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brought their Distance Over Time   to Los Angeles, making Theater their bivouac for a two night hitch.  In addition to supporting their latest record, the quintet also took occasion to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their first concept album.  The show would be divided into two distinct portions, with the latter being a complete portrayal of Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes From a Memory.

Friday, March 22nd at a few minutes after 8:00 pm, night two of the brief tenancy officially begins.  There is no opening act on this evening, as will the capacity crowd to an almost three-hour de force.  After a dramatic recorded intro, Untethered kicks into gear with its thumping and grinding riff gives way to a groove.  The middle of the song features a bridge, where John Petrucci, guitarist and founder; Jordan Rudess, keyboards and Mike Mangini spar in a machine gun segment that is closely followed by a fast yet delicate solo from Petrucci.  James LaBrie, lead vocalist whose operatic voice is in great form,  ingresses and egresses throughout the entire evening.  Having what must be of the best jobs in rock, LaBrie makes an appearance, sings a few verses and exits again while the remainder of the embarks on a -minute monstrous jam session.

The opening frame, while only being six songs long consumes almost an entire hour and features four tunes off the latest release, including Fall Into The Light, Barstool  and climaxes with Pale Blue Dot.  The group retreats into the for a short intermission.  The audience takes advantage of the respite to grab refreshments without worry of losing their spot in a rare assigned seating Wiltern floor.  The break seems short as the house lights dim again as audience member scramble for their seats.

Part two of the evening begins with the hypnosis session intro of Regression and when the music begins, Petrucci is on a riser next to the drum kit playing the acoustic and LaBrie is seated on the side stairs on the opposite side of the stage.  The soft tale of Regression gives way to Overture 1928 and its throbbing and John Myung’s bass bursts.  The band takes the riveted audience through the about murder and repressed memories of a former life.  The entire evening is a feast for both the and the ears.  The large screen behind the band portrays visuals to accompany the story and a very tasteful, yet not too elaborate light presentation make the visual impression engaging.  The sound of the room is great and really underscores the combination of LaBrie’s on point vocals and the sometimes symphonic and sometimes intonations of the rest of the group.

winds the night with a triumvirate of  Last Time and The Carries On which features an especially energetic solo from Petrucci between the verses of a message of from the main character.  Thirdly, Finally Free begins with the emergence from the hypnosis under which the story takes place.  The group retreats from only to reappear after a few minutes of the audience’s beckoning wail.  They the still full theater to a encore song of Pull Me Under which puts an exclamation point on an evening where they clearly gave the their money’s worth.

CLICK HERE to view more pics from the show.




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