justice... Playing for just over two hours, I was transfixed for the entire set even during the aforementioned solos...

Negatives? I think there are always some at a gig, aren't there?

First off, the capacity of the O2 Academy Leeds needs to be addressed... the standing/stalls area was simply to cramped, even behind the desk, maybe I'm getting old but I wanted to be there to appreciate the music and not get whipped by some lad and his stoned chick's hair all night...

Secondly, despite the improvement in his voice, it seemed to take James LaBrie a long time to get 'into' the gig... he had a face black as thunder for most of the night and, despite plenty of interaction with/from the crowd, he never seemed to grow with that response... put simply, he appeared to be going through the motions. (Maybe something to be expected when, in all honesty, this was a warm up for the Download Festival appearance on Sunday).

The compete setlist was:
1) In The Presence Of Enemies, Pt. 1
2) Beyond This Life
3) Misunderstood
4) A Rite of Passage
5) Hollow Years
6) Caught in a Web
7) Forsaken
8) Erotomania
9) Voices
10) Solitary Shell
11) Constant Motion
12) As I Am
13) Metropolis Part I: The Miracle and the Sleeper/Learning to Live/A Change of Seasons Medley

High points for me?

The Frost* set in its entirety, it's great to go to a gig and discover something new, I'm hooked!

From the DT set? To be honest it's hard to choose, they were all stunning! If forced then I'd name Misunderstood, Hollow Years and As I Am (Told you I'd changed my tune!) as personal highlights, but to be honest, the set was perfect, something for every kind of DT fan. It won't be 20 years 'til I see them again, I can guarantee you that!


  • aimon

    Nice review! Yeah I have to admit I was impressed with the support Frost* laid down, and the ovation they got was certainly a testament to their sound. I thought the mix up during A Rite Of Passage was funny, I'm not sure if Portnoy did an impromptu fill that LaBrie didn't expect, or whether LaBrie was just out of synch a little. Either way that was great live. I've been through a few DT shows now hoping that they'd play Caught In A Web and As I Am, and we got both! :D Yeah Dream Theater are headlining two shows for Progressive Nation with Opeth, Bigelf and Unexpect. Another great chance to catch them.

    13 juin 2009, 14h12m
  • Sweedums

    misunderstood was my favourite song for that gig, it was a really nice surprise. As I am was also fantastic and beyond this life was really fun too. good review, although i really didnt think much of frost, must be a personal taste thing, or maybe the sound was just too bad to really make out what they were playing. i was quite far back, just in front and to the left of the sound desk and me and my brother seemed to be the only ones in our area really going for it! i just wana apologise to the guy to my left who was rather short who took an elbow the the head every time i clapped earlier on lol ! otherwise, fantastic gig, especially as it was my first time seeing them, will be keeping an eye on tickets if they ever play nearby again, thats for sure!

    13 juin 2009, 14h50m
  • biscuitsnail

    It was great to finally hear Erotomania and Voices. A very enjoyable show, much better than the Choas in Motion tour. I've wrote a review too : )

    13 juin 2009, 14h52m
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