DVD review DREAM THEATER ‘Distant Memories – Live In London’

Listening to experts at work is always a pleasure, and watching them on stage even amplifies the experience. Dream Theater, the experts of progressive metal, are known for their great musical journeys through the world of sounds, manifested in numerous releases.

The band from New York wasn’t diffident when it comes to live releases. A nearly countless amount of live albums are part of Dream Theater’s discography with the latest one having seen the light of day in 2014. This year, Dream Theater adds with ‘Distant Memories – Live in London’ a next live release to the books and you might wonder, why this one should become a part of your collection. The reason is, because it features new songs from the latest studio album as well as the entire ‘Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory’ album from 1999.

It was in February 2020, a time when the dark clouds of COVID appeared on the horizon, when Dream Theater played two shows at Apollo in London and, with the exception of ‘Fall Into the Light’ and ‘Paralyized’, both events built on the same setlist. The shows were part of the ‘The Distance Over Time Tour: Celebrating 20 Years of Scenes From a Memory’ tour with the band playing in front of an enthusiastic audience.

Three hours and a 19 songs featuring setlist is what fans in London got offered at the time and now it’s the full Dream Theater community that can enjoy the show as Blu-ray/DVD/CD.

Each of the shows consisted of two parts. The band started with a focus on the latest studio album ‘Distance Over Time’, which delivered five songs to the set.

The core of the concert and the heart of the setlist comes with part 2. ‘Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory’ is a milestone album in progressive metal. The story started in 1992 with ‘Metropolis – Part 1: The Miracle and the Sleeper’, a song from the legendary ‘Images and Words’ album. Back then, there was no intention for a second part. However, seven years later the band picked-up the idea and released with ‘Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory’ a second part. Songs like ‘Scene Two: I. Overture 1928’ include with the iconic motive a bridge, being one part of an impressive concept album that finally gets on stage in its entirety.

20 years after having been released, Dream Theater delivers the excellent music of ‘Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory’ live on stage, supported by well-crafted but not overdone projection on the backdrop, visually outlining the story of Nicholas and Victoria Page. What’s well done is, that the projection never takes away the focus from the music but helps to get the story told. Filmed from various cameras and equipped with an excellent sound, ‘Distant Memories – Live In London’ features many arguments for adding this release to the metal collection, for sure if you’re a fan of the band. Distant good memories become tangible again.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Tracklist:

CD1:

  1. Untethered Angel
  2. A Nightmare to Remember
  3. Fall Into the Light
  4. Barstool Warrior
  5. In the Presence of Enemies – Part 1
  6. Pale Blue Dot

CD2:

  1. Scenes Live Intro
  2. Scene One: Regression
  3. Scene Two: I. Overture 1928
  4. Scene Two: II. Strange Déjà Vu
  5. Scene Three: I. Through My Words
  6. Scene Three: II. Fatal Tragedy
  7. Scene Four: Beyond This Life
  8. Scene Five: Through Her Eyes

CD3:

  1. Scene Six: Home
  2. Scene Seven: I. The Dance of Eternity 
  3. Scene Seven: II. One LastTime
  4. Scene Eight: The Spirit Carries On
  5. Scene Nine: Finally Free
  6. At Wit’s End
  7. Paralyzed (Bonus Track)

DVD1/BluRay1:

  1. Atlas (Intro)
  2. Untethered Angel
  3. A Nightmare to Remember
  4. Fall Into the Light
  5. Barstool Warrior
  6. In the Presence of Enemies – Part 1
  7. Pale Blue Dot

DVD2/BluRay2:

  1. Scenes Live Intro
  2. Scene One: Regression
  3. Scene Two: I. Overture 1928
  4. Scene Two: II. Strange DéjàVu
  5. Scene Three: I. Through My Words
  6. Scene Three: II. Fatal Tragedy
  7. Scene Four: Beyond This Life
  8. Scene Five: Through Her Eyes
  9. Scene Six: Home
  10. Scene Seven: I. The Dance of Eternity 
  11. Scene Seven: II. One LastTime
  12. Scene Eight: The Spirit Carries On
  13. Scene Nine: Finally Free
  14. At Wit’s End
  15. Paralyzed (Bonus Track)
  16. Behind the Scenes

Label: Inside Out Music

Genre: Progressive Metal

Release Date EU: November 27th, 2020

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