Review: Dream Theater Concert Mesa, Arizona 12.4.2011


Todd and I had an awesome opportunity to see his favorite band, Dream Theater on Sunday! I enjoy Dream Theater as well so I was as excited as Todd to go see them! The last time we saw them in concert was in 07? 08 at the Dodge Theater here in Phoenix great spectacular show! They also had a different drummer, Mike Portnoy, who Todd has met quite a few times and is one of his inspirations for drumming. This time they have a new drummer ironically his name is Mike as well, Mike Mangini. This would be our first time seeing him with Dream Theater and we were eagerly waiting to see him perform with them!

When we found out that Dream Theater would FINALLY be coming to Arizona again we knew we had to see them, especially with their new addition! It turns out that they would be playing at the Mesa Arts Center which I think is a smaller venue than Dodge Theater. Ticket prices weren’t bad at all about $46 each for lower level seating INCLUDING the orchestra pit! The day came for the tickets to go live, and I hurried to the site to get the best seats possible. I ended up buying seats J12 and J13…for $93 total. I would continue checking back to find out if there were better seats, I even called to find out if the pit would be open and at that time it wasn’t. 11pm that same night rolls around and guess what? The pit is open!! I quickly tried calling the Center but obviously they were closed, so I e-mailed them asking if I could upgrade our tickets! Was called the next morning and was able to upgrade! Spectacular! We were so excited to be seated in CC26 and CC27, 3rd Row pit. There were no seats in front of us so we were able to walk right up to the stage to watch the concert!

The man who opened for them, Andy Mckee, spectacular and amazing and mind blowing guy! He plays with just a guitar but uses it like a drum at the same time. Very skilled and very talented!! Dream Theater guys made a great choice!! Check out some of his Youtube videos!! He is fantastic! During his performance however the black curtain that was hiding the stage behind him, just a back drop cloth, started to fall down. The right side (his left) fell first and a few of the stage hands quickly ran to it to distribute the weight of the curtain. Andy did amazing, continuing to play and even joking he was rocking too hard or being too loud! All of a sudden the ENTIRE curtain fell, and we were both blown away at how CLOSE everything was to us. Todd was really excited at how close the kit was to us, but I had to remind him that Andy was playing and to listen to him, rather than having a mini stroke about the stage!

Intermission came and we quickly ran to the bathroom, because naturally during the entire opening we both suddenly needed to go….which is such a drag because you don’t want to miss anything. We made it back with enough time to spare, spoke with a few people around us about what songs they like how excited they were to be so close to the stage etc.

Then the music started….they opened with Bridges in the Sky, which if you ever heard it you knew it would be their opening song. We were quickly blown away at how fantastic the songs went! James later introduced everyone and explained to the audience that this show was the last of their 3 US tour dates the rest would be overseas! How awesome, made the show count and even better! James also told us that they would try to come back again, which we both really hope they do!

The sound quality was great, except for a few technical issues I heard from Jordan, who plays the keyboard. The only reason I knew it was an issue is I could see the sound tech raise his arms out and shake his head like he didn’t know what the problem was. Other than that the show was amazing and fantastic!!

At the end of the show the guys came to the edge of the stage to say thank you, bow, and shake hands! I was able to shake Myung’s hand, and Todd got to shake Jordan‘s. During the concert Jordan would smile at me, and yes I know it was me because we were THAT close!! 🙂 Then Mike got up and stood in front of his kit, Todd and I as well as a few others tried to get him to come over to our section of the stage, but he didn’t! However, he did acknowledge how much we gave him attention and exclaimed what an awesome job we thought we did.

As they were walking away Petrucci threw one of his guitar picks into the crowd, but he was on the far (our) right of the stage, and we were on the far left. So the pick went to someone close by. The roadies came around to start packing up the equipment and set lists, one of the guys was holding the set list and Todd screamed at him “Set List?! Set List?! Come On!!? SET LIST!?” so the guy threw it into the air so that it’d be fair, and since Todd is super tall was able to lean out over the stage to grab it and he got the set list!!

Such and AWESOME concert, we will definitely see them again. If you like Prog Rock I highly recommend checking them out!

And for your viewing pleasure we have some video footage we took from the concert!!

This concert was a 5/5
We would recommend this band to others!

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