This is Dream Theater's latest live instalment form their monumental discography. This is a 20th anniversary celebration and was recorded at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City on April 1st 2006. It's a monster 3CD album (available in 2DVD) and is a brilliant 20th celebration indeed.
The first CD opens with a classic from Octavarium. This original version of the Root Of All Evil is a brilliant song in itself but they managed to top it live. The intro of it is a huge build up and would make any Dream Theater fan pumped up with anticipation and excitement. After the drumming/guitar intro the song drops hugely and is a brilliant start for the whole album. The guitar solo is excellently executed as well.
Another song from their Octavarium album follows with I Walk Beside You. A more of a 'feel good' song rather than a fast paced adrenaline fuelled song, which makes a nice change. James' vocals in this song are brilliant and he hits the notes amazingly.
Another Won follows with what is another amazing performance. It starts off with a powerful and fast intro with that ripping guitar riff and brilliant drumming from Portnoy. The song then continues as it started- amazingly. The way Portnoy uses his drums is magnificent (from a drummers point of view) and really gives the song a different feel.
The next song, Afterlife, from the album When Dream And Day Unite follows. Not a favourite Dream Theater song of mine however the performance of it here is pretty damn good. The drums and guitars are working perfectly in harmony and the harmonic keyboards give the song an epic feel. The best part of this song is the guitar solo about 5 mins through. Quality.
Under A Glass Moon. This is my favourite DT song of all time. They perform it brilliant throughout; the pounding drums. the amazing 'space like' (as a mate of mine once referred to it as) guitars and keyboards and even the immense guitar solo is performed to perfection. Also the circus tune they play half way through is hilariously funny but may be a little out of place.
Innocence Faded, a classic from the album Awake is played very well here. James' voice is perfect and this is one of the only songs where the bass guitar can be noticed and is played awesomely.
Raise The Knife is another song where the bass can be heard very well and is again another great live rendition. Petrucci's guitaring is second to none and Rudess' keyboards are just perfect. Possibly the best performance on the first disc (apart from Under A Glass Moon obviously).
The CD finishes with The Spirit Carries On from Metropolis Pt II. This is an excellent mellow outro for the disc and you can sense the calm atmosphere from the crowd all the way from when that first guitar strum is played until the brilliant female vocals (Theresa Thomason I think) at the end. Awesome.
This CD is played by Dream Theater and what is dubbed as the 'Octavarium Orchestra'. The first track on this CD is the whole of the sixth degree in 6DOIT (from Overture to Losing Time). The whole rock opera is played amazingly with the orchestra. This could possibly be compared to Metallica's S & M, however in my opinion is performed better. To review the whole of this performance would be too lengthy so I'll just say a few words. Overture is played by solely the orchestra and is played very well indeed. The rest of the sixth degree is performed brilliantly and it is obvious that the orchestra and the band have put many hours into perfecting the performance. 41 minutes of pure awesomeness, I just wish I was at the gig. Highlights of this track for me would include Overture, The Test That Stumped Them All and Solitary Shell.
The first and only song from Train Of Thought to appear on Score is Vacant. It is only a 3 minute song but very mellow and emotional. The backing violins along with James’ voice (which is mind blowing in this song) makes this a brilliant live song.
The third and fourth track on this CD are both from the album Octavarium. The Answer Lies Within is probably the one of the weaker songs on the album however the live performance of it does male it a bit better. Jordan’s keyboards have the perfect sound for this song and the orchestra also provides great backing for this song.
Sacrificed Sons is the fourth track. To be honest the intro of this actually scares me. A strong song on Octavarium made better on this live album.
The first track is a 27 minute performance of Octavarium off Octavarium (in case you didn’t realize). This is split into separate parts (much like A Change Of Seasons). Personally I’m not the biggest fan of this song anyway however here it definitely got me listening to it more. It starts off with a long guitar intro and there also some violins backing them and sometimes on their own. After about 9 mins (too long an intro i.m.o.) LaBrie comes in with vocals and Portnoy shortly follows with some cymbal work. After a few minutes an actual drum beat kicks in as well as a lovely bass riff with some cool guitar work too. To be honest the rest is fairly monotonous until about 15 minutes in when Rudess kicks ass with a blistering keyboard solo. After this, the mood changes to a more upbeat one and LaBrie’s vocals help with this. Around about the 20 minute mark Petrucci nails a solo and of course after that there’s the ‘angry’ bit that is very aggressive indeed. The outro of Octavarium leaves the crowd in awe and is a brilliant finisher of the gig.
However, Score would not be complete without an amazing performance of Metropolis Pt I. this is exactly what they give as their Finale. The orchestra work perfectly in this song, and execute that three note melody perfectly that gets the crowd going no end. The intro to this song is fantastic and I found myself air drumming when the song kicked in! An awesome performance in two words.
All in all this is a brilliant live album and a better 20th anniversary celebration. A must for any DT fan.