Astonished is a great word to describe Dream Theater’s recent tour as it made its way through the U.S and Milwaukee, WI 11/2/2016. During this tour they are playing their “The Astonishing” 34 Song – concept album beginning to end with a 20-minute intermission. If you were looking for a night full of Glass Prison and the glorious sounds of Metropolis saga, you may want to save your money for the next tour. If you are open to hearing a new flavor of Dream Theater, I highly recommend grabbing a seat for a night.
The Album is best described as “a retro-futurist post-apocalyptic dystopia ruled by medieval style feudalism. It’s a place aching for a Chosen One to rise above the noise and defeat an Empire defined by the endless drone of noise machines and the illusion of safety in bland conformity.” Using great lighting and large tall screens to help the audience follow where they are in the movie like story line. As a big fan of previous Dream Theater music, I thought I knew what to expect. As soon as I hear “Concept Album” I thought that I wouldn’t be as happy with the show – how wrong I was!
The Astonishing does follow true Dream Theater fashion with vocal less music that still pulls you under a spell (pun intended). My favorite song of the night would have to be 2285 Entr’acte. This is the first song in Act 2 and really gives Act 2 a thunderous beginning allowing Mangini time to play out where he may not have had the opportunity to in Act 1. If you are just finding Dream Theater – leave this album alone until you have listened through the rest of the Discography. If you are a longtime fan, you will find some of your new favorite hits in this tour & Concept Album.
Words and Photos by Allison Hade