Dream Theater Balboa Theatre, San Diego, December 1, 2011

By the Left Coast Rebel

This Thursday I took an evening off of my busy schedule to catch progressive rock/metal masters Dream Theater at San Diego's recently-opened Balboa Theatre. They are touring for their recently released "Dramatic Turn of Events" album:

A few things: like any fan, I was eagerly anticipating Mike Mangini's performance. Good news: he didn't disappoint. Although it will take time to get used to DT sans Portnoy, they chose well. Mangini had great stage presence and a style all his own. Did he match Portnoy's powerhouse technical abilities? Open to interpretation but I was not disappointed.

Overall: The band seemed rejuvenated, best show I have seen yet (and I've seen them 8 times now). Perhaps Portnoy's exit is just what the doctor ordered to get the gang's creative juices back. My favorite songs was "Lost Not Forgotten" off the new album:



Unfortunately photographs were not allowed in the venue (a new policy in direct contrast to Portnoy's "any bootleg, any time"?). Nevertheless I managed to grab some shots outside the venue.

The event!
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The venue -- Balboa Theatre -- is a Depression-era theater. Seating was very interesting, we almost got a bloody nose from our seats (extremely high, at the back of the theater, very steep seating). One of our friends had a handy set of binoculars that we passed around, I found myself panning between Mangini and "The Wizard" Jordan Rudess.

I grabbed this shot on the street. The Balboa Theatre ticker reads "Dream Theater," though it's a bit blurry. The streets were crowded with balding, heavy-set dudes in their 30s and 40s, reliving the past glory days of big-hair, Nintendo, Dungeons and Dragons, Rush, Reagan.... (present company included).... oh the good old days:
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After the show, I grabbed a shot of the road crew packing up the Dream Theater gear on 4th Avenue:
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This roady shot me a "oh by, another 30-year-old fanboy" look as he packed up the Dream Theater gear; I was nice enough to not get his face in the shot:
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I'll try to check back in later to add more thoughts on the show.

6 comments:

  1. Tim,

    "Falling Into Infinity" and "Train of Thought" are iPod constants for me.

    DT is one of the few things in my life I would classify as progressive. I firmly believe when Rush calls it quits, DT will be anointed as their replacement.

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  2. Certainly not my cup of tea. However, being a musician, now retired ;) I can appreciate the musical virtuosity this group obviously possess.

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  3. Les: I understand; most of my friends reiterate your point of view (most of them hate the vocals, mostly). However they are the most technically proficient prog-rock musicians in the world, IMHO.

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  4. This is so typical. While the 99% toil away on the blog, the 1% goes out and parties.

    *Just kidding of course*

    Glad you had a chance to take a break.

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