Dream Theater
Live at Budokan



by Scythe404 USER (3 Reviews)
January 15th, 2005 | 43 replies

Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist

The Band:
John Petrucci - Guitar
John Myung - Bass Guitar
Mike Portnoy - Drums and Percussion
Jordan Rudess - Piano and Keyboard
James Labrie - Lead Vocals

Live at Budokan is the 3rd live album from Prog Metal avatars Dream Theater. For many musicians, no introduction of these fine fellows is needed. They jettisoned a genre, created some of the most beloved songs of the progressive genre and stunned the world with the definitive "Images and Words" (1992) and the epic (on a level of even Floyd's "The Wall) "Scenes From A Memory" (1999).

Their most recent studio works, "Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence" (2002) and "Train of Thought" (2003) are the focus of this concert DVD and Live CD, as this was recorded at the Budokan (naturally) in Japan on their Train Of Thought tour. Despite the fact that ToT especially has been getting mixed reviews from many fans, the band puts on an excellent show as always, and delivers their studio power live.

I will not do a track by track review, since the albums these tracks are on have all been reviewed here. I will summarize the experience of the Concert:

The band comes out roaring, and delivers with great power. For Dream Theater fans this performance will be a great pleasure to listen to. Surprisingly good, considering there are not as many classics as many DT fans would like. For those new to Dream Theater, this is an excellent showing of their heavier side (which has been prevalent since "Scenes From A Memory")

As a DVD, it tops "Metropolis 2000" (2001) in the simple fact that the concert is a concert, as opposed to an attempt to draw you into the story through annoying, choppy visuals. Mike Portnoy has indeed matured as a director. The lighting and camera work are phenomenal, and enhance the experience greatly.

As for the sound: The low ends could be less prevalent at times, but overall the mix is great. For best results: Connect your CD player/TV to a stereo.

- Great, heavy, set list
- Well directed, and structured concert
- All musicians are at their podiums of virtuosity
- Drummer Mike Portnoy steals the show with his energetic attitude

- Petrucci and Myung, sadly, and as always, seem as statues on the stage
- Few or no tracks from IaW or Awake
- LaBrie's singing voice sometimes comes through as nasal
- Non-Musicians will grow bored of it quickly
- Jordan Rudess shaved his head. Dear god man! No!

This is a must-own for Dream Theater fans (those who do not detest 6DOIT and ToT), and a full success, capturing their energy and on-stage prescence superbly.


user ratings (354)

Comments:Add a Comment 
October 15th 2004


Very good review! :thumb:

October 15th 2004


Wow, I was thinking of buying the cd, I hope it's as good as you say it is

October 15th 2004


Yeah I've decided, I need this DVD.

Distorted Vision
October 15th 2004


I've been eagerly anticipating this since they said they were recording it in May. I'm not that interested in the CD but I can't wait for the DVD. The clips I've seen look great. Annoyingly, the technical glitch on the US version (5.1 cuts out halfway through) has to be fixed for Region 2, so they've delayed it a month. I would have been getting it Monday otherwise.

Anyway, cool review.

The JoZ
October 15th 2004


Well, I love ToT and 6DoIT, so I guess I'll love this DVD, hm?

Per Ardua Ad Astra
October 15th 2004


I saw them in New York this year on the ToT tour. Basically the same setlist, but they didn't play 'A Change of Seasons' for the DVD, but they played it at the show I was at.

I'm so pissed they didn't record it at the show i was at, especially since it was in New York.

Nice review.

el doctor
October 15th 2004


[QUOTE=Per Ardua Ad Astra]I saw them in New York this year on the ToT tour. Basically the same setlist, but they didn't play 'A Change of Seasons' for the DVD, but they played it at the show I was at.

I'm so pissed they didn't record it at the show i was at, especially since it was in New York.

Nice review.[/QUOTE]I feel the same way... I guess maybe because Live Scenes was in NY they did this in Japan, but that concert in NYC was just way too special to pass up recording.

I can't say how the CD is since I don't have it, but the DVD is quite incredible. The camera work is great, and overall it justly captures their live stage presence. Going by the DVD, I think the review is pretty accurate.

As for the sound, if you're watching the DVD, the default selection for the sound is 5.1. If you TV is only 2 channels, then it'll sound like crap on 5.1; switch it to stereo. There's also a glitch in the 5.1 mix; some of the channels just cut out in the middle of New Millenium, and for the rest of the performance. A thread on the Mike Portnoy forums have information about the problem.

Kirk's Puppet
December 1st 2004


I got the DVD, Myung only spoke once in the Special Features, :lol: He's my favourite though.

DT said that the Japanese fans prefer their heavier stuff so they made a heavier and more metalish set list. I LOVE the set list though, but I'd prefer throwing in Metropolis, Take The Time or Learning to Live. Pull Me Under's still a good choice, at least I finally learned that JR plays the lead lick before the second verse and not JP... I've been trying to play it as clean as the keyboards on guitar for so long, :lol:

December 1st 2004


I have the other DVD, Scenes in Metropolis I think its called. Its great, I love it. DT are one of my favorite bands. This DVD, though, I haven't heard most of the songs. And, on Metropolis, they play A Mind Apart and ACoS, AND Learning to Live. I bought the DVD just for those alone. I'll try to pick this DVD up when I got some extra money.

Distorted Vision
December 1st 2004


It came out here on Monday, and it was worth the wait. It's 20 times better than LSFNY, very professionally done.

The music is pretty solid, but after listening to them for so long I'm beginning to hate when they go into overly-long, pointless, unmelodic solo sections. I thought As I Am and This Dying Soul were pretty dire, and the best songs were the slower, lighter ones - Hollow Years, Trial Of Tears and Disappear.

They were beginning to grow out of favour with me, but needless to say this DVD has perked my interest up again. Overall, I think it's very good.

December 1st 2004


- Non-Musicians will grow bored of it quickly

You'd be suprised.. I have quite a bunch of non musician friends who enjoy Dream Theater quite a bit.

December 1st 2004


I really enjoy the dvd, but I wish they did more from awake (among other albums they virtually left off)

The JoZ
December 28th 2004


I tried to post this the other day, but does everyone else's have messed up track timings? Like As I Am having :52 run time, and This Dying Soul only being 7:41?

And I must say, the Instrumedly was quite mindblowing, they picked some great songs to merge together, some of my favorites incidentally.

I'm surprised they pulled from WDaDU more than I&W or Awake...

December 29th 2004


This album is TeH SecKS DuDez!
In all seriousness, i love it. First DT album i bought, and i had heard no songs before this album, its all great. Love the way they took party from Paradigm Shift and Universal Mind and put them into Instrumedly.

December 30th 2004


The CD is great, good playlist, and the audio quality is very good. The DVD is where its at. The camera work is perfect, when theres a solo, they show the person doing it. And no lame 70's style transition effects like in their Live Scenes in NY DVD. I like the bonus material, the documentary, guitar/keyboard world, and the bonus version of the instrumedley where you can change the camera angles.

December 30th 2004


good review man :thumb: I just ordered Images and Words Live in Tokyo / 5 Years in a Live. I liked the setlist more but maybe ill pick this up too haha

Speedy Fingers
March 4th 2005


Very good review, 'cept JR shaving his head is old news!

Jimi Haze
May 29th 2005


To be honest I think Rudess looks better with shaven head, he looks odd with lots of hair, kind of how dave grohl looks in the "Learn to Fly" video.

It's a good DVD, I just wish they had Take the Time on there

July 26th 2005


nice review, I must get hold of this dvd.

just for accuracy: Myung plays Chapman stick too

December 24th 2005


Album Rating: 2.0

I do not like it, Sam I am, I do not like it with green eggs and ham.

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