begins with great energy and real passion. Anyone already familiar with Dream Theater would probably be familiar with this set-opener. They won't be disappointed either. The performance is flawless, even for such a complex and fast tempo piece. The bass solo is stunning, and the intensity of their performance is very impressive.
Before I continue, I would like to say a bit about the band up until this point. Dream Theater debuted in 1989 with When Dream and Day Unite
and followed up with Images and Words
, an album that secured them a stable fanbase and turned them into a more or less renowned band back in the States.
But in Europe, they were suffering from a lack of radio exposure and played in venues and to fans as if they were about to debut again. At the Marquee in London, however, they had recorded their first live album to a host of loyal yet relatively small audience.
As the set progresses, A Fortune of Lies
began swiftly after the opener ended. The crowds were worked up enough for drummer Mike Portnoy to turn heads with Petrucci's heavy riffs collaborating smoothly. The quality of the recording is both clear and sublime. Of course, if Dream Theater never sat well with you, your patience may have already slipped. Bombay Vindaloo
would be another example of shred meets keyboard, and is what I can define as another fans-only track that would be far from making any others new fans. Although musically, Kevin Moore does a great job against Petrucci's virtuoso attacks in what could be mistaken for a tribute to Highway Star
's monumental ending.
Another track from Images and Words
has vocalist James LaBrie dominating the next 6 minutes for a contrast in sound. Less than two minutes in, John Petrucci enters and until the crescendo after 5 minutes of dynamic playing from all corners, the piano line plays again with James singing the last lyrics.
Perhaps not as powerful as the previous songs, Another Hand - the Killing Hand
play a lot of high register notes and an uplifting song. It's a great song, yet a little lacklustre in comparison to other songs. This is a shame, considering the great musicianship and miraculous turn to a quieter passage. An enjoyable song and wonderful on paper, yet lacking in real vehemence.
To finish the set, James LaBrie tells the audience "you might have heard this song, once or twice maybe. It was our first single and our first video… Pull Me Under
." It begins atmospherically and digresses into a fuller, heavier song featuring rapid percussion, excellent lead work and very notable singing. As it steadily builds up, it cuts to an abrupt ending, leaving the fans one or two more seconds to keep cheering.
Stated fans will at the very least need to listen to a few songs from Dream Theater's Marquee performance. Anyone still in-conversant to them however, should probably try Images and Words
before deciding on any live performance, be it Live at the Marquee
or Live at Budokan
, Fortune in Lies
, Pull me Under