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*Yawn* Thank You For Boring The Hell Out Of Me - 32%

SnowVixen, July 2nd, 2004

Well, allow me to start by stating that I have seen Dream Theater before, and this truly captures their live performance: Boring and a test of one's patience. Sure, they can play every song note for note, but when there's no stage energy whatsoever it kind of loses it's entire point. I mean, I could listen to an album and look at a picture of them and save my $60... but enough about my experiences, on with the actual review.

The first disc, I can pretty much entirely skip over, since it's just 3/4 of Scenes From A Memory done almost exactly as the CD was, with some annoying solos and some seriously offkey vocal moments. The original wasn't too bad, but these flaws seriously detracted from the music and I found myself eagerly waiting for it to end. The album ended rather abruptly and I thought to myself "Huh? Where's the rest of the disc?" I threw in the next disc, and found the rest of Scenes From A Memory... would it have been too much to ask to put the whole thing on one CD? They've already inconvenienced me enough by making me listen to the whole album, but do they really have to make it span two discs? I guess they do! A minor gripe, yes, but a gripe nonetheless.

After Scenes From A Memory finally ended, it was on to the less predictable half of the set list. The second disc, as could be expected, was plagued with the same problems as the first with a few extra problems. A number of transitions between songs were abrupt and very poorly done, like certain members didn't realize they were done with the song they were doing. Some of the added solos were inanely long, the nearly 7 minute keyboard solo getting special note for using an obviously pre-recorded synth drum beat, like the kind that comes pre-packed on inexpensive Yamahas. Yeah, good job guys.

By the third disc, I realized that this wasn't going to change in any way. It seemed like they threw this setlist together as sort of a sick joke, fully intent on picking only their longest most mind-numbing songs available so they could maximize their showing off time. I was kind of surprised when, by the end of this masochistic effort, I hadn't heard one moment of simplistic catchiness. No Pull Me Under, no Hollow Years, just hours upon hours of boring senseless wanking.

By the end of this I was overjoyed that it was finally over, bored to the point of exhaustion and mildly agitated as well. Even without having to sit through Scenes From A Memory, this would've been a difficult listen, but with it included it's much much worse. A live album should be at least somewhat different from the studio release, but this is quite possibly the most sterile live album I've ever heard. Just listen to the studio albums if you must, or one of the hundreds of better bands, and don't bother wasting your time on this crap. If, for some illogical reason, you feel a bizarre compulsion to waste $25 on this so you can hear "awesome solos" like 8 seconds worth of the Simpsons theme, I genuinely pity you.