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One for the fans yet a disservice to them also
on 8 November 2008
After purchasing this dvd and reading the many reviews that are here I feel like I should really throw my opinion into the mix, not because it's better than anyone elses but purely because the product is so unlike any of Dream Theater's previous work that it simply warrants discussion.
Chaos in Motion 2007 - 2008 is a semi fly on the wall dvd that allows the viewer to "tour" with Dream Theater gaining an understanding of what life is like on the road. This is accompanied by 3 hours of footage from several different locations that when combined equals a set.
I was really looking forward to this dvd as I had seen Dream Theater live on this tour and was wanting to buy a copy so as to jog my memory, as far as that aspect is concerned the dvd is great as much of the setlist is precisely the same (from the solo from Pink Floyd's Mother at the end of Surrounded to the fantastic medley at the end of the show). Yet as many reviewers have previously mentioned the quality of the film footage is the main problem with this dvd.
Dream Theater appear to video all their gigs, displaying them on the large screens behind the band for people at the back of the venues and it appears to be this footage that has been "captured" for the dvd. I assumed that it was used to give the feel of being in the audience but the footage isn't actually clear enough to view properly in some places which defeats the purpose. Previous Dream Theater dvd's have been filmed with high quality cameras and in one show, giving the impression of a perfect performance however I feel that this dvd deliberately strayed from that format. The sound at times also has this rough edge, with volumes and the mixing just not feeling "right". This is a shame as live the band sounded spot on yet this feels lost in translation so to speak. A good example is the first two tracks where it feels like the sound desk is readjusting the mix constantly, however this is counterbalanced by the keyboard solo and lines in the sand which sound spot on.
I feel the general vibe of the dvd is slightly undefined also. As I previously mentioned the dvd allows you to follow the band on tour with interludes between songs about touring in Europe etc yet these feel far to brushed over to be of any real benefit to the product. A good example of how to do this is "A year and a half in the life of Metallica" which in a side note really needs to be brought to dvd.
Finally the bonus cd that comes with the dvd if you buy the special edition uses almost the exact same mix from the dvd itself, thus making it a fairly poor product. This to me is the worst part of the package as I can almost forgive Dream Theater for taking a chance that doesn't pay off on a dvd, but I really expect more from them with a cd.
Overall this dvd could have been a better product. Newcommers to Dream Theater should buy Live at Budokan as it is one of the best music dvds on the market in general, yet it's this comparison that causes Dream Theater to fall on it's own sword - they have simply set the bar too high and have missed it this time around, dissapointing their most loyal fans in the process.