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Sometimes dropping out of college is a good thing. Formed in 1985, progressive metal band Dream Theater has defined the modern iteration of the genre that started with bands like Pink Floyd and Yes. The founding members formed the band at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, and dropped out to concentrate on their music. This is something that normally might sound like a bad financial decision. However, 35 years, two Grammy nominations and millions of albums later, I would say it worked out for Dream Theater. They have just recently released their ninth live album Distant Memories – Live In London. The album was recorded at their sold-out show at the Hammersmith Apollo Theatre in London in February 2020, just before fans were quarantined from seeing live shows. It documents the band’s world tour in support of their latest studio album Distance Over Time and also marks the 20-year anniversary of their album Metropolis Part 2 – Scenes from A Memory. A full rendition of Metropolis Part 2 is one of the highlights of this record and separates it from other Dream Theater live albums. Founding members John Petrucci and John Myung and company are in rare form on this one. In the middle of the album, some of the earlier tracks from Metropolis Part 2 Scene 1: Overture 1928 and Scene II Strange Deja Vu hit you right in the face. Surprisingly, the band does not wander off into too many extended solos, so die-hard fans might be disappointed that they mainly stuck to the original iteration of the material, but the production quality more than makes up for it. With a grooving and audible bassline over the virtuoso guitar playing, it helps those of us missing live music right now.

Dream Theater online




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