CD 1 :
Source : Mikey Finn
sign up : 1/16/07
GRADE : B
At the end of a long series of tours performing the complete Scenes From A Memory album, Dream Theater finished 2000 with one more run through both Europe and America. In particular, the band wanted to play other venues within the UK to reward devoted fans who had not been able to see them earlier in the year. During the opening dialogue with the audience of this show, James LaBrie makes this point by saying, “It is great to be coming through the UK again without just playing fucking London.” During this tour, only parts of the concept album were played so older material could be included in the new setlist.
This particular show is from Sheffield, England and begins with an especially long recording of the Laura’s Theme intro tape. The band opens with Metropolis Part 1 and then proceeds with SFAM material thereby emphasizing the connection of one to the other. Since all these songs have been played so many times, small changes are made here and there to keep the audience on their toes. For example, during Fatal Tragedy, Mike Portnoy sings about getting his balls. During Home, after months of Mike singing the unscripted ‘I fucked her”, James finally gives in and sings it along with him. There is also a new improvisational ending to Home as well as new solos added to A Change Of Seasons and Another Day. We even get an excerpt of Led Zeppelin’s Whole Lotta Lovin’ at the end of Learning To Live.
Of course, what would a DT concert be without a little humor? During the first half of the show, a guy in the audience yells out “We love you.” Mike responds by grabbing the microphone and telling each band member that he loves them. James seems to be a little annoyed by this and just screams “We love everyone!” Later on during The Spirit Carries On, James gets distracted by someone in the audience and laughs in the middle of the song (this is included on the 2000 Fan Club CD as part of the “What Did They Say?” track.) Mike keeps playing but says “pick a key, any key.” James is able to finally get through the song but then asks to be able to sing the next song Learning To Live on his own. Of course, the real highlight of the show is the encore performance of A Change Of Seasons. James provides an inspired rendition of the lyrics while the rest of the band performs both old and new components of the song flawlessly.
Of note : This show occurred the day prior to the infamous “Canadian Rap” incident, and 3 days before Mike’s “Breakdown In Berlin” and the humor within the band is at an all time high!
The remaster process began with the only known recording from this event. The recording quality is excellent suggesting that it was made with very good equipment but an initial listen of the show identified a number of clear problems. In general, the sub-bass components were excessive and caused clipping throughout the show. Both the clipping and tonality were fixed. The high end detail was then boosted so that the cymbals and hi-hat could be heard more clearly.
The first four tracks begin somewhat muddy, sounding like the taper was in a bad position within the venue. In particular, the left channel signal begins quite muffled and distant like the microphone was either facing toward the back of the venue or was still in the taper’s pocket. Many adjustments were needed to balance out the sound during this part of the show. The microphones were probably re-positioned during The Mirror as a much clearer sound develops and is present from this point on. Still, the left channel microphone is close to an enthusiastic clapper. This also suppresses the signal and needed to be fixed. There was a tape flip / disc change gap during Jordan’s keyboard solo. This was patched using another source to restore the complete show. Tracking was adjusted a bit but also extended so now the Gladiator Theme is tracked separately. The individual segments of A Change Of Seasons are also tracked separately. Finally, the dynamics of the show were adjusted to emphasize the dramatic character of many of the songs. With these adjustments, the true quality of this recording really becomes clear and allows a nice experience of Dream Theater from the year 2000!
Mild distortion throughout, mostly on bass heavy tracks, and most noticeable on the first four tracks.
Guy sings one line of Another Day and it is very clear. I almost jumped out of my chair!
Noticeable phasing during a few tracks, not distracting, but still present. Probably due to taper turning / shifting position.
BONUS CONTENT / FILLER : None
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"Pick A Key" artwork copyright 2007 Amy Baranoski & Rai Beardsley