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Customer Review

VINE VOICEon 27 August 2005
Dream Theater are one of the best modern "prog rock" (metal?) bands of today, and seem to like releasing DVD's. This isn't exactly a new release, instead two old videos have been boxed together on DVD format, with a total running time of over 4 hours.
Both combine concert footage, videos, studio shots (usually on a camcorder) and interviews.
CD 1 is essentially the "Images & Words" (their 2nd and possibly best album)era, and includes part of a concert in Japan interspaced with interviews and home video (taken in Japan), the 3 videos made to promote the album, and a few shots of the recording of the album.
CD 2 covers a larger time frame, starting with the recording of "Awake" (3rd album), and runs to "Falling into Infinity" and beyond. This time the live footage comes from a variety of concerts, including an "unplugged" gig in Holland for the fanclub only. There are less interviews, a fair bit of home video footage, and some film from large European festivals (headlined by Deep Purple in one case, who make a brief appearance).
There's also film from a gig played in London (Ronnie Scott's place), with a variety of guests including Steve Howe (Yes), Steve Hogarth (Marillion) and Barney from Napalm Death (hilarious). And a clip from the BBC of Bruce Dickinson singing Perfect Strangers backed by Dream Theater.
There are a couple of videos, but after Awake the band decided not to bother with them anymore.
So why get this package when the videos have been around for years?
Well, shortly before recording the "Live at the Budokan" DVD, the band sat down together, watched the two discs through, and recorded a commentary!
And it's worth a listen if you're interested in the past history of Dream Theater. The current keyboard player (Jordan Rudess) wasn't around when these videos were made, so he gets to see how the band developed before he arrived (and laugh at the hair), Mike Portnoy (drums) does most of the talking (and produced the vids), the rest of the band chip in with particular remniscences - and there's the occasional attempt to get John Myung (bass) to say anything at all.
The second disc is particularly interesting, as the whole keyboardist saga is laid out from when it became apparent that Kevin Moore wasn't happy, to finally landing Jordan's services - I won't spoil it for you but it's interesting. As is the time Yngwie Malmsteen set off the fire alarms at a show, and then ate half Dream Theater's food!
I'd prefer it with a bit more continuity, the films do jump about a bit so you don't see a full show through consecutively, which can be a bit annoying, hence the loss of a star, but I may be being pedantic, and if you're a fan of the band this makes good viewing - and hearing.
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4.8 out of 5 stars
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