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Dream Theater/ Redemption/ Into Eternity

Date: 09/24/07
Venue: PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel, NJC
Reviewed By: Rich Catino and The Goat
Into Eternity Review By: Rich

I can name at least four different bands (Hammerfall, Edguy, Stratovarius, Gamma Ray) Canada’s Into Eternity have opened up for within the past few years, plus they were part of Gigantour, winning over new fans the old fashioned way busting their asses touring not relying on the press, radio, or myspace. Their music takes getting use to as it is a mix of different metal sounds and genres, combining the heaviness and speed of thrash, switching from harsh death metal hardcore to clean vocals, progressive musical changes, and traditional fist raising chorus’. This all may seem a bit confusing, I know I found songs at times misguided, but the band do find some balance within the music that is played with conviction and dynamics. The choice in vocals, which like I said, focuses mainly on the hardcore/death voice and comes across awkward. I think it would serve better if the primary voice was melodic with the low end growling getting used from time to time. Stu Block is a great frontman running around like Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden) doing his best to keep the audience interested and entertained.

Redemption Review By: The Goat

While I was hoping and anticipating that Redemption's performance was going to be as good as their albums, I had a kernel of doubt in my mind. Would they measure up? This is always the fear of a concert goer I suspect. My fears were allayed when Redemption opened up with “Threads” off of “Fullness of Time.” The blasting bombastic opening of “Threads” delivered the goods. Following upon this opening, “Suffocating Silence” further demonstrated without a doubt that Redemption are as adept live as they are in the studio. Nicolas van Dyk and Bernie Versailles show such cohesion in their playing you would think they had been separated at birth. “Bleed Me Dry,” which I have already established as being my favorite song, was up next and made me feel as giddy as a school girl who was about to meet a infamous boy band member - uh, okay, that was probably not an endearing analogy. The only down side was that their set was somewhat short. Redemption only played for ~35 minutes. Yet, despite this, time seemed to stop. For a band that has done little in the way of touring, Redemption was tight and kicked some serious ass. I hope they will be back again.

Dream Theater Review By: Rich

I had the opportunity to watch the first few song’s from the side of the stage awaiting my interview with Redemption guitarist Nicolas. After the interview I returned to the show a quarter of the way through that was electrified from the very first moments of the intro video that gave a brief look into the band’s history. As always Dream Theater were flawless, consummate professionals. I don’t think they even know what it is to make a mistake and if they do it is covered up really well. The stage set was a recreation of the latest album cover “Systematic Chaos” highlighted by illuminating street lights and giants ants attached to the amplifiers. Video was used during the show giving the little six legged critters constant motion and more of the spotlight.

When it comes to the choice in songs Dream Theater avoid predictability which I really like and their setlist changes every time they come through the area. This time around their set included classics like “Surrounded” one of my favorites from “Images and Words”, the ballad “Another Day” and “Learning to Live” to “Blind Faith” from “Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence”, “Endless Sacrifice” from the darker toned/themed “Train of Thought” with “Panic Attack” and “I Walk Beside” from the most recent release “Octovarium”. Tunes taken from the latest cd were the first single/video solid straight ahead rocker “Constant Motion”, the epic “In The Presence of Enemies” and “The Dark Eternal Light”.

We all know Dream Theater are progressive players and its all about their musicianship when it comes to seeing them live but they are also performers who work the crowd getting the audience into every note they can during the show. Vocalist James LaBrie, guitarist John Petrucci, John Myung on bass, and behind the kit Mike Portnoy all know how to rally the crowd. Portnoy will stand behind the kit hitting the bass drum with hands in air for those rousing moments to get the crowd chants going and Jordan Rudess even straps on a keyboard making him more mobile so that he can join his bandmates on the front line.

After twenty years of music, in ’07 Dream Theater continue to compose thought provoking progressive metal and rightfully so earned their status among the Metal Gods. The new album “Systematic Chaos” comes highly recommended.

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