Dream Theater live at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts – Toronto, Ontario – November 12, 2017

Dream Theater‘s James LaBrie at the Sony Cenre For the Performing Arts in Toronto on Nov. 12. (Photo Credit: Paul Barrie)

Dream Theater
Words and Beyond 25th Anniversary World Tour
Sony Centre for the Performing Arts
Toronto, Ontario
November 12, 2017

Review by Kevin Barrie:

Dream Theater returned to the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto on Sunday, November 12, having performed there previously in April of 2016. The 2016 show featured the band performing their ambitious double album The Astonishing (2016) in its entirety, without performing any songs from their earlier albums. In contrast, for this show the band did not include any music from The Astonishing and instead celebrated the 25th anniversary of Images and Words, their second album. Widely considered a “prog metal” classic, Images and Words may not be every fan’s favourite, but it is the album that brought them to international attention and has sold over 500,000 copies in the U.S.

For the first set, the band performed material from throughout the band’s career, including rarities and b-sides from the Images and Words time period. This included the songs Don’t Look Past Me and To Live Forever, the former of which has never been performed live by the band prior to this tour, and has only been recorded in demo form. The second set featured Images and Words in its entirety, followed by the 23-minute epic A Change of Seasons performed as an encore. It is notable that of the evening’s 17 song setlist, only 2 songs were from albums recorded after Mike Portnoy’s 2010 departure. In fact, only 4 songs were from albums later than 1997. This was certainly an ideal evening for fans of classic Dream Theater.

Along with Mike Portnoy, who left in 2010, the classic Images and Words lineup was also missing keyboardist Kevin Moore, who left in 1994. Mike Mangini replaced Mike Portnoy in 2011 after an audition process that was documented on YouTube, and Jordan Rudess (keyboards) joined the band in 1999, replacing Derek Sheridan. The lineup was completed by founding members John Petrucci (guitars) and John Myung (bass), and James Labrie, who joined for 1992’s Images and Words.

The 3900+ capacity theatre was largely full of appreciative fans who remained to the end of the epic encore. It is expected that Dream Theater will spend most of 2018 writing new material and working on other projects, and will likely not return until at least 2019.

SET 1:
The Dark Eternal Night
The Bigger Picture
Hell’s Kitchen
To Live Forever
Don’t Look Past Me
Portrait of Tracy (Jaco Pastorius cover)
As I Am
Breaking All Illusions

SET 2: Images and Words
Pull Me Under
Another Day
Take the Time
Metropolis Pt. 1: The Miracle and the Sleeper (w/drum solo by Mike Mangini)
Under a Glass Moon
Wait for Sleep
Learning to Live

A Change of Seasons

All photos by Paul Barrie
©2017. Please DO NOT copy or use without permission.




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