Dream Theater: A Dramatic Tour of Events in Singapore 2012

Posted: May 5, 2012 in Concerts, Dream Theater, International Artists
Tags: , , ,

Honestly, I did not have any intentions of bringing my gear to the  Dream Theater show last May 02, 2012. Why? It was Dream Theater for Christ’s sakes! Every second you detach your attention from them is like wasting every dollar of your hard-earned ticket. But the photographer in me kept poking my frontal lobe to bring the cam with one glass. It shouldn’t hurt a bit, I say, so I brought along my “dammit just shoot that damned thing” lens, the Nikon AF-S 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR. Not equipped for low lighting? I didn’t care. I came to enjoy the show more than just drooling on these guys on video. I got hold of my ticket when my lovely wife surprised me one evening showing a print screen of the online receipt. How cool is that?

Dream Theater was opened by YouTube sensation & king of guitar drifting, Andy McKee. The show was held at Kallang Theatre, a 1700 capacity seated arena. Yes you heard me, a seated arena. The Stage was set-up in three layers, with John Petrucci (guitars), John Myung (bass), & James LaBrie (vocals) upfront. At their back was Jordan Rudess (keyboards) & Mike Mangini (drums) inside his battle space station. The final backdrop was a gigantic LED screen showing non-stop animation, a simulcast of what’s happening, & video snippets of political issues which felt emotional & moving.

I did took a few shots but was reprimanded by the camera cop so I kept the gear in my bag most of the time. All shots were taken at Manual, with aperture set at wide open, shutter at 1/125. Metering was set to Spot to dictate my running ISO at auto at 6400 maximum. Not so splendid images, but I’m posting some of them here anyway. You can view the complete set here.

As a big fan of Portnoy, I had reservations on Mangini. After watching the auditions on the internet, I was floored watching Mangini but I kept thinking, until he keeps beating those drums exactly similar to what Portnoy did, I will never see him at his best. All things changed when the stage was offered to him all by himself that night for a drum solo. Speed, precision, dexterity, and showmanship, Mangini is a cyborg!

The show was inevitably plagued with technical difficulties, a usual norm when you set a monstrous stage on an average venue. Despite all these, Dream Theater played through & ripped a couple of songs flawlessly without hearing themselves on stage. After which, Mr. Petrucci  humbly apologized & spoke a short sermon  “…it’s very important to practice… practice… and practice, ‘cos you’ll never know what’s gonna happen on stage…”  One of the best advice I received.

For all those who missed the show, here’s what transpired that night:

  • Dream Is Collapsing (Hans Zimmer song)
  • Bridges in the Sky
  • 6:00 (I was about to pee in my pants hearing this for the first time live…)
  • Build Me Up, Break Me Down
  • Surrounded
  • The Root of All Evil
  • Mike Mangini’s Drum Solo
  • A Fortune In Lies

Then there was an acoustic break while the backstage crew sorted out some technical issues

  • The Silent Man
  • Beneath the Surface

Then Dream Theater went back thinking everything was fine…

  • Outcry

…then discovered they cannot hear themselves on stage, they humbly apologized & asked a small favor from the audience to sit back while they iron things out…

  • On the Backs of Angels
  • War Inside My Head
  • The Test That Stumped Them All
  • The Spirit Carries On
  • Breaking All Illusions

Encore (the epic conclusion):

  • Pull Me Under
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