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 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:
After the show, I grabbed a shot of the road crew packing up the Dream Theater gear on 4th Avenue:
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:
I'll try to check back in later to add more thoughts on the show.