Dream Theater - 'Live At Luna Park'

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Dream Theater - 'Live At Luna Park'

Another fine offering to add to your collection.

If there were any lingering doubts about the well-being of Progressive Metal's favourite sons after band leader and drummer Mike Portnoy's surprise departure, then this epic live DVD and associated extras should dispel them completely. Filmed in pristine blu-ray clarity in the Argentinian capital of Buenos Aires, the cleverly dubbed 'A Dramatic Tour Of Events' show is two hours and forty minutes of a band at the top of their game, featuring songs from right across their twenty-four year recording career, with the whole of 2011's 'A Dramatic Turn Of Events' as the backbone.

Highlights of the show are many and show the various facets of the band's music, from highly technical workouts like 'Metropolis Pt. 1' and the metallic 'The Root Of All Evil', to the simpler ballads 'This Is The Life' and 'The Spirit Carries On'. James LaBrie sings well throughout and the musicianship is exemplary, none more so than Mike Mangini's explosive drumming which injects the material with an extra sense of urgency, but there are no weak links in this band and keyboardist Jordan Rudess, bassist John Myung and especially guitarist John Petrucci all get to dazzle through the rollercoaster ride of sounds and styles that make up the band's repertoire.

Although the lengthy epics are the band's trademark, some of the best moments are reserved for the quieter sections, particularly the pairing of the acoustic 'The Silent Man' and the beautiful 'Beneath The Surface', augmented here by a string quartet and Petrucci's strong backing vocals. The visuals and 5.1 mix are both exceptional and the receptive South American crowd create a lot of atmosphere, the only downside being that the back projections aren't clear and don't have the same impact as when you're at a show.

'Live At Luna Park' is available in different Blu-ray, DVD and CD formats or as a plush photobook that houses all six discs, but each includes extra performances of six further songs, the local string quartet featuring on 'Wait For Sleep' and a stunning 'Far From Heaven', although LaBrie's screechy vocal on 'Pull Me Under' is thankfully the only blip of the entire release. There's a nice documentary that shows a content band who obviously enjoy each other's company, a DVD trailer and a behind the scenes piece by the film's directors, as well as the cartoon intro of the live show and a multi-angle option on 'Outcry' which requires the memorising of your remote control to change the view.

Renowned for putting out quality DVD's, this is another fine offering to add to your collection.

Phil Ashcroft

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