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Customer reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
Once In A Livetime
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:£8.13+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 2 September 2014
Great musicianship, just cant stand the singer's voice.
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on 23 June 2017
With four studio albums and one EP to their name, it's time for another Dream Theater live recording! Coming at a time when the band were towing the line between their underground progressive metal roots and record label pressure to be more mainstream, 'Once in a Livetime' came at a bit of a transitional period, when really, they were neither of these things.

The set is amazing, and features all the early Dream Theater classics. There's plenty of little tidbits, jams, and covers thrown in between and during songs, giving this a true "live" feeling, and the 20-minute epic 'A Change of Seasons' has been broken down into multiple segments, each serving as interludes amongst the other tracks, giving a nice sense of continuity throughout the show.

The sound is very good, the band are incredibly tight, and the audience add a great energy to it all (the cheering at the beginning of 'Metropolis' sends chills down my spine!). A lot of the lengthier songs have been cut down, for example, twelve-minute 'Learning to Live' is now down to a staggering four minutes, yet they manage to capture the main essence of each piece, making the whole set flow effortlessly.

The only legit detriment to this album is vocalist James LaBrie, who at this point was desperately struggling from a well-documented case of food poisoning that had ruptured his vocal chords (so well-documented, in fact, that people who have never even heard of Dream Theater know about it).

Otherwise, the only reason I never really listen to 'Once in a Livetime' any more is because it's been surpassed by later releases. 'Score', 'Live Scenes from New York', and especially 'Live at Budokan' are far superior live albums. Still, it wraps up "that period" of the bands career with keyboardist Derek Sherinian, who is an incredible musician, but always had a flamboyance about him that didn't really suit Dream Theater.

Good album to own if you're a collector, but they've done much better ones since.
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on 14 February 2012
Covering their early albums, pre James Labrie,pre Jordan Rudess and Mike Mangini.
The early days are showing how much Rush had a huge influence in the type of progressive music these guys have created.
The earliest songs are reminiscent of Rush albums of the same era.There are several riffs, music sections and vocal sections that remind me of Rush, Van Halen, David Coverdale, Queen and even George Michael.
I absolutely love the music this band have made. In the way that the best progressive bands' music makes you want to play it over and over again, these guys have that.
Each playing brings something extra to the fore that is not noticed on the first playing or even the second or third. There is just soo much to listen to that it's too much to take in all at once.
I never get tired of hearing their music and the lyrics are so meaningful.
CD2 Has the most well known tracks on it and an amazing solo by John Petrucci. He has to be the best progressive guitarist of all time ( and I grew up listening to Zep, Purple and Floyd) and it is all performed with such humbleness, no showing off showmanship that makes me feel very privileged to have had the chance to listen to such wonderful music.The lyrics are very thought provoking and meaningful showing a maturity well beyond the ages of the band members.How did they get to be so philisophical at such a young age?
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on 9 February 2009
The live album from Dream Theater's Falling Into Infinity tour (and the last to feature Derek Sherinian on keyboards) is a mixed bag.

Musically, the band are on top form, although the individual solos by Sherinian, Portnoy & Petrucci are a little over-long; they wear their influences for all to see, and segues into short versions of cover-songs abound (watch out for snippets of Freebird, Enter Sandman, Have A Cigar & Moby Dick).

The only problem with this album is they should have allowed LaBrie a few overdubs, as when he's stretching his range, he either screeches, or loses the key entirely; this is by no means all the time, but enough to make you wince occasionally.

Overall though, a very good live album, especially if (like me) you prefer the earlier material and Sherinian to Rudess.
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on 1 October 2011
This is one very honest live cd. Why honest? Because there are moments when indeed Labrie`s voice seems overused but you have to respect the band for not changing it in the studio. They left it raw and pure as it should be. Let`s keep in mind that songs like Voices or Take the time are incredibly difficult to perform live vocaly.
Dream Theater include in their own songs melodies from Floyd, Zeppelin, Metallica and Skynyrd. Petrucci`s guitar solo is out of this planet. The playlist is perfect. The sound of Sherinian`s keyboards is the best from all the live albums that Dream ever put out. One amazing concert. You have to own it!
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on 13 October 2000
Words alone can't express how good this album is, but I'm going to try. I first heard Livetime when a friend of mine played it to me. Instantly I was hooked by the sheer musicality of the definitive prog-metal band. The versatitlty is made more than apparent, and there are moments of mellow light rock, jazz fusion and unadulterated power. The fact the sound is so precise is testement to the individual band members' technical expertise. It's hard to believe that it's actually a live recording! Watch out for the drumming of Mike Portnoy - you'll wonder how he can physically play like he does with only four limbs (I've seen them play live, and after an hour and a half of the concert he was able to keep playing whilst bouncing up and down!). Also watch out for guitarist John Petrucci. His playing is a paradigm of the band's overall style. In one concert you get spanish guitar (Hollow Years), blues (Lines in the Sand), squeally metal solos (Peruvian Skies) and even a bit of classical (he breaks into 'Flight of the Bumblebee' during his 8 minute long guitar solo). All I can say is "Buy this album!". Since hearing it about 20 months ago I've got all their other albums, and have made it to 2 UK gigs. There are musically gifted bands out there but DT are at the top of the list. If you like this album it's worth looking at all their other releases as well as 'Liquid Tension Experiment' and 'Liquid Tension Experiment 2' by Liquid Tension Experiment (a spin off band including both Portnoy and Petrucci, and also DT's new Keyboardist, Jordan Rudess).
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on 24 December 2012
All you ever want from a live album. Dream Theater are on form and playing to their masterly best. They have to be the top prog rock outfit in the galaxy.
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on 12 August 2001
This live extravaganza is on the whole an excellent display of DT's prowess of the Prog Rock genre, although LaBries vocals on the first few tracks are very weak, and the guitar/keyboard sound a wee thin. But then they wake up, and blow you away. Could be better though.
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on 18 January 2002
OK, maybe I am biased as I was at the Paris when it was recorded, but I still think this is one of the best live recordings and an absolute must for all DT fans. They were in reat form that night and played for ages, and brought out all the good songs, even some from awake and images and words. Their mood changes throughout the album, but in my view the best moment is the transition from the amazing guitar solo to Pull me under which just blew me away then, and still does every time I put it on. Enjoy!!
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on 20 June 2013
This group is rather too hard rock for my taste but it is always nice to have a compilation album so as to have represented in my collection.
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