CD 1 :
CD 3 : SYMPHONY X (Bonus)
Recorded by : Sami Ollas
sign up : 1/5/08
GRADE : A
By the time me and my lady arrived to the venue, the whole yard was packed, which is something that doesn't happen very often here. The last time before this was almost exactly 2 years before this show when Dream Theater was last here. Starting to see a pattern with the Helsinki shows and Dream Theater ;) Needless to say, once inside the venue it was pretty tough to get anywhere, 30 minute lines for the shirt stands just to see what was out there, same with the fenced section outside for us smokers *cough*. The floor of the venue was also quite packed when we finally entered there, which was roughly abotu 20 minutes before Symphony X started. Due to the crowded situation we had there, I chose to move a bit further behind from the main crowd, but still close to the soundboard, to have both the benefit of having the good mix and as little direct audience noise as possible. For the most part this worked out quite well.
Symphony X was first to hit the stage at 8PM sharp, they failed to impress me the least and I was quite happy to see them leave the stage after only 35 minutes of playing. Little did I know however that they left early due to some people from the audience throwing cookies at both Michael Romeo and Russel Allen, which is just unforgettable no matter how much they didn't like the band... The mix for Symphony X was also quite bad with everything being one big mesh of sound and just about all clarity was gone. This got me quite nervous for what was still to come, thus I left for a smoke break before Dream Theater would start. We managed to get to the exact same spot on the right side of the soundboard, about 2½ meters away from it, with the main crowd starting around 10 meters in front of us. As it got closer to playtime for Dream Theater, the crowd started packing in full and we ended up pretty much being stuck in that spot, which while not bad, was definitely not as good as I had hoped for in terms of recording the show. We had pretty good line of sight both to the stage and the PA with no obstruction, but on our left and right there were people who kept chatting both before and during the show. Some of it is audible on the recording, most notably during the quieter parts of the songs, but I don't think any of it is too distracting in the end.
The actual show started with a rather ballsy move; In The Presence Of Enemies in full which pretty much set the tone of the night, emphasis for the new tracks. This was followed by Strange-Deja Vu /(complete with James wrapped in a towel due to him ripping his pants during ITPOE), then Blind Faith, neither which are really amongst my favorites but still kicked the show running very well. The final push for the show came with Surrounded which was easily one of the best performances for the night, at this point the feeling was pretty much through the roof, only to be brought down by someone right behind me singing horribly out of tune, and some other guys babbling amongst themselves for the majority of the song, until they decided to head out for a beer...
With the mood somewhat ruined by those guys, Dream Theater kicked into Constant Motion and The Dark Eternal Night, which appeared to get most of the crowd pumped even more, but I for one was left a bit cold with them. Dream Theater was quick to kick in yet another gear with Lines In The Sand which got the entire crowd ecstatic. The next track will probably divide opinions for all eternity, but considering it's been the number 1 most requested song on Radio City (Finnish rock radio station) back in 2005 and it wasn't played the last time around, it was more than welcome to hear I Walk Beside You. What was surprising though was that I didn't see even a single soul dissappointed with that track, even though on the forums it seems to be getting similar reviews than You Not Me.
The final song of the main set was the premiere of The Ministry Of Lost Souls, which was accompanied with a hilarious background video, much like all the other Systematic Chaos tracks were. The encore was somewhat dissappointing as I was hoping that they'd make a push away from the North American setlists and introduce something completely new to the setlist instead of the medley, such as Learning To Live or A Change Of Seasons, which was the target of many rumors before the European leg had started.
All in all it was a good show, though I liked the 2005 show much better, mainly because of the setlist. The recording on the other hand was pretty much the best recording I had ever made up to the point of recording this show and I'm sure you'll end up loving it. Some slight phasing occurs right after the intro tape runs out and Dream Theater hits the stage, but other than that and some audience chatter during the quieter parts, it's near perfect.
Welcome to GDT2008!
BONUS CONTENT / FILLER :
Disc 3 is considered the bonus.
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"Too Fast For Pants" artwork copyright 2008 Amy Baranoski
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