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Dream Theater - Score: 20th Anniversary World Tour Live with the Octavarium Orchestra

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This DVD features the grand finale concert of the ”20th Anniversary Tour”, recorded live at Radio City Music Hall on April 1, 2006. Disc One is footage of the concert, and Disc 2 includes bonus features. Track Listings: The Root Of All Evil [Set 1] I Walk Beside You [Set 1] Another Won [Set 1] Afterlife [Set 1] Under A Glass Moon [Set 1] Innovence Faded [Set 1] Raise The Knife [Set 1] The Spirit Carries On [Set 1] Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence: [Set 2] I. Overture [Set 2] II. About To Crash [Set 2] III. War Inside My Head [Set 2] IV. The Test That Stumped Them All [Set 2] V. Goodnight Kiss [Set 2] VI. Solitary Shell [Set 2] VII. About To Crash (Reprise) [Set 2] VIII. Losing Time/Grand Finale Vacant [Set 2] The Answer Lies Within [Set 2] Sacrificed Sons [Set 2] Octavarium: [Set 2] Intro [Set 2] I. Someone Like Him [Set 2] II. Medicate Me [Set 2] III. Full Circle [Set 2] IV. Intervals [Set 2] V. Razor’s Edge [Set 2] Encore: Metropolis [Set 2]The tenacious odyssey of Dream Theater culminates in one of their finest concerts ever on this magnificent Score: 20th Anniversary World Tour DVD. Just how good is this blazing prog-metal performance, recorded at New York City’s radio City Music Hall on April 1, 2006? For starters, it’s easy to believe the band’s drummer and co-founder, Mike Portnoy, when he ends the nearly three-hour show by saying ”this was one of the best nights of our career.” Then consider that for one brief but shining moment in mid-September 2006, Score nudged Pink Floyd’s Pulse out of the #1 spot on the bestselling music DVD charts, proving without a doubt that DT’s loyal fan base was more than willing to elevate the band to an unprecedented level of critical and commercial success. It’s a win-win scenario for everyone, because it’s obvious, from this performance and the Octivarium CD that spawned it, that Score represents 20 years of bold perseverance, and the sheer power of combined talents against the fickle forces of a music industry that repeatedly tried, and failed, to compromise Dream Theater’s unique creative vision. For longtime fans, Score offers an abundance of material that’s exclusive to this release, with minimal crossover from previous Dream Theater DVDs. ”The Spirit Carries On” is a natural highlight, and James LaBrie’s vocals are as pristine here as they are throughout the entire concert. But there can be little doubt that this gig will be best remembered for the flawless performances of the DT epics ”Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence,” ”Octivarium,” and a jaw-dropping encore rendition of ”Metropolis,” all spectacularly accompanied by the Octivarium Orchestra under the baton of arranger and conductor Jamshied Sharifi. These massive arrangements have been beautifully mixed in 5.1 Dolby Digital or equally crisp PCM stereo, and each member of Dream Theater is given ample opportunity to demonstrate their virtuoso skills, including several transcendent solos by guitarist John Petrucci and keyboardist Jordan Rudess (the latter proving his mastery of the lap steel guitar, vintage Moog synthesizer and the curiously amazing Continuum Fingerboard). Of course, one must never underestimate the awesome bass foundation laid by John Myung, whose priceless contribution is sonically ever-present, if not always visually apparent. As directed by Portnoy, however, Score is totally focused on the music, gracefully and unobtrusively covering the concert from a variety of visually advantageous angles, and edited (by Chris Osterhus) to follow every beat, transition, and solo with breathtaking precision. All in all, Score is easily on par with Pulse, and arguably surpasses the Floyd DVD in terms of overall performance. It’s a godsend for fans, and a perfect introduction for the band’s ever-growing audience of new and converted fans. – Jeff Shannon On the DVD ”The Score So Far” is an outstanding documentary that fully chronicles Dream Theater’s history from its earliest days (when Portnoy, Petrucci, and Myung met at Boston’s Berklee College of Music) to the Radio City concert on April 1, 2006. Personnel changes are candidly addressed (as opposed to some bands, DT don’t hide their past difficulties, and credit is always given when due), and the film serves as a tribute to the band’s refusal to bow to commercial pressures. (It’s no wonder Mike Portnoy feels a gratifying sense of vindication; after 20 years, he and his bandmates fully deserve it.) Also included is the amusing ”Octivarium Animation” shown during the concert, and three live performances (from 1993, 2002 and 2005) that further illustrate Dream Theater’s ability to refine and/or redefine its sound and image while keeping up with the times. –Jeff Shannon

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  • “Score” marks the 5th offical live DVD from Dream Theater & just when you think they can’t top themselves … they do it again. Foregt the complaints about the set-list, this disc ROCKS.

    The first act quickly covers the span of DT’s career, and the guys do a great job picking songs that aren’t what you’d expect. I especially liked hearing “Another Won” from the Majesty Demos (there’s a cool edit of this version with an original video of the band doing it with Chris Collins before they had a record deal at the end of the documentarty on disc two.) and “Raise The Knife” from the FII sessions.

    The second act is even more impressive. They open with the orchestra playing the overture from 6DOIT. This sounds great, but I think they extended it a bit, and it gets to be a little too much by the time it’s done. But this is a minor complaint. The rest of this awesome epic sounds phenomenal. “Vacant” sounds even eerier with James singing over just the symphony before the rest of the guys join in. And “Octavarium” … what can I say, it’s just INCREDIBLE. But the best is yet to come. They play “Metropolis” for an encore, and I don’t think it’s ever sounded BETTER ! The horns add so much to the overall instrumentation – it gave me chills at first listen.

    The secod disc is great too. The Documentary gives a really great peek into the history of the band, but it tends to focus on the early stuff before the current lineup was solidified. I would have liked to hear more regarding the recording of the last 4 albums, but again that’s really just nit-picking.

    Overall an AWESOME disc, and a must-have for DT fans.

    Posted on December 8, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • First off, I wasn’t a fan of the tracklisting when I first saw it. Then I began to thing about it and realized that I didn’t want the same songs on every DVD. If I want to see and hear my favorite songs I can always put on Budokan or Scenes From New York. I really loved the fact that they played “Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence” and “Octavarium” all the way through. Those two songs alone ate up 1/3 of the show. The band was as amazing and tight as always, no more discussion needed on that subject. The Orchestra really added to the second half of the show, but more importantly, they didn’t drown out the band the fans paid to see.

    The picture and sound quality are as great as Budokan and the venue isn’t as dark, which I prefer. The special features contain an informative (although rather short for my tastes) documentary on Dream Theater’s history, and three live performances that lack the picture and sound quality of the first disc. I’m not complaining though, because they are nice to have.

    20 years and 8 albums down…
    here’s to hoping for many more to come.

    Posted on December 8, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • I was not bowled over by “Octavarium”, and knowing that “Score” has five songs from that disc I didn’t rush to the store the day it came out like I usually do when DT releases something new. I waited two days. Well, after listening to it several times I’m impressed. How could musicians of this caliber not impress? Anyway, the gem on this DVD is the entire forty-one minute version (with full orchestra) of one of the greatest DT songs ever, “Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence”. Wow! This song alone is worth the asking price, but fans get two hours and forty minutes of music, clear video and professional editing, ear pleasing audio options (stereo and DD 5.1), and some outstanding bonus features on disc two that include – an hour long band documentary, three bonus tracks, and a three minute animated short.

    Overall, this is an amazing DVD from one of the best prog-metal bands ever, and if you favor DT’s latest release over previous works, this will be a treasure.

    Posted on December 8, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • For the all Dream Theater Fans, here is the token that the all band had reunited in order for us to enjoy. This DVD contains the whole concert they played on the Radio City Music Hall (NY) April 1st 2006. This was the final show of the Octavarium 20th Anniversary World Tour, and it a real special Dream Theater show since they played, not all of the show, 90 min, with an Orchestra. According to Mike Portnoy he said: “I truly believe last night (April 1st) was the PINNACLE of our 20 year career, thus far and an incredible ending to the latest chapter in DT history.” This DVD also includes a 1 hour Documentary tracking the entire career of the band from the very beginnings at the Berklee College Of Music in 1985 all the way to the Radio City Music Hall grand finale. Including rare never before seen footage and interviews with current and previous members of the band. So for you all fans and non-fans this DVD promises to be a great master piece earned to be collected by you all. I know that we are still one month away to be finally released, but still you deserved to know what’s up with this DVD and why it is so special.
    Long Live DT!

    Posted on December 8, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • As the previous reviewers have stated, this particular show was absolutely amazing! As a fan of the band since 1989 and having seen 37 DT shows to date, this show tops them all and I am proud to say that I was there!

    However, unlike those previous reviewers, I’ve actually managed to get a copy of this DVD ahead of time, and after watching it, I can say for certain that this DVD *is* DT’s best yet! Mike Portnoy pulls out all the stops in making sure that this DVD tops everything else they’ve done thus far. The picture quality is gorgeous – better than Live at Budokan, if that can be believed. I was told by someone who worked on the project that extra attention was put in the details to ensure that every single frame was perfect, and it shows! The sound itself is also a thing of beauty – even the stereo mix is not the traditional AC3 encoding, but rather the superior PCM encoding. The actual mix is very well done by Michael Brauer and is balanced nicely, allowing each of the musicians to shine throughout. It is quite evident that every bit of space on the DVD was used.

    I won’t go on about the actual songs themselves, as you can read many reviews of the actual show to learn about them. However, I would like to point out that while the song selection is not to everyone’s taste (as is evident from the other reviews), Mike Portnoy continues to give the fans the most bang for their buck by not having the same songs on every DVD like many other bands do – the only “overlapping” songs on this DVD compared to their previous DVDs are some parts of the song Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence (as found on Live at Budokan), The Spirit Carries On and Metropolis pt. 1 (found on Scenes From New York) and Under a Glass Moon (on Live in Tokyo).

    One other thing to add is that seeing the orchestra perform with the band is absolutely stunning – something to behold and the final song (Metropolis pt. 1) proves this beyond a shadow of a doubt.

    The second DVD showcases 3 bonus tracks (Another Day, The Great Debate and Honor Thy Father) which are taken from older shows; they are nice to have to round out the collection, but it should be noted that the picture and sound quality are not to the same standards as on the first DVD. Still their inclusion is worth having seeing as live performances of these songs have previously been unavailable on DVD. Also on the second DVD is the animation that was played during the song Octavarium, so if you happened to miss watching it during the show you were at, now you’ll have the chance to watch it in full.

    The best part of the second DVD has to be the documentary showing the history of the band from the days of being at Berklee School of Music up to the present day. Definitely a good look into DT’s history, and a great companion to the book that Rich Wilson is writing on DT ( My only real complaint on the documentary is that it isn’t long enough, but surely Rich’s book will fill in many of the stories and details missing in the documentary.

    All in all, this release is definitely a labor love for the fans. No DT fan’s collection will be complete without it. Also, both the show itself and the documentary serve as a great way to introduce DT to those who are just beginning to learn about them. I give this DVD the highest recommendation I possibly can! Stop reading these reviews and buy this thing – you won’t regret it!!!

    Posted on December 8, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now