I’ve had this Cd for about 3 days now and have been listening to it non-stop! It is by far the best live Cd Dream Theater has put out. The production is great and every instrumental is clearly heard. Although the vocals seem a bit quiet, the instrumental segments make up for it. The stunning “beyond this life” has a a completly new twist. Before they kick into the Zappa sounding part they each instrument gets a solo. It is completly outstanding. With this Cd it deffinetly shows that John Petrucci, John Myung, Mike Portnoy, Jordan Rudess, and James Labrie are some of the best musicians on this planet right now. The set list is pretty good. I wish they would of played something from “Awake” other than the short little part of Erotomania during “Instrumedley”. Other than that I’d have to say it is just amazing. It is a great 3 Cd set with over an hours worth of music. I’d recommend buying the DVD also. It is just mind blowing. It is deffinetly recommended for Dream Theater fans. Go out and pick this one up.
Metal Album Reviews[RSS]
Live at Budokan marks Dream Theater’s third full-length, live album release, aside from the few official bootlegs that have been released on drummer Portnoy’s YtseJam Records. Recorded at the Budokan in Tokyo, Japan on April 26th, 2004 during touring in support of their 2003 album, Train of Thought. Live at Budokan is a three disc set, basically a documentation of a single live show. The setlist for the show, while not unexpected, provides for an interesting listening experience, but an undoubtedly more interesting live experience.
As such, Live at Budokan’s first disc opens just as Train of Thought did. From the distance — and growing ever closer — is the sound that ends 2002’s Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence, opening the album and, alongside John Myung’s mesmerizing bass playing, introducing “As I Am.” In typical Dream Theater fashion, the performance is immaculate, at times breaking away — though usually only slightly — from the recordeding on Train of Thought. Follow “As I Am” on both Train of Thought and Live at Budokan is “This Dying Soul,” which proves to be another excellent reproduction of the album track, with the unique stylings that come when Dream Theater plays live.
It is not until the third track, “Beyond This Life” from Metropolis Part II: Scenes From A Memory that Dream Theater displays the true power of the live experience they produce. The song is faithfully reproduced, including guitarist John Petrucci’s complex, impossibly fast riffing, until the central solo comes around. Keyboardist Jordan Rudess and Petrucci interchanage solos as expected for a short time, when Rudess fades out, and Myung hammers out a riff repetitively, while Rudess, Petrucci, Portnoy, and occasionally Myung himself throw solos back and forth between the four musicians. These moments are what set Dream Theater’s live albums apart from more the bland recordings of more traditional bands — they are obviously not afraid to improvise and display both their technical and stylistic skills. Somehow, as if by miracle, the band takes this extended jam and transforms it back into the ending three minutes of “Beyond This Life,” almost shocking the audience into realization that, all this while, these outstanding musicians kept the rest of the song in the back of their minds.
Following the extreme complexity and intensity that was exhibited in their performance of “Beyond This Life,” Dream Theater slows the pace of the concert with the calm “Hollow Years.” In his usual fashion, Petrucci’s guitar solo is extended and complexified, giving the song an entirely new meaning. “Hollow Years” also gives vocalist James LaBrie a chance to display his powerful, melodic voice that has helped to carve nearly fifteen years of Dream Theater’s musical history.
The twelve minute “Instrumedly” could easily be considered the most interesting musical point of Live at Budokan, consisting heavily of moments from Scenes From A Memory’s “The Dance of Eternity,” as well as from, among others, “Metropolis, Part 1,” “Erotomania,” and the Liquid Tension Experience piece “Paradigm Shift,” not to mention an ultimately humorous interpretaion of “Heart and Soul” by Rudess.
Live at Budokan helps to raise the standard for what a live album should consist of. The quality of the recording is markedly pristine: LaBrie’s vocals are crisp and clear, the open quality of Portnoy’s drumming makes itself heard throughout the album, Rudess’s dramatic keyboard playing flies through the sonic ambience of the crowd, Myung’s visceral bass rhythms provide an excellent backing for the pieces, making themselves heard while not overwhelming listeners, and Petrucci’s large, epic riffs cut through the mix like a knife through hot butter. Live at Budokan is easily Dream Theater’s most successful live album to date, in all of its three-disc glory. As Dream Theater’s sole official release for 2004, this release both appeases fans and gives casual listeners nearly three hours of solid music, a rarity in music. If anything, this album is a demonstration of the influence and power Dream Theater will likely have for many years to come.
….by this legendary band! Live at Budokan was recorded in on DT’s Train of Thought tour in Tokyo and is 3CDs (the entire show!) of prog/metal greatness. The concert contains most of the tracks from the Train of Thought album, excellent versions of This Dying Soul, As I Am, Stream of Conciousness, Endless Sacrfice, and In the Name of God. It also contains some real gems: an incredible version of Hollow Years with an extended guitar intro, Trial of Tears, New Millennium (one of the best songs from 1997’s Falling Into Inifinity), a 20-minute Beyond This Life which includes a fun keyboard/drum duel between Jordan Rudess and Mike Portnoy, Instrumedley, which contains portions of: Ytse Jam, A Change of Seasons, Paradigm Shift, Hell’s Kitchen, Erotomania, The Dance of Eternity, and other bits I’m probably leaving out. Also included are 4 parts from the song Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence, as well as the rarely played Disappear. All in all, from beginning to end, this is an incredible live document of the band. And James’ voice sounds almost back to full power, and for the most part sounds really good, although not as good as it did on Live at the Marquee or Live Scenes From New York. An essential live DT album (they all are!)
This is an absolutely amazing live album. Budokan in Japan is the equivalent to Carnegie Hall or others like it in the history and culture of the arena. The live cd set is amazing but to really enjoy this cd set even more, buy the DVD as well. When you watch the live DVD and see the amazing show that’s being put on it seems to augment the enjoyment of listening to it as well.
I just finished watching the entire DVD and it is by far the best performance I have ever seen Dream Theater play and I have seen them live twice. Most of the songs are off the “Train of Thought” and “Six Degrees” cds which weren’t my favorite, but the songs sound a million times better live. Now the BIG question…does James Labrie sound great or terrible like he did on “Once in a Livetime.” Well, thank God he sounds better than great here. He hits all the right notes and even sounds better than he did in studio on some songs. Of course Petrucci, Rudess, Myung, and Portnoy are at there all time best, and when are they not? No need to explain them. I love how they extended “Beyond this Life” into a 19 minute song with a killer Drum/Keyboard solo towards the end, and the awesome Instrumedly which combines DT’s instrumentals from all there albums (brilliantly executed!). How can you go wrong buying this CD, DVD, or like me…both of them? A full three hour concert, plus a DVD loaded with behind the scenes and other special features. If your a fan of great technical-rockin’ music, this purchase is a no brainer.