Wednesday, November 13, 2013

DREAM THEATER: "Live At Luna Park" DVD (2 Disc Set)

Rating: N/A (superb)
Label: Eagle Vision 2013
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

Oh lordie, lordie. It has been quite the Prog-Metal exercise to watch the entire 2 disc set DVD of, 'Live At Luna Park', including original live show, its documentary, behind the scenes, and bonus music material. Disc one: 229 minutes and Disc Two: 68 minutes (approx). It's clearly a wet dream to any Dream Theater fan as everything reek of class from the camerawork and lightning to the crisp metal sound. You have front row seats and a backstage pass as the band rocks Luna Park and Argentina.

As the chant goes up from the 8000 strong Buenos Aires crowd, you'll quickly notice why they decided to shoot the DVD in South America instead of America. They are truly loud and are flippin' out from the first note to the last one and it's very much about energy. The band on the other hand are tearing up their audience with complex and blistering passages and absolutely stunningly performances by all musicians involved. The video quality, editing and the overhead shots are truly high definition and breath-taking. There's a total of 23 songs excluding drum, piano and guitar solo. 'Bridges In The Sky' works perfectly as an opener as the very loud Argentina crowd sings along to the refrain. The acoustic set (The Silent Man, Beneath the Surface) brings another side to the songs inbetween all that aggressive prog. I should also point out that bonus songs found on disc two - more from the two night sold out concerts at Luna Park including 'These Walls', 'Wait For Sleep', 'Pull Me Under', plus three more.

Their lead vocalist James LaBrie may have sounded a bit jarring and strained on previous live occasion, however, in Argentina he has really gone back to basics and is more aware of his register and range. The rather awkward and fun inbetween stage banter works naturally even though some of the audience may not agree on everything. Crowd interaction is difficult at times. Women are supposed to cry and men are not? New drummer Mike Mangini is a monster behind the kit and his level of performance is awe inspiring. The 16 cameras and 360' work is smashing fun, but, the geezer sitting on the floor right behind Mangini (roadcrew member? drummer tech?) throughout the entire concert is annoying to say the least. It takes away a lot of fun with 360 actually.

The bonus material and its documentary goes through stuff such as Portnoy leaving and that none of them saw it coming. "It was like going 100 miles an hour into a cement wall", as their drummer decided to leave after 25 years. Mangini speaks about being brought up as the classical musician and having 7 tom-toms to work with, "What I do is I assign an entire octave to each three toms". Nerdy but fun information. Rudess speaks about his magical keyboard that rotates 360' and does the tilt. Simply because he thinks it's boring to just stand their on the spot. Jordan truly enjoy 'The Wizard' nick so much that he's got the hat and sort of the beard. He's no real wizard until it's Gandalf size beard though. The humble Myung on the other hand lets his bass do the talking.

There's also the sound-check, pre-show rituals and the quick dinner in Buenos Aires. What's on the plate? Hint: Argentina's and this particular town's most famous dish of course. The making of the DVD: more nerdy info, the two directors are taking you on a short and not too interesting trip to their video-truck and its control board. Final verdict: Essential stuff If you are a Theater fan, and the sweet crying girl must be pleased with her place in the spotlight. Do Cry For Me Argentina?
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