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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 12 April 2017
Live Scenes From New York is another triple disc three hour live concert album from the progressive metal band Dream Theater. This album is a bargain considering the cheap price I got it for but much like every other lengthy Dream Theater live album, it has some flaws.

Funnily enough, the flaws with this record are the same as Live At Budokan and that is the simple fact that it is too bloody long. The record sits at three hours and seven minutes long. Now if you're travelling or doing something, this is a good companion record to have on in the background but to sit through the entire concert in one go is one hell of a slog.

Of course, that does not mean that Live Scenes From New York is a bad live record. In fact I would say that it is miles ahead of Live At Budokan in terms of the bands over all performance and sound. The band sound extremely tight as they blast their way through the entire Scenes From A Memory album and a vast selection of fan favourites. There's some great renditions of A Change of Seasons, Metropolis Pt. 1 and Home. They're heavy, features some excellent playing from the band and are exactly what you'd want to hear from them live.

The big selling point for this is the previously mentioned play through of Scenes From A Memory. The songs for the most part sound much more lively on the live stage and it is worth owning it to hear these songs live. The first six songs flow wonderfully with some excellent pacing. Unfortunately this does not last as the group hit a dead end with a rather pointless instrumental.

The John & Theresa Solo Spot is absolutely horrendous. The guitar playing is fine but the lead vocals sounds like a fart whispering through the butt cheeks of the great ancient one Cthulhu. This woman's voice is thin and she most certainly can't sing soul, at least not on this track. If I could remove this warble fest from the album, I would do it in a heart beat.

This track is not the only dud on the record. Through Her Eyes and The Spirit Carries On are incredibly tacky songs with cheesy lyrics, a whispered vocal performance from LaBrie that lacks emotion and the former has some god awful sounding electronic drum play back. Unfortunately Theresa Thomason is back to provide her vocals for The Spirit Carries On and it is cringe worthy. She can clearly sing but her technique is not good at all. She tries desperately to over sing every passage and ends up sounding like a remarkably bad Christina Aguilera clone.

Aside from these tracks, the album is a top notch live recording that has a nice heavy sound. Unfortunately during some of the quieter melodic parts, there is a noticeable humming sound in the left channel which is rather distracting. To my ears, it sounds like one of the musicians is getting feedback in one of his amps, but that is just my opinion. Either way, the error is there and does become a nuisance in a few minor moments.

Live Scenes From New York is worth picking up for Dream Theater fans, though I imagine most fans own it already. You most definitely get your moneys worth out of the three disc selection. Personally speaking, I would have released the Scenes From A Memory as it's own live album and had both sets as double disc companion albums. The overall pacing would have been far less fatiguing.

Published by Steven Lornie of Demonszone
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on 1 July 2017
A group I'm just getting in to. This is excellent . All the musicians are great. Songs the same. Would love to see them live. Bet it is great show
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on 15 December 2002
Once again dream theater have managed to stun me!
They have got to be one of the best live bands to ever grace the rock circuit. They are definately crowd pleasers.
From Jordan Rudess and John Petrucci's amazing ability to combine guitar and keyboard smoothly and make it look simple, to Mike Portnoys sheer intensity and ability to groove in odd time signatures and combining with John Myung on the bass to lay down the foundations for all 25 of these great tracks. How can I forget the unmistakable vocals of James LaBrie, truly one of a kind. Most of all there ability to combine all there instrumental talents in to co-writing there own tracks, there is one word for this highly talented group of musicians........ awesome!
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on 9 March 2006
I held off DT for some time, because I always feared they were a little up their own you-know-whats, but I couldn't have been more wrong. I'm a big jazz fan with a rock background, and kinda left it all behind, sticking some Whitesnake or something on for a riff fix every once in a while. DT satisfy the muso in me, and somehow their music appeals to the teenage rocker in me and the adult jazz buff. As musicians they are impeccable, and they rock like nothing on earth.
I started with Live at Budokan, and thought that it couldn't get better. It can. Imagine that - this live set blows even that away. It's tighter, and yet seems more varied.
Oh, just get it. Now.
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on 4 May 2017
With the success of 'Metropolis Part 2: Scenes from a Memory' under their belts, Dream Theater were sitting firmly on the throne of the prog world, and so what's the next step? To take the entire concept album on tour, of course!

An absolute sonic tour-de-force of Dream Theater music, the band are relentless as they bombard a New York audience with over three hours of excellence. Besides playing 'Scenes from a Memory' in its entirety, with a few added bonuses thrown in, the band play various hits from their past records, including all three parts of the 'A Mind Beside Itself' trilogy from the 'Awake' album, 'Metropolis Pt. 1' and 'Learning to Live', both clocking in at ten and twelve minutes respectively, and if that wasn't enough, they then close with the 23-minute epic, 'A Change of Seasons'.

This is not for the faint-hearted.

As you'd expect from Dream Theater, the musicianship and chemistry is unparalleled by any other band. Each instrumentalist here has truly mastered their craft, with the only real weakness coming from vocalist James LaBrie. He tries his best, bless him, but having gone through some well-documented problems at the time (food poisoning led to him rupturing his vocal chords a few years prior), his voice can be pretty grating to listen to at times. However, he does redeem himself at the end when he jokingly says "sorry about the short set". Good job, sir!

All praises aside, I'm not the biggest lover of live albums, as I usually prefer the punch and clarity of a studio recording, and at times I feel the sound isn't as perfect as it could be, at least, not when compared to the 'Scenes from a Memory' record. But that just comes down to personal preference.

With that said, 'Live Scenes from New York' is a beast of a live album. A three-disc set that perfectly sums up Dream Theater's career to that point, and an all-out assault of progressive proportions. This is an essential addition to every fans collection.
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on 8 January 2004
hmm...this was the first dream theater cd i listened to and i love it! yea im a new fan of theirs but i did get the chance to listen to a few of their other albums and have bought a few but thisis the best one ive come across. i'd advise any dream theater fan to buy it.
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on 25 January 2002
DT play a set of about 3 hours worth of their material (including the complete "Scenes from a memory" album and --- as an encore --- all of "A change of seaons"). It's great material, and these guys are AWESOME musicians (the singer, the only one without a conservatory degree, sounds understandably fatigued near the end of the performance --- although he's in much better shape than on Once in a Livetime), but the polish of their studio albums is missing (this sounds like a direct-to-2-track DAT recording, and at times the mix is just not up to snuff). If you love "live" sounds, or if you've seen the band live and want to recall the experience, get this album. If you're new to DT, get any of their studio albums instead --- in fact, just get *all* of them!
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on 6 January 2003
From the first song you hear, "Regression," you can tell this is going to be a great live album. Dream Theater are simply one of the most talent bands around. An operatic singer, a guitarist who likes to show off, and he can, a bassist who must've sold his soul (to rock 'n' roll ;) ), a keyboardist who can play as well as some lead guitarists, and a drummer who has a massive kit and knows how to use every single piece of it perfectly.
If you've heard any Dream Theater albums but not heard them live, you have never lived. If you haven't even heard Dream Theater you must've been living under a rock or something.
When people hear the word "progressive" it automatically brings up thoughts of concept albums, the 80's, experimental rock. And Dream Theater fit two of those critera perfectly. Concept albums and experimental, but they certainly aren't 80's. This is metal, and they may not be as heavy, or as fast as some other bands, but they love to be extremely experimental with their music. Using different time signatures, fast, swooping mood changes, and a lot of improvisation. Even moreso live.
Spread over three CDs, for over three hours of music. Some people may get bored by the longer songs, but you have to be willing to listen for the duration to enjoy the most from the songs. The song "A Change Of Seasons," which is critically acclaimed, and on this album lasts for close to 25 minutes, (album version is closer to 23), and in the middle of the song the bassist, the guitarist and the keyboardist all have their own little solo slots. Such as The Simpsons theme by the guitarist. Showing the skill of each band member, by being able to be halfway through a song, stop completely and let someone have their 15 seconds of fame. Such changes of a song mood don't come easily.
Dream Theater fans new and old alike will enjoy this album. If you're just getting in to them it may not be the best start, but it's probably their best album. If you're an old fan, and you haven't considered buying this album, I couldn't think why you wouldn't want it.
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on 16 September 2009
Dream Theater, like many progressive bands of their and previous generations, are even better live than in the studio; they have an extra edge and this is clearly demonstrated in this live 3-CD set. Their standard of musicianship is excellent with the only aspect that palls from time to time being Mike Portnoy's drumming which is high energy but too much in your face.

A good cross-section of songs with Metropolis played in full. Great value at the prices offered and a typically generous gig. Buy while you still can!
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on 19 August 2013
is one by a band you really like with a well-chosen set and then.....they improve on the original versions of the songs. This is a wonderful selection of Dream Theater material (including the whole of Scenes From A Memory) and the version on here of "Through Her Eyes" is one of the best live tracks I've heard in many a year. This is also excellent value, containing over threee hours of music and also video trailers.
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