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20 years of a career... that's the cause of this live album. Dream Theater, perhaps the most important name in the whole progressive metal, celebrated their 20th anniversary with their fans in the most epic way possible: releasing a live album. The band has reached undescribable heights, musically speaking, on their career, and this is the perfect way for them to tell the fans "thank you for your support". This is how it goes for "Score".
The album has a pretty entertaining tracklist. They did a good choice by playing one song per album (with the exception of "Octavarium" and "Images and Words"). They began with "The Root of All Evil", a good song since it compiles aggressivity with progressiveness. Then, "I Walk Beside You". First mistake. Most probably, they know this song is extremely criticized and choosing it was not right. Well, the performance is good, at least. From this point on, the concert is bound to follow a Dream Theater's timeline, beginning with "Another Won", a song from the Majesty days. They did some good choices, like "Under a Glass Moon", "Raise the Knife" and "The Spirit Carries On", but they also did mistakes, playing the whole "Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence" was probably the biggest one, knowing that they could play "A Change of Seasons" and a largest song than "Vacant" from Train of Thought instead. The three last songs on the concert really get me going. "Sacrificed Sons" is excellent, they performed it perfectly and the orchestra really helps a lot. "Octavarium" was my personal favorite from the whole live album. There is nothing more exciting than LaBrie screaming "Trapped inside this Octavarium" at the end of the song. Then, the essential "Metropolis Pt. 1". There is not Dream Theater concert without this song, but this one is special, they played it exactly as in the album, and I appreciate the fact that LaBrie didn't changed the vocal melodies throughout the song at all.
Everyone in the band played the songs perfectly. If there is something that is perfect as a fact in Dream Theater, that would be their live presentations. There are absolutely no mistakes in the whole performance, not even by LaBrie, being he the one that at times messes it up a bit. Petrucci does an excellent job with the riffs; I would like to highlight "The Root of Evil" and "Solitary Shell". Rudess loves to modify the keyboard solos when live, and he does it great in here. "Under a Glass Moon" gets basically a new solo, having fully Rudess' style, believe me, it's excellent. Also, pay attention to him in "Raise the Knife", he does great backups. Despite his shyness, Myung is great in here. He has always being great, but he really stands out with the chosen songs, especially those from "Images and Words". Portnoy... well, he is in the drummer's hall of fame, there is nothing to be expected but perfection, and that's the only thing you'll listen to in the whole album by him. "Sacrificed Sons" has the drum solo for him to show off; he took advantage of this a lot, to be honest. LaBrie, as mentioned earlier, did an impressive job. He sang "Innocence Faded" with all the high notes without missing one of them, and "Metropolis Pt.1" identically to the one on the album.
I haven't heard any complaints about the sound quality of the album, well; there is no possibility for them to be made, actually. There is a perfect sound for every single instrument, the bass, guitar, keyboard, and even the orchestra. Backing vocals are heard properly every time they are needed and there is no echoing on it, plus, you can listen to the audience, which is probably the most important thing in a live album (only topped by how the band plays, of course). Proof for this is "The Test That Stumped Them All", where LaBrie lets the audience do the yelling on the verse.
If you are a big Dream Theater fan, if you are a progressive metal fan or if you are even a metal fan in general, this is definitely a must, unless you don't like live albums... no, not even that way. If you don't have this yet, go and buy it now, see how amazing live music can be.