Home Gigs Gig Review : Dream Theater’s Tour of the Top of the World Tour 2022 ,Belfast SSE Arena

Gig Review : Dream Theater’s Tour of the Top of the World Tour 2022 ,Belfast SSE Arena

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Review by Paddy Gallagher for MPM

Wednesday 20th April 2022 saw the Dream Theater’s Tour of the Top of the World Tour 2022 EU/UK leg kick off in the metropolis of Belfast, their first time back on this Island since the 6 Degrees of Inner Turbulence Tour many Glass Moons ago.

The setlist remained unchanged from the recently completed North American Leg of the tour due to the modern-day complexities of production; the visuals behind the band accompanying each song perfectly in sync.

Support for Belfast, Newcastle and London is provided by Milton Keynes’ Tesseract. Low level lighting effects working well for audience members in the higher up seats, but partially obscuring the band members from view for those at floor level.

The band delivered their Djenty, electronically tinged Progressive Metal perfectly and the exposure to an older average aged audience than their usual audience profile will no doubt have made an Impression and garnered interest from some DT diehards present.

After a 30-minute change over, as 8:40pm approached it was time to awaken the masters. Lights dimmed and intro rolled and the band took to the stage launching in to “The Alien”.

The virtuosity of the musicians transcending time, they were on the button as usual: mind-bogglingly, precisely executed. James Labrie joining his bandmates two minutes into the song he sounds better than ever and delivered a great performance even with what appeared to be a few niggles with his mic stand.

Melody then walked through the door as “6:00” as Mary Jane was again told about the honour of God. At this point James name checked his Irish heritage, the McCarthy and Fitzgerald’s (or was it Fitzpatrick he said) surely proud of their Canadian clan member.

“Awaken The Master” next. John Petrucci must have more than 4 fingers and a thumb on his left hand; amazing work up and down his guitar neck making jaws hit the floor and many guitarists in the audience wonder why they bother!

“Endless Sacrifice”, “Bridges in the Sky”, “Invincible Monster” and “About to Crash” are executed perfectly before the arms in the air 14 or so minutes of “The Ministry of Lost Souls” and 20 minutes of “A View from the Top of the World” brought the set to an end.

The stamina needed to close out a 2 hour show with these epics plus the 20 minute “The Count of Tuscany” has to be acknowledged. Are these guys human?

All in, a fantastic night of spell binding musicianship, shredding, melody. As James said, music unites. Tonight, Dream Theater provided the escapism much needed after two years of uncertainty for both the industry and the fans.

The “rhythm” section of Mike Mangini and John Myung provide much more than mere rhythm. We ain’t talking 4/4 all night here matey! Lead Bass anyone? Also, Jordan Rudess and his heroics on the keys and tablet, supplemented by his now traditional walkabout shredding style.

It was now time for the Dream Theater crew to pack up and everyone head for the 3:30 ferry to Cairnryan for the Thursday 21st date in Newcastle. The three Beat The Street tour buses and three Fly By Night trucks (and the Stena Superfast VII) transporting five Counts of Tusca…..er, Progressive Metal onwards.

Photography by Darren Mcveigh for MPM

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