Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A Change of Seasons

Tonight, JohnOC, Mel, and I are going to see only the greatest prog-metal band of all time, Dream Theater. This'll be the third time I've seen them, and the second time for John.

If you're unfamiliar with them, you're missing something great. Basically, it's four virtuosos and a random singer (they've never had a great vocalist unfortunately. They're on their third one now - James LaBrie) doing their thing.

John Petrucci is easily in the top 25 of all time metal guitarists, maybe in the top ten. Mike Portnoy is one of the top five metal drummers. Jordan Rudess is one of the top five rock keyboardists, and probably the best metal keyboardist ever. John Myung is easily in the top ten of metal bassists... and James LaBrie can sound a lot like a higher pitched Bruce Dickinson when he tries really hard.

Okay, I'm a bit unfair to James, I really just don't like his vocals at all.

What really gets me though, is that the band has sold more than 8 million albums world wide since 1985, and I'd guess 95% of the American population have no idea who they are.

But the 5% of you who are serious metalheads certainly do.

Here's a vid of them doing what I think is their best song, "A Change of Seasons". It's in four parts because the song is almost 20 minutes long... and that's assuming they don't do any riffing or jamming on it... and this is dream theater so that's unlikely (all four parts of this version are about 24 minutes).

And here's a somewhat shorter look at the band as a whole with "Erotomania", which shows Petrucci, Portnoy, Myung, and Rudess off very well:

DT is also famous for their covers, and extended medleys of other peoples songs; where they just go to town musically. In fact, they've done MANY concerts where they will cover an entire album from another band; often while a member of that band is sitting in with them.

My favorite of the single song covers (I like a couple of the extended medleys more) is their version of Deep Purples "Perfect Strangers, unfortunately I can't find anything but crappy rips of it on YouTube, so here's them covering Master of Puppets:

and Panteras Cemetary Gates with Dave Mustaine and Burton C. Bell:

And one of their giganto-medleys (mixed cover and original) REALLY letting the guys jam around: