Dream Theater
Live Scenes From New York


4.0
excellent

Review

by Ich Habe Sheisse USER (1 Reviews)
July 20th, 2006 | 19 replies | 7,020 views


Release Date: 2001 | Tracklist


2 of 2 thought this review was well written

Live Scenes From New York, released in 2001, is considered to be Dream Theater's quintessential live album by some, however some vocal and sound issues keep an otherwise mind blowing performance from attaining perfection. The first set consisted entirely of the band's definitive concept-album Metropolis Part II: Scenes From a Memory.

Dream Theater is:

James LaBrie - vox, percussion
John Myung - bass guitar
John Petrucci - guitar, backing vox
Jordan Rudess - keyboards
Mike Portnoy - drums/percussion, backing vox

:::::

{Disc One}

- First Set -

1. Regression (2:46)
Although nothing more than introductory filler, it does set the stage for the enthralling story told in Scenes From a Memory. [2/5]

2. Overture 1928 (3:32)
And BLAM! we're off. With a chugging intro riff, this instrumental blasts away, leaving no doubt of the collective technical talent of Dream Theater. Being an overture, you'll notice several themes from this track reoccur in proceeding songs. Very strong opener. [4/5]

3. Strange Deja Vu (5:02)
Continuing directly from Overture, this is one hell of a rocker, with a great chorus. The interlude, preceded by some upper-register arpreggiating by Myung, is the highlight of the song with a great old-school hard rock riff, also generated by Myung. [4/5]

4. Through My Words (1:42)
The great pace set by the last two tracks settles down for this quick piano/vox duet. Quite beautiful. The lyrics 'Alone at night...' and onward actually belong in the next song. And, of course, this track contains one of the most famous lyrical flubs in DT history... listen to find out. But, it is mostly a filler. [2/5]

5. Fatal Tragedy (6:21)
One of my favorite songs of the SFAM album, this one is definitely another rocker. Featuring an Inspector-Gadgetesque verse, the first half of the song poorly foreshadows the musical madness in the second, although the riff is still pretty badass. The solo section, known to the more seasoned DT listener as the "Shrink n' Grow" section will melt your face. The Megadeth-inspired background riff is awesome, but the leads thrown down by Petrucci and Rudess easily overshadow it. A couple flubs committed by Petrucci in the vocal and solo departments detract ever-so-slightly from this one. [4/5]

6. Beyond This Life (11:16)
What a doozy of a track. This song runs the gamut from Radiohead-style choruses, Kansas-inspired grooves, and mind-bending Zappa unisons. Aside from The Dance of Eternity, this is the height of musical insanity from SFAM. There really isn't much to say, just listen and rock out. [5/5]

7. John & Theresa Solo Spot (3:17)
This track is exactly what its title implies. Some of Petrucci's most emotional playing is featured here, as well as his trademark triplet noodling. Theresa Thompson's voice soars and recedes throughout. A great break after the madness in Beyond This Life. [3.5/5]

8. Through Her Eyes (6:17)
A companion of sorts to Through My Words, you'll want to watch out for a nasty feedback screech in the first few seconds. Myung pulls out the fretless bass for the second of only two songs he's ever used it for the history of DT - with great effect. Mostly relaxing and somber, this track features very well done vocals by LaBrie and his backups Petrucci & Portnoy. The songs ends in an upbeat jam session not heard on the studio version. [4/5]

9. Home (13:21)
Once again, the 10 minute mark is broken - for a reason. This one a hell of a rocker that starts out slow with a Middle Eastern vibe that will resurface several times. The main riff, another contribution by Myung, will probably remind you of Tool's 46 & 2. Considering its length, this track is still highly accessible with catchy hooks, nonstop riffage, and blazing leads. The crazy 19/16 unison finale will leave some shaking their heads and others with their jaws agape. [4/5]

10. The Dance of Eternity (6:24)
Drummer, keyboardists, bassists and guitarists alike will be absolutely flabbergasted after digesting all the pyrotechnics on display in this instrumental. This is surely the most complicated music Dream Theater has EVER written. No one member steals the show, but Myung does get the only actual solo, hearkening back to his legendary tapping solo from Metropolis Pt. 1. This is also the first track to feature Petrucci with a 7-string during the show. Make sure you are sitting when you get to this track, because if you ain't you'll be on your ass in no time. [4.5/5]

{Disc Two}

11. One Last Time (6:24)
Beginning with some beautiful piano flourishes by Rudess, this track is very concise and well-constructed. The vocal harmony in the chorus is quite beautiful. The second half of the song picks up with the reprisal
of one of the themes you heard from the Overture. A mysterious ending leads into one of the most emotionally profound songs in DT's catalogue. [3.5/5]

12. The Spirit Carries On (7:40)
One of the highlights of the night, the band's performance here is flawless. Opening with another duet by LaBrie and Rudess which is injected some understated and beautifully melodic playing by Myung. After the band is joined by a gospel choir, the mood absolutely soars into heaven. Petrucci, Portnoy, and Rudess extend the song's ending a bit with a nice impromptu jam. [4.5/5]

13. Finally Free (10:59)
We've arrived at the final song of Scenes From a Memory. Beginning first with some clean work by Petrucci then an ominous synth break, you know we're nearing the end. The "One Last Time" theme will be revived once again to heart-wrenching effect. Portnoy goes lays down a very well-executed drum solo over a riff introduced earlier in the song. The first set ends with another extended live-only jam that'll leave you out of breath. [4/5]

- Second Set -

14. Metropolis Pt. 1 (10:36)
For any new Dream Theater fan, this song is an absolute MUST-LISTEN - not necessarily this version, though. As the most ambitious experiment to that point in the band's career, there's no denying the intensity present throughout this journey. The musical interlude that occupies most of this track is one of the greatest moments in DT history, featuring melodic unisons and Myung's most famous solo. LaBrie does miss a notes which does hurt the song a bit, as well as some silly banter between him and the crowd. [4/5]

15. The Mirror (8:15)
After the peak we experience at the finish of Metropolis this 7-string headbanger slams you right back down. This song is pile-drivingly heavy. Portnoy's snarling vocal contributions are just frightening. Despite all that, this is still a very personal song. With an ending borrowed from "Lie", the track directly after it on Awake, you will be speechless after one of Petrucci's greatest displays on the album. [4/5]

16. Just Let Me Breathe (4:02)
This song begins what is called the "7-string medley" that consists of this and the next two tracks. As Portnoy's big 'f-ck you' to the music biz and MTV, this song rocks pretty hard. Not my favorite, but it'll get your head banging. [3.5/5]

17. Acid Rain (2:34)
This actually a Liquid Tension Experiment cover. It's more chopped than I would've liked, but it is part of a medley, after all. Petrucci puts his low B string to good use in the opening - very groovy, a welcome departure from his more straight-ahead feel in DT. Portnoy and Rudess are well highlighted on this frenzied instrumental track. [4.5/5]

18. Caught in a New Millennium (6:21)
Initially, this track threw me through a loop because it's actually a combination of two songs ("Caught in a Web" and "New Millennium") while also being part of a medley. After a few listens, I got used to the changes and additions, and I like them pretty well. [3.5/5]

19. Another Day (5:13)
As my favorite of the two ballads from "Images & Words", I was pretty excited to hear this one. Overall, it wasn't bad by any means, but LaBrie did take a few too many shortcuts around the higher notes for my taste. Saxophonist Jay Beckenstein joins them with a masterful performance. [3.5/5]

20. Jordan Rudess Keyboard Solo (6:40)
It's a keyboard solo. The first two thirds consist of some melodic piano playing, with snippets of some famous classical composition I don't know the name of, as well as the piano break in Liquid Tension Experiment's "Universal Mind". The last synth part is pretty cool, with a lot of quirky samples and an unreal sawtooth lead. [3.5/5]

{Disc 3}

21. A Mind Beside Itself: Erotomania (7:22)
This is probably my personal favorite of all the Dream Theater instrumentals. Not quite as bizarre as The Dance of Eternity, this song still has some truly awesome moments, including Petrucci's famous string-skipping solo and a hugely revamped outro solo by Myung, as well as the strangely timed main chromatic riff. [4.5/5]

22. A Mind Beside Itself: Voices (9:44)
Easily one of the shining moments of this album. Continuing directly from Erotomania with a creepy high-register riff from Myung, this song will really kick you in the gut. Petrucci's voice seems to improve as the night progresses. LaBrie really delivers throughout, while managing to avoid the more straining notes. Flawless. [5/5]

23. A Mind Beside Itself: The Silent Man (5:09)
Here is a great surprise. What was already a well-done, if slightly lackluster ballad is greatly enhanced with several mini-jams and solo breaks throughout. Petrucci's vocal talent really shines on this one. A great finish to an amazing suite. [4.5/5]

24. Learning to Live (14:01)
There are few that I could use to accurately describe the raw emotion present in this song. It really has to be heard (or seen) to be believed. That being said, one of the greatest triumphs of this song heard in the studio is missing here: LaBrie's F#. It's been highly debated among DT fans for years, whether or not it really matters. I think it does, probably not as much as to others. The impact of that particular note is an essential part of the song. The reggae jam near the end of the song as well the extended keyboard solo a cited as silly and/or arbitrary. I like them. [4/5]

- Encore -

A Change of Seasons (24:33)
Here we are. This is it. Without a doubt, this is the one Dream Theater performance against which all others are measured. As it stands, with Score not yet released, it has not been surpassed. Once again - so much about this song is impossible to communicate with words. The only way to 'get' it is to hear it. Barring some slightly out-of-place renditions of the famous baseball homerun diddy, the Simpsons theme , and a ragtime piano solo by Myung, Petrucci, and Rudess respectively, this track is perfect. However, I'm not willing to give it any less than a perfect score. [5/5]

:::::

Overall, there isn't much you can fault in this release. But it's not perfect. My issues were with LaBrie's several shortcuts and what I thought was poor guitar tone and sound quality in general.
If you're going to buy a live album from DT, you should really consider this being your first.

Dream Theater: Live Scenes From New York
[4/5]


user ratings (231)
Chart.
4.2
excellent
other reviews of this album
JJKeys (3.5)
A great live performance as we'd expect from DT - but if you are blessed with the gift of sight, buy...


Comments:Add a Comment 
eug008
July 20th 2006



97 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is a pretty good live album, one heck of a massive set too. I was also dissapointed by the lack of the F# in LTL aswell. Good review. This Message Edited On 07.20.06

fisky009
July 20th 2006



813 Comments


Ok review, it was a bit short and lacked in detail in some places. But I hear DT are excellent live so I might just check this one out.

south_of_heaven 11
July 20th 2006



5426 Comments


Alright review. I've heard a lot about Dream Theater, but never heard anything by them.

fisky009
July 20th 2006



813 Comments


I'd say check out train of thought SoH11 for someone like you, its more heavier than most of their stuff.

south_of_heaven 11
July 20th 2006



5426 Comments


Hmm, I might have to. Everyone seems to love this band a lot. So I think I will. Thanks fisky.

Ich Habe Sheisse
July 20th 2006



9 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Well, fisky, I'm sure if I had gone more in-depth to each song you or somebody else would bitch about it. But thanks anyway.

Hep Kat: Thanks.

Ich Habe Sheisse
July 20th 2006



9 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Also, I guess I wrote this thinking anybody who would be reading it was already a fan, that might've been a mistake.

Ich Habe Sheisse
July 20th 2006



9 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

* duplicateThis Message Edited On 07.20.06

KillRight
July 20th 2006



9 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Sweet Review I think I might go buy this

temporary
July 21st 2006



207 Comments


This is an awsome live album, the setlist is perfect (especially that third disk.) Nice track by track review.

Passmind
October 28th 2006



15 Comments


Thanks man cuz i put up the album list and cover but i never got the guts to write a review, well written, i think youre one of those guys who can really comment in a good way of a record and not only trash it cuz you dont like it, i enjoy that critical part of your review.

Yazz_Flute
July 29th 2007



18735 Comments


What do you mean by the lack of the f# in Learning to Live? What part is it? I've never heard this live album so i dont know what part it is =/

Digging: Anekdoten - Vemod

Rugter32
February 13th 2009



754 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

A friend will lend me this next week. I love Scenes From A Memory, so a live version will be pure awesomeness. The rest of the setlist looks awesome too.

I wish they'd come here someday, but chances are, they won't ._.

shindip
April 10th 2009



3536 Comments


I really think dream theater needs a better vocalist.

Destructerator
October 3rd 2011



845 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Labrie ruins this album live...

TY2810
May 23rd 2012



110 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Anyone else notice Portnoy and LaBrie competing at the beginning of Home in the way they sing? It seems Portnoy is trying to push LaBrie and it almost seems LaBrie is getting frustrated. Maybe it's just me but it's something I always think about when I listen to Home on this album.

Titan
June 21st 2013



4799 Comments


crazy how this was released on September 11th with that album cover

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
June 21st 2013



48528 Comments


God Hates Us All came out on 9/11 too

Digging: The Hotelier - Home, Like NoPlace Is There

Titan
June 21st 2013



4799 Comments


they pulled these off the shelves midway through the day due to the irony of the cover and had to make a revised version of the cover to re-release



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